Thursday, October 15, 2009
40 years ago, Roger Daltrey played Woodstock as a member of the Who. One might say his career has come full circle now as tonight he played Nerdstock, aka the Oracle Corporation Open World Conference Appreciation Night. The 60 something Daltrey played to an audience of 40 and 50 something IT specialists. And he rocked! The guy looks good and sounds good. The show was set in a large tent on the Treasure Island complex just outside of San Francisco. Aerosmith was booked to play the larger amphitheater at appoximately the same time. After catching about half an hour of Steven Tyler and the boys including "Dream On", I moved over to the Daltrey show and arrived just at the start. Roger opened with "Who Are You" and said that the Oracle folks had asked him to sing a lot of Who songs and since they were paying his wages, he'd accommodate their request. Actually, the advertising for his current tour emphasizes that he will be singing Who music. Daltrey seems to have made peace with singing songs written by someone else and why not? Daltrey's vocals were an integral part of making those songs great. Daltrey is amongst the greatest ever rock singers. And wow, they are great songs he's singing. So even though the guy was singing 40 year old songs to an even older audience, the concert had a real vitality to it. Daltrey mixed in a couple of his own songs with the Who songs and the vibe didn't suffer. He included a cover song named "I Want to Be Your Rider" that has me wanting to track it down on Amazon. He sang most of the classics including Behind Blue Eyes, Baba O'Reilly, and Won't Get Fooled Again complete with fabulous scream. A highlight for me was "The Kids are Alright" and a bluesy version of "Young Man Blues". Daltrey finished off the night with rock and roll classics "Summertime Blues" and "Shaking All Over". And oh yeah, Townshend was there. Not Pete, but his brother Simon who played guitar and did an outstanding job of backup vocals.
I'm old and I was tired. But I found myself trying to get as close to the stage as possible during the show, finally ending up about 20 rows of people back. That hasn't happened in awhile. In short, great show by a great musician.
PS - Is it just me or are people nowadays more concerned with recording the moment than living the moment? Cameras, cameras everywhere. Makes me yearn for the old days when picture taking was subject to a long jail term. Well, it was strictly forbidden anyway. Of course, I'm guilty too. Try as I might, I couldn't get a good picture from my cellphone, so have to use a pic a found on the web.