Fabulous Forum, Inglewood (Capacity: 17,000)
Unless you’re in the first 30 rows; floor seats at the Forum suck.
I had a floor seat so far back that my point of view angle in relation to the stage was virtually obscured by rows of shifting heads. It didn’t matter how tall you were since the floor back then was flat, not slightly angled even a bit – flat.
Throughout my concert career, I have been truly blessed to have had very decent seats, especially at venues like this where it’s all about location, location, location.
With this concert I really had to pull out the old die-hard concert motto, “Nosebleed or front row, I just want to see the show!” only I couldn’t – for real, as the concert was more audible than visible.
Three and a half years ago I saw The Who under phenomenal conditions (ninety feet from the stage) at the height of “Leeds” and “Tommy”. Pure Rock Heaven!
WHO – 1970 – ANAHEIM STADIUM
I really can’t complain; they can’t all be winners! As a matter of fact I broke it all down and it seems that on the average I was fortunate that about one out of every three concerts were exceptional experiences and most were very decent; this was neither.
I was a “Quadropheniac”, I just loved the double LP, this was a perfect progression from “Tommy” and I was really psyched to have a floor seat (unaware of the drawbacks) for this concert and enjoyed the show for those tunes for sure, but this was the first concert where I literally missed the continuity of the show due to bad seats.
So unless you’re in the first thirty rows on the floor, the best seats at the Forum are a little above stage level and off to the right or left of stage.
But to make matters worse I brought a camera and actually left my seat and stealthily moved down the aisle to set up shots – Security would allow this as long as you didn’t abuse the privilege – so I took a bunch, but later at home I realized that the film I loaded in the dark at the concert never even caught the advance sprocket and therefore all the photos I took never even saw film.
Even with all this going against me I still had a somewhat enjoyable time. I just closed my eyes to experience it audibly and grooved. I’d open my eyes occasionally to see a Townsend Windmill or two emerge from above the sea of heads.
Then suddenly, it dawned on me, why not use this experience positively and become “Tommy” at a Who concert!
Hey, I’m imaginative and had nothing to lose and I was solo that night – so minus the deaf part, as I could hear the Who excellently, I moved into Tommy mode around 5:15, the song, not the hour.
It didn’t take long to picture myself in Brighton, near the sea (that’s easy, I grew up near the beach) and becoming; “Inside outside. Leave me alone. Inside outside. Nowhere is home. Inside outside, Where have I been? Out of my brain on the five fifteen.”
Now this wasn’t a stretch ‘cuz I was out of my brain, in the good way, and opened my eyes just enough to look around at the other people on the train – I closed my eyes and was “Out of my brain on the five fifteen!”
After Sea And Sand (that was easy) and “Love Reign o’er Me”, Who headed into Tommy Territory and my Tommy mode was alerted. Now I could really get into character, “Pinball Wizard” and “See Me Feel Me” spoke to me, but after a while I needed to come up and out ‘cuz sometimes enough is enough. I had never had my eyes closed at a live concert for this long of an extended period and the images I was seeing while trying to stay on track as “Tommy in Quadrophenia” sometimes took real concentration, but what the Rock ‘n ‘Roll Hell, why not push it, I mean I was always able to “maintain” so testing was part of the Trip – to move up and beyond the last trip’s progress. It was always inevitable that after all the fun was done self-awareness would come calling and that’s when progress could be made.
This was good timing anyway as most of the audience was standing by now so that gave me a slight advantage over others for the rest of the concert.
The Moral to this Tale: Never let some ill-designed seating arrangement deprive you of your Rock ‘n’ Roll Rights to enjoy live music to the max!
Where there’s a will …
Lineup: Roger Daltry (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Pete Townshend (guitar, vocals, keyboards, piano), John Entwhistle (bass, vocals), Keith Moon (drums, vocals).
Setlist: I Can’t Explain, Summertime Blues, My Wife, My Generation, I Am The Sea, The Real Me, Punk And The Godfather, I’m One, Helpless Dancer, 5.15, Sea And Sand, Drowned, Bell Boy, Dr. Jimmy, Love Reign O’er Me, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, See Me, Feel Me, My Generation, Let’s See Action, Magic Bus, Naked Eye
Encore: Baby Don’t You Do It
Trippy Trivia: This was the second date of their North American Tour, the first being two nights before in Daley City, CA, just south of San Francisco.
History was made that night when toward the end of the concert Keith Moon passed out from animal tranqs and brandy and Townsend asked the audience if “anyone could play drums, …good”, a guy from the front rows got on stage and finished the concert in place of Moon, his name: Scot Halpin; he was awarded Rolling Stone Magazine’ s “Pick-up Player of the Year” Award.
Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scot_Halpin
Here’s 14 minutes of live footage courtesy of David – this brought back clearer memories that maybe I was just spoiled, as my view was just about like this on the floor – with a few more bobbing heads and a few more rows back. Enjoy!
the WHO – QUADROPHENIA – FULL COMPLETE 2 DISC ALBUM