Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rockin' Roger

Last Friday we made our second trip to Salina in the last month, which was kind of strange since in the whole year before that I'd probably only been to Salina twice! I just don't get back to the old hometown very often, but this trip was for a very important purpose. Chad and I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to see a concert by the lead singer (Roger Daltrey) of Chad's very favorite band in the whole wide world (The Who). While we'd seen The Who in concert before, this show was a once in a lifetime deal because the venue--the Steifel Theatre--was SUPER tiny in comparison. It also happened to be the site of our first movie date together (Crocodile Dundee), back when it was the Fox Theatre and back when we were 14 years old.

Anyway, thanks to our friend Danny who works for a production company with the inside scoop before the show was publicly announced, and to our friend Jason who knows someone who works at the Steifel, we were able to get dead center third row seats as soon as (or maybe even before) tickets went on sale. I can't even explain to you how awesome it was to be standing 20 feet away from Roger Daltrey. It was seriously phenomenal, and he and his band put on a freakin' incredible show. I know Daltrey's an old pro and all, but I was still blown away at how incredibly hard he rocked it for a ridiculously small crowd of fewer than 1200 people. He's 66 years old and looks and sounds flipping terrific. I don't even know how he does it.

Lots of people have asked me why in the world Roger freakin' Daltrey was playing a venue like the Steifel in a town like Salina. We were a little confused too, but Roger explained during the show that it has to do with Pete Townshend, the only other living member of the original band. Apparently Pete has terrible tinnitus and can no longer tour with the full band using the traditional feedback amps that blare right in his face. So Roger and some of the musicians who now play with The Who (one being Pete's brother, Simon Townshend, interestingly enough) are out on the road practicing using those earpiece monitors to hear themselves sing and play so that Pete and Roger can go back on tour eventually without the old amps. Roger more or less said that they were playing places where it really didn't matter much so he could practice using his "American Idol" earpiece!

Anyway, we had a flipping fabulous time at the show, and the only thing that could have made it better would have been the omission of one unfortunate incident that could seriously only happen in a town like Salina. When the show started and Roger and the band started busting out Who Are You, we obviously stood up, like we would at any concert. About three songs in, the guy behind us taps us on the shoulder and tells us rather rudely to sit down, at which point we realize that most other people behind us aren't standing anymore (if they ever were). I basically just turned around and said no, I wasn't going to sit down, which probably seems super rude and inconsiderate. My thought at the time was "seriously people, this is ROGER FRICKING DALTREY and it's the one time in my life I'm going to be standing this close to him and I just paid $100 a ticket and drove over two hours to be here and I have absolutely no intention of sitting down." A few seconds later, the guy taps me again and says "You guys are blocking so many people's view!!" At this point I look at Chad and can tell that just like me, he's debating whether to punch this guy in the face or accommodate his request. Right at the same moment, however, some young guy pushes his way into our row and starts acting like he has a ticket, trying to tell other people in the row to get out of their seat so he can sit down. So while we're trying to convince Mr. Seat Stealer that he's in the wrong row and we can't actually sit down because of the commotion, several people (mostly women) behind us start screaming "SIT DOWN!" Seriously? I mean I know most of Roger's fans are a bit older than we are, but did they really come to a rock concert with the intention of sitting down the whole time? Really? Apparently so.

Anyway, we very reluctantly sat down for most of the rest of the show, until the end when they played a few more Who songs, at which point I happened to glance behind us to see that everyone was now standing up. Apparently they were capable all along--just lazy. I know I'm harping about the sitting down entirely too much, but my biggest issue with it is this: a performer like Roger Daltrey is doing Salina a HUGE favor by coming to play for them, and yet they're completely disrespecting him by not even showing him they're into his set! Roger even mentioned half way through the show that there was way too much sitting going on, so clearly he was just as disturbed about it as I was!!

Other than all of that, the show was fabulous and I was so thankful we were able to be there. My only regret is that I didn't take my good camera to get some good pics of Roger and the band. Chad insisted that they wouldn't allow "big" cameras into the show, but of course this was Salina, so there was absolutely no security to check bags as you came into the theater. While most people just had point and shoot cameras, there were a couple of SLRs too. I was so jealous because I knew they were getting better pictures than I was, but I did get a few decent ones in the batch. There are also a few really great video clips, which I'd definitely recommend checking out here, especially if you're one of those people who isn't familiar with The Who. Once you hear them, you'll realize you know lots of their songs!

1 comment:

cw said...

Gotta love Salina! It's always something.........

What an outstanding show!