When a living rock band legend like The Who comes to town, it’s a huge event for everyone. Even in Los Angeles. Especially, when the venue is a legend itself. People get excited: some looking forward to relive their youth; others, to learn about classics and make sure that they still rock. Sometimes, they rock more then their younger selves! With their Moving On Tour, The Who had three shows at the famous Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on the 11th, 13th and 24th of October. They brought a large orchestra onstage to add new texture to familiar songs and its combination with rock is always a marvelous idea.
Liam Gallagher’s (Oasis) opening performance was a pleasant addition for any music fan, even though it wasn’t long. He started with the Oasis tune “Rock N’ Roll Star” and closed with their “Champagne Supernova”. The rest of the set consisted mostly of his fresh solo album Why Me? Why Not, which was released earlier in September.
After seeing such legends onstage, you simply can’t remain the same.
Then, The Who came onstage with their “Overture”. The band, considered as a third British invader after The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, now consists of two main members — Roger Daltrey (age 75) and Pete Townsend (age 74). They were backed by Simon Townsend (Pete’s younger brother on guitar), Jon Button (bass), Loren Gold (keys) and Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr’s son and Keith Moon’s pupil on drums). During the set, the band talked about their upcoming album (the first in 13 years), probably where the name of the tour came from. They also performed a couple of songs from it.
It must be said that the Hollywood Bowl looked amazing with a full orchestra and the stage light. It was the perfect venue for this show. The bowl shape fit with the band’s logo that changed color from song to song, bringing various feeling throughout the set. The band played long; an impressive performance. Some of the songs were done without orchestra and couple of them acoustic. Both Roger and Pete showed outstanding vocals and Pete was still a virtuoso playing guitar. It seemed like Daltrey’s voice grew stronger from song to song and he amazed the audience in one of the last songs, “Love, Reign O’er Me”. They both were happy to talk to the audience and make jokes about their age.
Concertgoers, of course, were very supportive and everyone remained standing, even after the band’s goodbyes. It was really hard to leave the venue, because the show was closed with “Baba O’Riley”, which brought as much nostalgia as possible. After seeing such legends onstage, you simply can’t remain the same. Such shows can’t be missed! Let’s hope to see The Who again soon with their new album, Who, out in December.
Photography by Randall Michelson Photography