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The Who Reign O’er Brooklyn With ‘Quadrophenia’ Show – Concert Review

The Who
Spencer Kaufman, Ultimate Classic Rock

The Who made their way into New York’s famed borough of Brooklyn last night (Nov. 14) to perform their classic album ‘Quadrophenia’ at the brand-new Barclays Center arena.

Singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend, the Who’s surviving original members, were in top form throughout the night. Daltrey, who has battled vocal issues in recent years, sounded as good as he has in a long while. Townshend, meanwhile, exhibited a renewed energy after an extended break from the road.

The pair are joined by a stellar touring band that features bassist Pino Pallidino, drummer Zak Starkey and guitarist Simon Townshend (Pete’s brother), along with a number of additional musicians brought on to help bring ‘Quadrophenia’ to a live setting.

Let it be known that this concert may not be for the casual Who fan. If you’re going in expecting the band to kick off the show with ‘My Generation,’ then you may not know what you’re getting yourself into. The first 90 or so minutes of the show feature the band playing ‘Quadrophenia’ front to back.

The show not only serves as a celebration of ‘Quadrophenia,’ but also that of fallen members Keith Moon and John Entwistle. A number of times throughout the night, video and audio of the drummer and bassist are seamlessly intertwined with the playing of the live band, showcasing the incredible talents these two legendary musicians left behind.

And the tributes to Moon and Entwistle are fitting, as ‘Quadrophenia’ tells the story of the schizophrenic protagonist Jimmy, whose four personalities are said to represent each original member of the Who.

As classic an opus as ‘Quadrophenia’ is, it’s not a hits-filled album. It’s a rock opera that starts to build from the opening notes of ‘I Am the Sea’ to the epic closer ‘Love, Reign O’er Me.’ And that’s exactly how the Who presented it during this show, going from one song to the next with no banter or pauses in between.

It was only after the completion of the ‘Quadrophenia’ set that Townshend and Daltrey addressed the crowd, explaining some of the production and expressing great pleasure in being able to play in Brooklyn.

And then it was time for the hits set. ‘Who Are You’ got most of the crowd on its feet, while ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ brought upon a mass sing-along. Those two tunes were followed by ‘Pinball Wizard’ and the truly epic ‘Baba O’Riley,’ which sounded as powerful as ever. The full band then rocked an extended rendition of the classic anthem ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again,’ seemingly bringing the night to the end. But Townshend and Daltrey stayed on for one more tune, the acoustic ‘Tea & Theatre,’ which seemed to serve as a ‘thank you’ to fans for coming out to the show.

The current leg of the Who’s North American ‘Quadrophenia’ tour is scheduled through Dec. 9 in Uncasville, Conn. The trek then picks up again on Jan. 28 in Anaheim, Calif., before wrapping up on Feb. 26 in Providence, R.I. Tickets are available here.

Next: Remember Keith Moon's Last Who Show

Photos of the Who in Brooklyn

The Who
Spencer Kaufman, UCR
The Who
Spencer Kaufman, UCR
The Who
Spencer Kaufman, UCR
The Who
Spencer Kaufman, UCR
The Who
Spencer Kaufman, UCR

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