Another Night at the Opera

The Who - United Center - Chicago

October 31, 1996

First Appeared in The Music Box, November/December 1996, Volume 3, #8

Written by John Metzger

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For Halloween 1995, we were treated to Phish's performance of The Who's Quadrophenia. Little did I expect to be seeing The Who themselves perform this masterpiece a year later!

I was a bit nervous about seeing this performance at the United Center since previous experiences there have left a lot to be desired in regards to sound. The Who did not disappoint, as somehow they managed to take control of the horrible acoustics and use them to their advantage.

For the most part, The Who stayed relatively close to the original recording, as Pete Townshend wailed on his acoustic guitar and Pete's brother covered the electric guitar solos. The track that strayed furthest from the recorded version was 5:15 in which John Entwistle pounded out an amazing solo, fitting of one of the premier bass players.

Between songs, a video which narrated the story line was shown on a large screen behind the band. Those familiar with the album recognized the narration was the liner notes that tell the story. Also in tow, were Gary Glitter and Billy Idol who added some humor value, if nothing else.

Roger Daltrey's voice was amazingly strong throughout the performance, and he looked healthier than he has in awhile. Pete can still play a wicked acoustic guitar and had an opportunity to shine in the spotlight on a stunning solo performance of Drowned.

The only disappointment was the 3-song encore of Won't Get Fooled Again, Behind Blue Eyes, and Who Are You. I was hoping for more, and perhaps more was forthcoming had Pete Townshend not gotten into what appeared to be a shouting match with an audience member prior to Won't Get Fooled Again.

Still, it was an excellent performance and quite a treat to hear Quadrophenia in its entirety as performed by the original artists. It is certainly one of the best double albums ever recorded, and if you have not yet picked this one up on compact disc, definitely go get it!

The Who's Quadrophenia is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!

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Copyright 1996 The Music Box