Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Who Come to Toronto

I'm going to see The Who tomorrow night!

I'm very excited.

The last time I saw them, I was much younger and more innocent. I had two young children and was single and went with a friend.

I've been through hell in the ensuing years but I've begun to find heaven again.

And what better way to celebrate than to see The Who performing "Quadrophenia."

The album "Quadrophenia" is still not as well recognized as it should be in the history of musicals, rock, stories, and concept albums.

Pete Townshend takes two whole records to recount a few days in a fucked up teenager's life. So many of us felt Jimmy's pain and the splinter into separate personalities to deal with each aspect of our lives.

The music ranged from hard rocking anthems such as "Can You See the Real Me?" and "Dr Jimmy" to quiet musings such as "I'm One." The plaintive pain of trying to fit in resonated in the lyrics and in the harmonics and echoed into the soul of every teenager who listened to rock.

We didn't fully appreciate the lush sounds of real instruments intermixed with the new sounds of synthesizers and other rather new technologies. We didn't know back then that rock music mixed with operatic scope and a story would soon flash away as quickly as it appeared. Is "The Wall" one of the last of albums of this kind?

I'm not going to get into a whole "kids these days" don't appreciate real instrument playing, the hours and years of mastering technique over the strings or buttons. A real voice that isn't enhanced by endless mixes and boosts. An orchestra. A choir. Lush sounds. Body booming vibrations from voice and drums and a rocking bass line.

Anyway, The Who thankfully didn't die before they got old because what they produced was timeless. The music, that is. I don't mean the performers. Sadly, there are only two left.

How many of us recognize riffs from their songs on commercials, TV shows and in movies? How many times have you seen Tommy and in how many forms? On Broadway?

Anyway, much of The Who's work stands up to the test of time. From emotion to riffs, people can connect.

I'm looking forward to connecting to the Who tomorrow night!

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