Written by Dave Clements
September 25, 2019
Who knew that this Wednesday night would become one strange evening of live rock. It was unlike any one that I had ever experienced. I’ll explain shortly. I was so pumped that I was going to have the opportunity to see The Who in Houston’s Toyota Center and not only enjoy these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers but hear two terrific bands for the price of one. I had not seen The Who since the 80s and to not only be able to enjoy their two plus hours of music but also enjoy a 30 minute set by Reignwolf promised to be a very special evening.
I have a fondness bias for folks from north of the border in Canada as I have a brother who spends a lot of time there and a beautiful niece who lives there as well. Therefore, when Reignwolf hit the stage I was in a very positive frame of mind as these guys are from Saskatoon, Canada. I’ve never been to Saskatoon however after having the opportunity to see these Canucks I’m thinking I might have to head north and check out the area. Maybe it’s the water there? Whatever the case, these guys have it together and can kick some R&R butt.
They played their own songs, none that I knew, but I was very intrigued by their sound. They had the audience way more engaged than I thought possible given they were opening for the iconic The Who.
I’m always curious how a certain band is selected to open for a band like The Who or The Stones? Certainly I would enjoy having this insight and generally I don’t ever get to know. However the question I always ask myself is ‘Is their music and showmanship worthy of the task?’ My answer this night? Hell YES! My advice to our readers is go see these guys when they are anywhere in our part of the world. I don’t think you will be disappointed. To the contrary, I think you will be very impressed and thoroughly rocked and rolled!
The main course for this evening started on time (which I always enjoy) and kicked into high gear from the moment they hit the stage. I had seen The Who before in Houston in the late 80’s at The Astrodome. Still, if you asked me for many details from that show I’d be at a loss for words. I just remember they were loud, outstanding and played the songs I wanted to hear….what else matters!?
This evening they kicking off their set with Overture / 1921 and Amazing Journey. I confess I wasn’t really aware of hearing much of it as I was very busy trying to get photos to go with this review. (You can check them out in the HMR Photo Gallery) Sparks and Pinball Wizard were in the books by the time I got to my seat after stowing my camera gear. At this point as I settled into my seat I thought the guys were sounding pretty darn good, especially with the many piece orchestra that they shared the stage with. When they kicked into We’re Not Gonna Take It and Who Are You (a couple of my favorites) I really started to get excited that I was at long last getting Round Two of The Who. Next and strangely last, yes last for the night, was Eminence Front . When it was over Roger approached his mic, said something that I don’t think anyone could understand and walked off the stage. Peter tried to explain what he heard Roger say and that too wasn’t yet clear. What was clearly heard was that they would be back out after a ten minute break. Then in ten or less minutes later just Peter returned to explain that Roger just could not go on as his voice was gone. He asked that the audience please accept their apologies and hold on to their tickets promising they would be back as soon as it could be scheduled.
I was disappointed that the show was over, at least for this night, yet I was impressed that it was handled by Peter so eloquently and professionally. I think everyone that mattered understood that stopping was the right thing to do, and those few that didn’t simply did not matter.
I’ll close by saying that for those that are patient and loyal Who fans, when it’s all said and done, will get far more for their ticket price than they ever thought possible. That’s assuming The Who do as they promised and give us Houston fans a replay. I believe them!
Until next time go see live music soon and often. Without us it will disappear.