Memories from The Who’s 2nd LV Quadrophenia Concert, Sunday 02-10-13
- Seats this time were two rows closer – the identical seats we’d had for Roger & Simon’s Tommy tour.
- The 5” platform shoes I bought after the first concert were WELL worth the cost and discomfort. Without them I still would have struggled to see anything, even though the seats were a bit closer. This experience was 1000% better AND the crowd and the concert were also much better – it was an AWESOME experience and concert!
- From the start I was awestruck and grinning with – there they were! I could see! Directly in front of me!
- I could see Pete clearly most of the time, and Roger much of the time. Pete was ab-so-lute-ly on fire. Everything was just working and the band was HOT.
- Roger sang really well. There was a point after we noticed some pot smoke around, and Roger had noticed it and angrily signaled to someone to get rid of it… after that he struggled and labored with his singing for a bit, so we were worried the rest of the concert would suffer. But he recovered and thereafter continued to kick ass.
- Again this time, in Helpless Dancer, Pete had the audience sing the “lesbians and queers” lyric, indicating that hey, it wasn’t him saying it and being all politically incorrect… haha.
- I’ve Had Enough was powerful and in-your-face, the perfect harmonies full and exquisite yet pumped up – not plaintive and poignant as on the album, but assertive, aggressive – an eloquent “take that!” definitive push. Yes, I’ve had enough, dammit!
- I tried to get video of Drowned, not because I particularly love the song (not one of my faves), but because Pete was so intensely immersed and going all-out on it, it was transporting. At the end of the song, he gestured to the audience and said we were the water. Then – I suddenly “got it.” (Looking at lyrics again now, I see several “meanings.” He might not have originally intended the “audience/water” one and/or it might have just been to engage the audience – although I don’t think he’d pander – this brought a new dimension to the song for me.) It was mesmerizing.
- The funny, drunk, talkative girl in front of us for a bit made her way near the stage, then came back, grabbed me in a clinch and was spouting, “I was all the way near the stage and then this RUDE security guard kicked me back!” I said yeah that had happened to me, too, on Friday. She said, “You don’t understand, he was RUDE and he kept kicking me back! He wanted to see my ticket stub!!!” I said that yes, I did understand because it had happened to me as well. She said, “But they didn’t understand, the band had INVITED me there!” At that point I gave up, wanting to watch and listen to Bell Boy. Bell Boy-oy!!
- After one of Pete’s solos, the drunk talky girl said to me, “He’s, like, the best guitar player – EVER!!!” (Of course, I heartily agreed.)
- TOO many great songs and musical and performance moments to even begin to describe or enumerate.
- Whenever I was videotaping, I was always holding the camera well above my head – I often couldn’t see with my line of sight on stage what the camera was seeing. My right arm is much steadier than my left, and holding it up like that for so long was very difficult, but pain? Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh who cares?
- Also when videoing, I’d have to zoom in in order to make the perspective the same as what I was seeing live. Otherwise the video seemed too far away. They were right there, man!
- There was an obnoxious man behind us yelling extremely loudly & gruffly “Yeahhhh!” which was very disruptive L.
- Unfortunately, due to a screwup, some of my fave videos from the show have no audio. I have separate audio but it’s of poor quality. L Maybe I will be able to fix/grab audio and sync it up. I hope so!!!
- There was a point where I was in the aisle and there was absolutely nobody standing between me and Pete, about 20-25 feet away. I took a few seconds of video (portrait mode) just to commemorate that. IF he’d looked up (and he didn’t – damn!) he’d have seen me. It was just a weird and cool moment, to be there with nobody between us, even though it was at a distance.
- I had made my way partway up the aisle before Behind Blue Eyes, and stood there for most of that. I was relatively close and had really wanted to get video of at least the start of Pinball Wizard. Then the guy standing in front of me said something I couldn’t hear, then he walked away and I saw the security guy clearing people away again. So I went back to my seat. (Friday’s drama when I was close & got kicked back was at this same spot in time. AND it bears mentioning that when I saw Roger & Simon do Tommy, I was getting a drink at the bar and the bartender started talking to a co-worker instead of just giving me my change and so I’d missed Simon do the start of Pinball Wizard then, too.) There always seems to be drama for me around Pinball Wizard… L. I wanted SO much to see that up-close L. I’m not sure I even remember the rest of the song…
- When I went back to my seat area, security was NOT clearing the aisle up there, and a thick crowd had congregated, mostly blocking my view even from my good seats. A GIANT man stood RIGHT in front of us. He had his girlfriend in front of him. I couldn’t see one bit. Finally I saw a spot in front of him so I said, “Excuse me!” and squeezed around him and into the gap a bit ahead of him. This was during Won’t Get Fooled Again, and I was recording it… when the part came – “You know that the hypnotized never lie” and Pete says, “Do ya?!?” I said it really loudly, and the guys in front of me – who were also really into it – turned and must have decided that I was A-OK to know the song that well, haha, and they said, “Here, come in front of us!” and let me go forward even further, and helped me aim my camera.
- They DID do Tea & Theatre this time, for which I was in the aisle at around the 6th or 7th row.
- At the end, after nearly all had left the stage, Pete was still on stage toward the wings to my right, and I was in the aisle around the 7th row. Everybody was leaving and there was almost nobody in the aisle/pit area near the stage, and Pete was still standing there gesticulating with kind of a bowing toward Roger. So I strode quickly up into the area maybe 2-3 rows from the stage, waving frantically like a doofus at Pete, begging him just to wave to me, haha. He didn’t even seem to see me there. Damn! So close! Maybe 10 feet away, but he was up on the stage which added some vertical distance. Oh Pete….all I really wanted was a wave. And maybe an autograph…someday…
How do I grasp and retain for forever the memory of how it felt to be there, be that close, see what I saw, feel what I felt? To be so close to Roger and Pete I could almost have smelled their aftershave… To see the sweat on Pete’s shirt and see firsthand the folds of the fabric as they gave in to his windmills… the shirt with just one or two buttons fastened partway up so that when he raised his arm in his fury and fire, the shirt parted in an upside-down “V” and his belly exposed (along with belly button… I know, that’s something weird for me to remember, but hey…) His glance across the crowd darting here and there and … if I were lucky… perhaps it would fall on me for one nanosecond… the possibility was there. The beat and the lights and all the chords and sounds coming together in a powerfully perfect, magnificent cacophony of transcendence… Seeing the light glimmer and dance off Roger and Pete in a way that’s different from seeing things farther away – more alive, more 3D, more real… REAL people standing right in front of you, doing their magic right there, not icons viewed across distances, football fields, television screens, but real, live people as near to me as my home’s front door from where I sit right here. People. Not characters. Not objects read about and viewed in films and videos and documentaries and articles and books. People.
It may seem weird, but this is meaningful to me.
And this – I never thought or expected to be able to happen. To see them in person at all. And to be so close as to experience it in this way.
To stand a few feet away and – albeit acting like a doofus trying to get a wave from Pete – just being there, and experiencing that.
Very, very special.
I hope I can trust my memory to retain the feeling of it. The vision. The realness.