News Column

Worth the wait... ; REVIEW [Birmingham Mail (UK)]

July 1, 2013


The Who: Quadrophenia LG ARENA, BIRMINGHAM THEY finally nailed it. Forty years after releasing the album that Pete Townshend acknowledges is their masterwork, The Who at last gave Quadrophenia the live treatment it so richly deserves.

In 1973 the reliance on erratic backing tapes and an even more erratic drummer led to the songs largely being dumped from the tour. In 1996 a more theatrical rendition was hamstrung by a narration which slowed the tempo of the show.

But technology has finally caught up with Townshend's vision and the latest production, featuring an extended band and outstanding visuals designed by Roger Daltrey himself, has given Quadrophenia - and The Who - a whole new lease of life.

Thanks to the added video this show was literally a resurrection - not only was the music of Quadrophenia allowed to take centre stage, the late John Entwistle got to deliver a show-stopping bass solo on 5:15 and Keith Moon seamlessly gave us his glorious live rendition of Bellboy, a mere 35 years after his untimely death.

Playing with an intensity that would shame a band a third of their age, Townshend and Daltrey also ripped through a selection of classics, including Who Are You?, Pinball Wizard, Teenage Wasteland and Won't Get Fooled Again.

Almost fifty years after they started playing together, The Who seem invincible. See you next year for the Lifehouse tour, lads? Barclaycard Unwind gives you easy access to even more of the events you want to see, including music, comedy, exhibitions and theatre events VERDICT: GARY YOUNG

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