Roger Daltrey Concert Review, Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN – Friday October 30, 2009
Written By James Downing
Many legends have graced the stage of the Ryman Auditorium over the years. On Oct 30, 2009 another name was added to that list. Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who made a stop in Nashville on his “Use It Or Lose It Tour.” It was the biggest crowd that I had seen at The Ryman in a while. There were Who fans from all over. I talked to many who drove many miles to witness Roger at this world famous venue.
Around 9pm the lights dimmed and out walked Roger and his band. He approached his mic and said hello and told the crowd what an honor it was to be playing at the Ryman where one of his heroes, Johnny Cash, had played many times. He said he wanted to do this tour to get his butt out from in front of the TV set and to keep his voice in good shape for the up coming Who Tour next year.
The first song that he did was one that everyone in the building knew word for word. “Who Are You.” Roger said that without all the “boop boops,” they added in the studio, this is a really good bluesy song. From the first notes of the Who classic, I knew this was going to be a night I wasn’t going to forget for a very long time. Roger did a lot of talking about the songs that he was doing. I like it when an artist does this. It was kind of like an episode of VH1 Story Tellers.
To introduce the next song, Roger talked about how at one point John Entwistle’s voice was really high and how well he sounded on the next song. He said that over night his voice went from really high to really low. I don’t know who the girl was or what she did but she changed “The Ox” forever. The band broke into another Who song, “Pictures Of Lilly.” The next offering was another classic song from the 1971 LP, “Who’s Next,” “Behind Blue Eyes.” You could hear the audience singing along on this one. I really love it when this happens at a show. I wasn’t expecting this next song as Roger talked about how years ago only men had tattoos but how now both men and women do. He said years from now some of these girls are going to look like old wrinkled up newspapers, of course the song was “Tattoo.” He kept The Who songs coming with the next one, “I’m A Man.” He then spoke of going to his moms funeral and seeing people just sitting in their cars in traffic jams. Between this experience and his time as a steel worker when he was a young man, he wrote the song “Days Of Life.”
Roger talked about working with the folk band, The Chieftains. He went on to say that Pete Townsend gave him their album, Largo. An album that was based on Antonin Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” The Symphony was inspired by the American music of the early 20th century. He performed two songs off this album. The first one was called, “Freedom Ride” and the second one was about David and Goliath called, “Give Me A Stone.” Both were very good, but the strange thing is that Roger is not on this album at all.
One member of Roger’s band was the brother of Pete Townsend, Simon. Roger introduced him and he took over the lead vocals for the song “Going Mobile.” Roger made the statement that if he had ever had a brother, he would want him to be just like Simon. “Walk On Water” was next followed by what became a big sing along, the hit from the album “Who By Numbers” called, “Squeeze Box.” He then pulled out a short bluesy version of “My Generation.” The hits just kept coming with “I Can See For Miles” and a rocking “Young Man.” The last song of the regular set was of course one of The Who’s signature songs “Baba O’Riley,” complete with a few swings of the microphone! Roger paid homage to his hero Johnny Cash with a medley of three of his songs including “I Got Stripes” and “Folsom Prison.” He said he really regretted never getting the chance to meet Johnny. Then he pulled out a ukulele and said he tried to get Pete to play one on stage but he didn’t want to look stupid, “And here I am now!” as he played it for the song, “Red, Blue & Gray.” Roger thanked his fans for all the wonderful things they have brought to his life as he closed the show with “Without Your Love.”
Roger and his band were on stage for almost two hours and he looked a little tired at the end. His voice is not what it used to be but he still sounded great. He just couldn’t hit some of the high notes like before. I had only seen The Who once before on “The Who By Numbers” tour so getting to see Roger in such a small venue as the Ryman was a real treat. I was hoping to at least hear one song from Tommy (“Pinball Wizard”). For that reason I am giving the show a 9 on the Concert Blast scale.
I attended the meet and greet before the show and was really pleased. Roger was in a great mood talking a couple of minutes with each person as he autographed pictures and album covers while answering questions. Hats off to the people who handled the meet and greet! It went really well and it was an honor to stand there next to a man that I have loved since I was 13 years old.
I have read that Roger had to cancel a show tonight because of throat problems. I am glad this show was early in the tour and that his voice sounded as good as it did. If you are a Who fan, go see this show, you won’t regret it!
Written by James Downing
Tags: Concert, concert blast, John Entwistle, Johnny Cash, pete townsend, Review, Roger Daltrey, Roger Daltrey concert review, Ryman Auditorium, simon townsend, The Chieftains, the who, the who by numbers, who, who's next