Last night (February 12th) the Who played two acoustic shows at the 2,000-capacity Pryzm in Kingston-Upon-Thames, England, marking the smallest venue the band has played in over 40 years. The band will return to the venue on Friday (February 14th) to mark the 50th anniversary of their legendary Leeds University gig, which was captured for the Who's groundbreaking 1970 Live At Leeds album.
Joining Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend onstage were Townshend's younger brother and Who touring guitarist Simon Townshend, bassist Phil Spaulding, along with longtime Who live veterans — percussionist Jody Linscott and vocalist Billy Nicholls.
The band played identical eight-song sets at both the early and late shows, featuring a clutch of Who classics — along with the live premiere of two tracks from the band's recent WHO album; “She Rocked My World” and the Simon Townshend-written “Break The News.” The musicians backed Daltrey and Townshend for nearly the entire set, with the Who co-founders closing things out with “Won't Get Fooled Again” as duo as they've been doing in their recent shows.
Daltrey and Townshend are no strangers to the space now named Pryzm, having performed there with the Who back on November 3rd, 1967 under its original moniker — performing at The Granada Cinema.
The Who's setlists at their acoustic shows at Pryzm last night consisted of: “Substitute,” “Squeeze Box,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” “The Kids Are Alright,” “Break The News,” “She Rocked My World,” “Pinball Wizard,” and “Won't Get Fooled Again.”
Roger Daltrey explained to us that he made a concerted effort to make the new Townshend songs his: “It's been important for Pete, because he just doesn't want to be seen as someone who's just going out peddling what he did 50 years ago. He's still current. And the stuff he's writing now, the new stuff will prove that. I thought, 'Well, this is great Pete Townshend stuff, but it's a Pete Townshend solo album.' But then I listened and found a way to get into it, and climb into it with my voice and who I am, and it's good. I'm not just blowing our trumpet — it's good stuff.”
Pete Townshend told us that for the time being, he sees the Who remaining an ongoing concern: “Looking ahead, I'm not sure. . . I mean, Roger has said, y'know, he doesn't know how much longer he can sing the way that he's singing, but he's singing incredibly well — and has been for the last five, six years — I mean, better than ever, I think. But, he has said he doesn't know how long he can go on doing that. But at the moment, I'm not saying that this is the end of anything. We all have brands now, which you can take into Vegas, if you want to. It's so strange to have that brand that is bigger than either of us.”
The Who will perform a pair of acoustic shows on Friday (February 14th) at Pryzm in Kingston-Upon-Thames, England.
Pete Townshend On The Who Brand :
Roger Daltrey On Finding His Place In New Who Material :