Live Report - The Who, Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, 9.7.2007
Live Gig
Legendary Rock

Release year: 0
Reviewed by Aleksie
The summer of 2007 has been the most absolutely massive megaconcert-period in the history of Finland. Even omitting the numerous festivals, the three month period from June to August has seen gigs from the likes of Genesis, Metallica, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and many, many more. But despite all these superstars, for me the number one occasion of the year was the visit of The Who, back in Helsinki 40 years after their previous visit to our northern corner.
Even though we are talking about a band that could compile a killer set list just by playing either one of their concept-masterpieces, Tommy or Quadrophenia, it was better for the masses that the brunt of the show was built around the best three-to-four-minute pop/rock-gems this planet has ever heard.

Singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend had an insanely tight quartet on stage with them. Pino Palladino, who has been filling in on the four-stringer for the late, great John Entwhistle since the latter’s passing in 2002, didn’t spend the show pulling off amazing bass solos and licks through every song like his predecessor, but held the fort down with a mighty pulse. The most manic drummer in history – the late-and-even-greater Keith Moon – is one damning person to take the proverbial boots from. But sticksman Zak Starkey was absolutely brilliant behind the drumkit, from furious fills to rock-hard beats. His playing smoothly combines the fury of his former mentor Moon, and the cool steadiness of his father Ringo, who was a pretty well-known drummer in his own day (didn’t he play in a band called The Rutles, or something?).

Daltrey’s voice was a bit roughed up after a long touring sprint, but the hoarseness only added charisma to his mighty wail. Man, can the guy still belt it. The gig only had to advance mere seconds from the blazing power chords of I Can’t Explain, for it to become clear. His trademark wizardry with the microphone – spinning it round n’ round with the chord in patterns and shapes mere mortals can only dream about – is an art form all its own. Not to mention it's cool as all hell.

Main master Townshend has understandably left the powerslides and guitar-smashings behind him but the classic windmill-swings were in full effect as he conjured out the spirit of Jimi Hendrix in cacophonic guitar solos and massively driving rhythms. Thankfully, he also revealed his skills as an awesome troubadour with a surprising solo performance of Drowned from Quadrophenia.

The set list of the day was a broad one to say the least. Superhits of the 60s was the opening salvo, out of which The Seeker was a definite high point for me personally. The new tracks from the Endless Wire-album blended in seamlessly with the classics, although I was disappointed that Sound Round wasn’t played. The expected passionate jamming sessions were present as My Generation and Won’t Get Fooled Again were stretched out to masterpieces of a band playing together. At this point it was also very clear to me, that the latter of these tunes possesses probably the greatest rock lyrics ever written by man or beast. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

The audience demanded an encore with ceiling-shaking volumes, and once it came, heads were blowing up by rows and sections. A medley of the magnificent Tommy-record stretched to almost twenty minutes and the feeling was almost like being there at the recordings of the famous Live At Leeds-album from 1970. At the end of the show, Townshend sincerely hoped that the band would return to Scandinavia sooner than after another four decades have passed.

As I walked away from the arena, I watched at my fresh tour-shirt and saw that this was the last gig of the band’s Endless Wire-tour. So given the circumstances, I possibly just witnessed the last Who-concert anywhere, ever. I really hope that this is not the case, but that this dynamo of a band still continues to make albums and tours. If you dig rock music and still happen to get the chance of seeing The Who near you, I implore you, do not miss it. They are not just one of the greatest bands ever, but they talk for every generation, not just “mine”.

To conclude, the evening’s set list in it’s entirety:

I Can't Explain
The Seeker
Anyway Anyhow Anywhere
Who Are You
Behind Blue Eyes
Real Good Looking Boy
Baba O'Riley
Man In A Purple Dress
You Better You Bet
My Generation
Won't Get Fooled Again
The Kids Are Alright
Pinball Wizard
Amazing Journey
See Me, Feel Me
Listening to You
Tea and Theatre

Killing Songs :
Aleksie quoted
Other albums by Live Report that we have reviewed:
Live Report - Mgla, Lvcifyre, Wode - 15th March 2019 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Pestilence, Grimaze, Damim, Cryptic Shift - 23rd February 2019 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - King Crimson - Uncertain Times Tour - 9th November 2018 - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Voivod & Bio-Cancer - 6th October 2018 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Xandria, Kobra and The Lotus, Once Human and Bullet To The Heart reviewed by Joel and quoted No Score
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