The Who Stafford Bingley Hall 4th Oct 1975

The Who Stafford Bingley Hall 4th Oct 1975
whotix75Support from the Steve Gibbons band
The Who had not performed since the summer of 1974, as they had been working hard on the Tommy film. They recorded their new album “The Who By Numbers” during the spring of 1975, and toured the UK in October. Although the tour was meant to be promoting “The Who By Numbers” they actually only played “Squeeze Box” from that album at Stafford. One or two other songs from the lp sometimes featured as part of their set. The show saw them return to playing quite a lot from “Tommy”, with a mini-set featuring in the middle of their show, presumably linked to the success of the film.
Bingley Hall is a large 10,000 capacity exhibition hall in Stafford, England, located on the site of the Staffordshire County Showground. The County Showground hosts a variety of events, including antique fairs, dog shows, and motor shows. It is situated in the centre of the UK and close to major motorways, making it an accessible from the north and the south. During the 1970s and 1980s, before the emergence of purpose built arenas, it was a very popular concert venue. Acts that performed there included The Who, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, ABBA, The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley and Queen. This was the first rock concert to be held in Bingley Hall. The Who were out to prove themselves “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World”; there was little to choose between them, Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones at the time. I attended the second of two nights, driving down to the concert with a couple of mates, all three of us squeezed into my two seater MG sports car.
whoprog75This was a set of classic Who. They started with “Substitute”, played lots from “Tommy” and closed with “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Like Zeppelin, the show made use of lasers which shone out over the crowd. This was billed as “the first stage act in the world to employ high-powered lasers” (Townshend, 2012). I remember being quite worried that they might hit me in the eye. Lighting operator John Wolff confirmed my fears: “..if a beam stands still, it can blind someone” (Neill & Kent, 2007). These were the Who’s first performances in 14 months, and the band were simply on fire, with lots of mike swinging by Roger Daltrey and arm twirling by Pete Townshend. The Who played for two hours, with no encore. Pete didn’t smash his guitar, although the crowd was willing him to do so. Apparently The Who had used a raised podium for Moon and his drums on the first night, but this didn’t work out and was scrapped for the second concert. Charlesworth (1975) described “Townshend adopting his classic legs-apart stance and spiralling his right arm roughly across the strings of his Les Paul”.
Setlist: Substitute; I Can’t Explain; Squeeze Box; Heaven And Hell; Tattoo; Baba O’Riley; Behind Blue Eyes; Amazing Journey; Sparks; Eyesight To The Blind; The Acid Queen; Fiddle About; Pinball Wizard; I’m Free; Tommy’s Holiday Camp; We’re Not Gonna Take It; Summertime Blues; Drowned; 5.15; My Generation; Join Together; Naked Eye; Won’t Get Fooled Again

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