Friday night, we went and saw Paul Freeman and Roger Daltrey in concert. It was great to see Paul get a standing ovation and a great reception as the opening act. He got similar when he opened for Vienna Teng and Alex Wong, but he really seemed in his element opening for Daltrey.
We bought several copies of Paul’s sampler EP, a Simon Townshend EP and a live download laminate with a code to download the mp3 version of the evening’s Roger Daltrey show.
The crowd was old and drunk. The ushers were very “anti-bootleg,” with one telling a man a couple of rows in front of us that photos were not allowed because people are always stealing artists’ likeness. “You know how they have a merch booth at every show? You can buy a tee shirt there for $40. You’ll notice some people outside selling the same shirts for $10. How do they do that? They take good photos of the merch booth and then make copies and sell them at the shows a couple of weeks later.” That was his exact justification for why you couldn’t take photos of an empty stage before the show.
We met up with Paul between sets and said hello. We walked back in just as the band started playing Overture. They played through all of Tommy, which was the advertised feature performance. It was the first tour ever that the Tommy album was played in its entirety.
I liked the band’s performance, but Simon Townshend, Pete’s much younger brother, is no Pete Townshend. He tried. He did the guitar and the vocal bits that Pete would have done if Pete could have done the tour. He just wasn’t Pete. Likewise, the drummer wasn’t Keith Moon or even Zak Starkey. The show was very good. I was happy to be there to experience it. It just wasn’t the raw energy and astonishment that I experienced when listening to Tommy on vinyl as a kid. Keep in mind, it is several decades removed from that time for all of us though.
The highlight of the Roger Daltrey show for me was a late in the show performance of Young Man Blues. I liked the whole show, but that to me was the best part.
Post-show, we chatted a bit more with Paul and friends and said goodbye. The night ended and we headed home.
Saturday was Lord of the Rings in Concert in Oakland. I woke up not feeling well. We crossed into Oakland and I felt worse. I got progressively more feverish throughout the day with bad sinuses and such. We watched Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring with a live orchestra playing the score as the movie played behind them. It was a really cool experience. Sadly, the crowd was very small. The “museum” pieces they brought were a very small sampling of costumes and props. We got cool stuff from the Turbine Lord of the Rings Online table, a map of Moria and a messenger bag. The guy running the table recognized my shirt for Gotham City Imposters from PAX. That was cool I guess. Post-show, we were so impressed that I bought a program for the event on the way out.
We headed home with friends in tow. Dropped one off and took the other back to our place to watch a very underwhelming Bridge School Benefit webcast.
It seemed like everyone performing was either drunk or high. Eddie Vedder’s set was awful except for a really good solo rendition of Porch. He brought out some woman from Arcade Fire for a trainwreck duet and then brought out Beck for another. It was bad. As was the rest of the night. I have no idea why, but the show closing song lead by Neil Young was “Get Together” by The Youngbloods. Quite odd.
That said, I was sad that Sunday’s Bridge School performances weren’t webcast. I would have loved to have seen Foo Fighters and Tony Bennett. Oh well.
Overall it was a fun massive concert week that ended with me getting sick, very similar to every other big concert week.