The Who Orchestrate One More Show In Buffalo

Concert Review
The Who
Moving On Tour 2019
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, NY
Thursday May 9, 2019
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

The Who’s Moving On tour touched down at KeyBank Center in Buffalo Thursday night. Being just the 2nd night of the band’s tour made it extra special as the band delivered two additional songs than their opening night set two days ago. Not sure if it had anything to do with the fact they had not played here since a 1997 outing in Darien Center. Guitarist Pete Townshend noted how long it had been when he greeted the near capacity crowd. Townshend and vocalist Roger Daltrey are the last surviving members of the group that was part of the British Invasion that took place in the mid-1960s.

The current touring band consisted of drummer Zak Starkey, keyboardist Loren Gold, bassist Jon Button and Pete’s brother Simon Townshend on guitar. The band was backed by a full symphony conducted by Keith Levenson. While the orchestra help make songs like “Join Together” and “Pinball Wizard” sound fuller others sounded not quite as good. This was mostly due to a muddy mix at times that made stalwart songs such as “5:15” and “Love Reign O’er Me” not sound as good as they could have. The drums sounded low much of the evening and the bass also seemed to disappear at times. Earlier shows always seem to have kinks to work out and this one was no exception.

The real main highlight of the night was when the orchestra took a break leaving just the base band on the stage. A very stripped down “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Tea & Theatre” featured only Daltrey and Townshend. The former while sounding decent in its new form still was a letdown especially for those who may have been seeing the band for the first time. The first surprise song of the night occurred during this segment as Townshend launched into the first notes of “Substitute” and sparked the crowd into a sing-a-long.

Other songs of note were “Eminence Front”, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “See Me, Feel Me” all three drew heavy ovations. As Townshend thanked the crowd after doing the band introductions, they ended their show as they generally do with “Baba O’ Riley”.

I’m not sure why Daltrey and Townshend always tend to lean to Tommy and Quadrophenia and kind of forget about the band’s true masterpiece and best-selling album Who’s Next. The album while full of songs that received radio airplay, seem to let masterpieces such as “Getting in Tune” and “The Song Is Over” just fade away to obscurity. Who’s Next along with the abandoned Lighthouse project would make for an interesting evening of music.

Overall the guys crammed 25 songs into 130 minutes without really taking a break. It was amazing at their age that Daltrey and Townshend still have the chops to put on a show of this magnitude. Not only did Daltrey sound good vocally he also did his swinging microphone schtick here and there, Townshend meanwhile was still firing up his world-famous windmills. While this may very well be the band’s final time playing Buffalo, they aren’t treating it as a farewell tour. The band that played some of the most memorable stadium shows in town simply took their well-deserved bows, said goodbye and simply rode off into the sunset.

Set List

With Orchestra
It’s A Boy
Amazing Journey
The Acid Queen
Pinball Wizard
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Who Are You
Eminence Front
Imagine A Man
Join Together

Band Only Segment
The Kids Are Alright
Won’t Get Fooled Again
Behind Blue Eyes
Tea & Theatre

Orchestra Returned
The Real Me
I’m One
The Punk and the Godfather
The Rock
Love, Reign O’er Me
Baba O’Riley

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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