Two Who’s & Billy Blues Bar and Grill. He said extra.

He Said

The Who, Part 1

The title of this entry does sound a bit like a Dr. Seuss Book about Cindy Lou and her twin.

We have an ongoing family discussion as to what is the best band of all time. Unlike many other discussions, the correct and only answer is The Who. Containing the best drummer, bassist, song writer and singer ever in a band, they are objectively the greatest band ever. Sorry. You might suggest otherwise and you would be wrong. It is The Who.

We saw The Who the last time they were in town and they were back for what is likely their last last performance in PDX, Roger Daltrey being 72 and Pete Townshend, 70. The original show had to be canceled after Roger had meningitis. In that show the opening act was to have been Joan Jett. Not this time. I keep missing opportunities to see Joan Jett. One of these days…

The Who did a two hour set of some of their greatest hits; to do them all would require a day or three.

As I watched Pete and Roger perform I thought “pretty good for 70 year old geezers.” I take care of many people in their age group, most of whom could not even remotely expend that kind of energy. And I realized, depressingly, I am only 11 years behind Pete and I doubt I could do it now.

It was a great performance by, as I mentioned, the greatest band of all time.

The Willamette Week mentioned the lack of energy in the band and the audience, which I did not see. I suppose the author is in his mid-twenties and when he noted “In the end, there was no encore. The audience didn’t deserve it.” he seemed unaware that none of the shows have had an encore.

The Moda Center is a uniquely awful venue, even for stadium rock, make even more awful by the age of the audience. For a Blazer game it is fine, but for music? The ancient Memorial Coliseum, where we saw Florence and the Machine, was a far better venue.

The sound was fine; I don’t expect great acoustics in a stadium.

But the lights were off, the steps steep, irregular and inadequately lit. The tight seats would have been great for a game in front of you, but not for watching the stage at the far end of the floor. The audience was old and we don’t have that flexibility to sit in a chair turned 60 degrees anymore.

Imagine old, fat unsteady, drunk people trying to carry beers down irregular steps in the dark trying to find unlit seats. That no one took a header can only be considered a true miracle and not for lack of  some people trying. I hope they have good accident insurance. Some the audience left before the end of the show; I suppose some of the nursing homes had a curfew.

A great show in an awful venue for us geezers. I think I will stick with the smaller venues as I can’t imagine another group who would perform at the Moda I would want to see.

The Who, Part 2

The Seekers are a local band, the same members who make up Ramble On, THE Zeppelin Tribute Band. They have branched out with a Who set and their first show was the end of May.

It was a fun show by excellent musicians. They did 4 sets: The Police, Rush, The Who and Led Zeppelin.

Since I go to a lot of live shows and both my children and wife are guitar players, I tend to pay more attention to the individual instruments rather than just listen. Police songs are surprisingly simple constructions. It doesn’t make them less melodic, but there is not a lot of there there.

Rush, perhaps the ultimate in bombastic pretentious rock (and don’t get me wrong, I like bombastic pretentious rock) was much more complex for both the drummer and the guitarist. They nailed it.

The Who set was fun. They band really came together and jammed, especially on Don’t Get Fooled Again.  I had wondered going in if Rich, the singer, who is excellent with the works of Zep, had the right voice for The Who. I should not have worried. He was great. I had always thought that Love Reign Oe’r Me, from Quadrophenia, was a bit out of Roger Daltrey’s range and it was always one of the the Who songs where, to my ear, he struggled. Rich, with a higher voice, hit it perfectly.

You know by now I am a Steve Adams Fan Boy. Last week I saw his solo guitar with classic and jazz pieces, now this week as rock guitar god. On June 8th he is going to do a free show at the Lake Oswego Library: Four Centuries of Guitar .  It should be excellent.

The show was at Billy Blues Bar and Grill in the ‘couve. A roadhouse bar, it was a fine venue with good acoustics. The beer selection on tap was sufficient, the food good and tending to over the top; the patty melt had two burger patties. I avoided the special as it was “cooked to perfection.” Pleasant and efficient staff, it was a solid place to eat American bar food, have a drink, and listen to music. But.

One reviewer called it “Most Romantic Restaurant in Vancouver!” and I do not know if that speaks to the author or the ‘couve. Probably both.

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