INsite Magazine

Friday, November 27, 2009

Roger Daltrey Uses It

Roger Daltrey is touring this fall to keep his voice in shape for when The Who (hopefully) tour next year; the tour is even called the “Use It or Lose It” tour. The last four dates of the tour are in Florida. I caught the first one Wednesday, Nov. 26, at the House of Blues in Orlando. You can still catch a show tonight (Nov.27) at the Barbara Mann Performing Arts Hall in Ft. Myers, Nov. 29 at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood and Nov. 30 at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.

Roger’s band including guitarist/musical director Frank Simes, guitarist Simon Townshend (brother of the Who’s Pete Townshend), keyboardist Loren Gold, bassist Jon Button and drummer Scott Devours did a great job on the material, which included Who songs, some of Roger’s solo material and some covers. Roger has been changing the set list between cities, which is nice, especially for hardcore fans that want to go more than once.

The Orlando show opened with “Who Are You” and Roger on acoustic guitar, followed by an intense version of “The Real Me.” “The Real Me” has one of the most intense bass parts in rock, and Jon Button handled it well, although he was a little low in the mix. Then came the first Who rarity, “Pictures of Lily,” followed by “Behind Blue Eyes,” one of The Who’s signature tunes, and then another rarity (and one of my favorites) “Tattoo.”

Roger traipsed into some of his solo and cover material, including “Days of Light,” from 1992’s Rocks in the Head. Simon took over lead vocals while Roger played harmonica on The Who classic “Goin’ Mobile.”

Perhaps the strangest pick of the night was a medley of Johnny Cash songs, but it was definitely interesting. After performing The Who’s “Naked Eye” Roger picked a more obscure Who track that Pete sang on The Who By Numbers, “Blue Red and Grey.” Roger even played ukulele for the song, an understated ballad extolling the virtues of the simple life. It was my favorite song of the evening. Roger ended his almost two-hour set with the song “Without Your Love” from the McVicar album he released in 1980.

The Roger Daltrey concert was a wonderful show, and maybe he’ll tour again next year, maybe even with The Who. I’ve heard rumors of a Who Tribute show in New York, and that The Who will perform at the Super Bowl in 2010. Hopefully the activity will be preceded by some Who shows.

--Story and photos by John Davisson

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