Just returned from the Who/Pretenders show at Toyota Center (which I call “the new Summit” but no one knows what I’m talking about) (it’s not like they built it on the site of the old Summit, so there’s not much of a connection – it’s just that the shows at Toyota Center are what they would have booked at the Summit). I need to let the past go. And, frankly, it’s a hell of a lot easier to get to Toyota Center than the Summit. Whatever.
Any time you get that many people in a confined space, there’s lots to look at. I figured the demographic for this show skewed white and old, and that was indeed the case. A fight started a few rows up from where we were sitting during, literally, the second song of the night. As the dude was being removed, he flung his beer all over the people around him. Methamphetamines and white trash are a bad combination.
“Hope I die before I get old.” In the crowd, there was a lot of sagging flesh ensconced in leather. Lots of vintage Who shirts. Lots of graying mullets. Roger Daltrey is actually in pretty good shape. Though his face often looked red and strained when he was singing, he was still putting on a show. He even had the, uh, trouser package so obvious in early Who concerts. Not that I was looking. Pete Townshend looked about like you’d expect, and his guitar playing was fucking ridiculous. Pete’s brother was on bass (he looked a lot like him – that nose) and Ringo Starr’s kid was on drums. At the end of the show and then at the encore, both Pete and Roger really soaked up the applause. I know this band is notorious for the “farewell tour,” but I did get the feeling this was the last time they’re going to play in Houston. At least the last time they’ll do a show at the new Summit.
Chrissie Hynde KICKED ASS. She can belt that shit out like it’s two decades ago. She not only sounded great, but she also looked great, which I would partially attribute to her vegetarian lifestyle. She talked about PETA/animal cruelty for a bit. There was some rumbling from the audience, but they didn’t do any grand booing or hissing, which was nice. I hate being reminded of how hick-ish Houston can be sometimes. It’s embarrassing.
While the Pretenders didn’t use the big video screens, the Who used them the entire time. In addition to the basic rebroadcast on the screens of what’s happening on the stage, they had another set of five screens that moved around and played videos. Watching the current Who playing one of their anthems with a video of them when they wrote the anthem on the screens behind them was…not disturbing. But bothersome. I didn’t know if it was ironic – as in, we protested and sang songs and fought the good fight, only to end up with a hayseed fucktard as president and a patriot act to wipe our asses with. Or was it a tribute to the band itself? If so, it was a bit morbid. Some songs were accompanied by trippy shit on the screens. The trippy shit was my favorite.
Eminence Front is a really cool song.