The Who: 7/30/1989

who_7-30-89

I’ve seen The Who multiple times throughout my rock and roll life, but this show was by far the longest of all the Who concerts I attended. Some people griped about this tour, because the band had a plethora of backing musicians and Pete played mostly acoustic guitar (supposedly because of his tinnitus), but I thought it was an “amazing journey.”

I went with my two brothers and a bunch of our friends, all piled into my friend Lydia’s van. We got there fairly early and found our seats, which were on the field and not bad. As we were waiting for the show to start, a young woman of questionable morals took a seat in front of us. She was obviously a dancer and proceeded to stand on her chair and “perform” to the music piped in over the PA. While I was in no way offended by this show, I was somewhat taken aback by a couple of frat boys who were sitting off to the side of us, commenting about how sweet she was. They started talking with her, and within a very short time, they each took turns going into the port-o-john with her. They came back to their seats, smug and smiling, giving each other high-fives. All I could think was that they would be going home to some poor, unsuspecting sorority girls. It took me a while to get the vision of them in the porto out of my mind.

Finally, the show started, and the band opened with a “Tommy” mini-set, playing a nice chunk of the album. It was still light, which was a little disappointing, because I would have loved to have seen a killer light show accompanying the performance, but it was great nonetheless. After Tommy, they played a bunch of other songs, building in intensity and energy before taking a break.

After the break, they came back and played another long set, opening with “Magic Bus” and just ripping through one great song after another.

Finally, the set ended, but they returned for a multi-song encore and closed the night with  “Summertime Blues.” For me, it was an awesome concert. I was particularly surprised by “Trick of the Light,” a more obscure song that I LOVE.

After the concert, the traffic was insane, so we all hung around in the van and indulged in a post-concert tailgate until the traffic cleared.

Here are the set lists, to give you an idea of how long this show was.


Set 1:

  • Overture
  • It’s a Boy
  • 1921
  • Amazing Journey
  • Sparks
  • The Acid Queen
  • Pinball Wizard
  • We’re Not Gonna Take It
  • See Me, Feel Me
  • Eminence Front
  • Let My Love Open the Door
  • Face the Face
  • I’m a Man
  • I Can’t Explain
  • Substitute
  • I Can See for Miles
  • Trick of the Light
  • Boris the Spider
  • Who Are You

Set 2:

  • Magic Bus
  • Baba O’Riley
  • My Generation
  • A Little Is Enough
  • 5:15
  • Love, Reign O’er Me
  • Sister Disco
  • Rough Boys
  • Join Together
  • You Better You Bet
  • Behind Blue Eyes
  • Won’t Get Fooled Again

Encore:

  • Hey Joe
  • Dig
  • Summertime Blues
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