Reflections On A Rock Concert | Ninja Poodles Local

Reflections On A Rock Concert


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Opening act Rose Hill Drive: Not bad.  Has to be a mixed blessing opening for The Who, because while it's great exposure, every single person in the arena is thinking, "GET FINISHED AND BRING OUT SOME WHO!"

Rose Hill Drive members look like "Spinal Tap."  ALL of them.  Nice boys, but I expect them at any minute to start talking about how their speakers "go up to eleven."

Amused at the repeated announcements offering, among other tour-related merchandise, "official bootlegs" of tonight's performance.  And a new oxymoron is born.

Wishing like anything for my Sony Alpha-100, which would have taken kick-butt pictures of the whole thing.  Alas, stuck with a single megapixel in a cell phone.  *sigh*

The Who entrance:  Happiest I've felt in months.  Giddy.  Holy crap, I'm looking right at "Tommy," and he's still hot and muscle-bound, with eyes as blue as the sky.

Pete Townshend immediately disabuses everyone of the notion that he might have lost his powerful "windmill" guitar strokes.  WOW.

During the hard-hitting part of "Who Are You?"  I CRY.  The freaking Who makes me cry.  I am getting old.  No sobbing, though, just eyes full of tears with the happiness.

Impossibly young-looking drummer who replaced Keith Moon and is really getting a workout: LUCKIEST DRUMMER EVER.  Except for Ringo Starr. (I find out later that the drummer, Zak Starkey, of Oasis, is in fact the SON of Ringo Starr.  Talk about irony.)

The excerpt from the new rock opera "Wire And Glass" that I thought I wouldn't be excited about?  Actually pretty darn awesome.  These guys aren't coasting on their monster hits of yesteryear, they're still creating, and doing it well.

AARP members rocking out all over the place = JOYFUL.  This sight makes me so happy.  My mother is among them, and a lot less dorky.

During "My Generation," my mom poking Alex and I, and proclaiming, along with the chorus, while pointing to herself,  "They're talkin' about MY GENERATION!" warms my heart and makes me feel like a happy little kid again, since that was the first time I heard a lot of this music.  Because my mom?  Always cool.  Weaned me on Beatles, Credence, Three Dog Night, Ike & Tina, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, and yes, The Who...and so much more.

Is beer REALLY that important at something like this, that you'd miss significant portions of the show going and getting tiny plastic overpriced cups of it, then going to relieve yourself of it, over and over and OVER again, requiring me to stand up to let you climb over me coming and going, each time?  Really?  You can't go 3 hours without beer, or have it before or after the show?  Seriously?

Speaking of drinking, someone throws a coconut-scented frozen drink which hits my mother right on the head and splatters a dozen people.  CLASSY, Arkansas.

Pete Townshend greets crowd, informs us that this is the first time The Who has ever played Little Rock ("NORTH Little Rock," says my brain again, quietly), and says lots of nice things about us.  Then a joke at Aerosmith's expense, followed by the revelation that he kids Aerosmith; Aerosmith and The Who toured together in Japan recently and share much love an respect.  The thought crosses my mind that THAT show would be 31 flavors of awesome, and if I saw both those bands at the same time, I'd probably poop myself.  Or something.

"Real Good Looking Boy" goes over much bigger than I'd have anticipated, probably due to our proximity to Memphis and the touching Elvis montage playing on the jumbo screens.

This crowd is soooooooooo white.  I see people from ages 12 to 70, but all white-bread.

The relevance of lyrics written decades ago to what's happening in the world today is both astonishing and saddening.  We don't learn, it seems.  See: "Won't Get Fooled Again."*

I like that Pete introduced Baba O'Riley, commenting on its much higher popularity here in the U.S. than in England, with speculation that America is one of the few places left in the world with "wide open spaces," and that the lyric "out here in the fields" likely struck more of a chord with us.  Alex and I performed stupid universal symbol for "rock on" with upraised hands during first "teenage wasteland" chorus, as we promised my sister we would.

After that number, commentary (again by Pete, who did most of the talking) on the concept of a "teenage wasteland," with apologies to young people for "the mess we've left."  A beat, then, pointing out four cherub-faced young teen boys up front, "Eh, you lot can f***ing clean it up.  You look fit enough."  Wild applause, and shots of the boys up on the giant monitors, looking like they'd been touched by royalty, which, in a way, I guess they had.

Poignant montages of old Who footage, including Keith Moon and John Entwhistle.  Aw.

Wondering if we'll be getting any "Happy Jack" or "Squeeze Box" or "I Can See For Miles."  (Answer: No. Too many hits.)  It's all good, because we do get "Eminence Front," "Behind Blue Eyes," and much much more.

Laughed hysterically when guy behind us proclaimed, "They must be done now, cuz I can't think of any more songs they do," and then again, when they launched into the next number, he said, "They musta just wrote that."

Security officers make 19th visit to the female concertgoer I am by now referring to in my head as "EDS" (Extremely Drunk and Skanky).  This calms her down for approximately 1.5 seconds, or until security officer's back is turned.  Attention Drunk People:  YOU ARE NOT PART OF THE SHOW.  If I wanted to see this, I'd stay home and watch "COPS."

A little later, I'm actually hoping EDS makes it home alive and unmolested.  Girls, there are reasons besides the obvious ones that you want to maintain control of your faculties, especially in public.

People who leave before the encore:  THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU.

Encore is lengthy, and consists of a "Tommy" medley, which the crowd goes nuts over.

Nothing is sadder at a concert than one drunk guy in an arena of thousands, holding aloft one lone lighter and swaying, all by himself.  Well, maybe a one-man "wave" at a basketball game, but at least that would be over quicker.

Roger Daltry says lots of nice things about Little Rock (fleeting "We're in NORTH Little Rock" thought passes quickly).  Hopefully he'll tell all his music-legend friends.  Pete Townshend introduces all the band members as they leave the stage--did he say Simon Townshend on guitar?  Yes.  Yes, he did.

We hotfoot it outside, the goal being to beat the drunks onto the road (which is really not much of a challenge), and get out the doors just in time to witness a two-generation takedown by police.  Exciting!  It's a young man and a middle-aged woman, both on the ground with knees in their backs, being cuffed.  The woman is loudly protesting, asking for help, and proclaiming, "I AM NOT A CRIMINAL!" and yet, she won't stop twisting around and attempting to injure the officers.  By the time we get by, she's got three officers struggling with her, and they still haven't managed to get her subdued.  Wow.  I mentally give thanks for my law-abiding nature, and that of my family.

Traffic home is pretty mild, and we spend much of the ride speculating on the nature of the post-concert arrest.  Did the young man get into trouble, and the woman (who we were thinking of as his mother, for no particular reason other than their ages and the fact that they were together) attempt to interfere, and assault a cop?  Was it the other way around?  Did they do something simultaneously?  Did they not even know each other?  Alex makes the confession that, cop or no cop, if someone is putting HIS mother on the ground, he'd most likely be going to jail or getting shot.  Because "that's my MOM, Dude!"  My husband, potential police gunshot victim.  Let's hope his mom keeps her nose clean.  (I nearly die laughing at the thought of Alex's mom so much as jaywalking.)

* "Won't Get Fooled Again"

We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgement of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that's all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
No, no!

I'll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized never lie

Do ya?


There's nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!


Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss


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