Went to see the Who live at the Budokan tonight.
For those of you who don't know, the Budokan is Japan's national martial arts arena, built for the 1964 Olympics and first brought to wider western attention by the album Cheap Trick Live at Budokan (to which a followup has just been released, BTW) and where the Beatles made their Japan debut.
Was a fantastic show - very amazed to hear Roger Daltry belting it out just about as well as ever, and though Townshend was about 30% less frantic onstage as he was 30 years ago, his guitar wizardry was still jaw-dropping.
Zack Starkey - how cool is being able to say Ringo Starr is your Dad and Keith Moon was your personal drum teacher? - is superb - very fluid, skilled, creative and bang on. Much better than Kenny Jones, and very good at pulling off Moon with a little of his own riffing thrown in as well.
Interestingly, Pete Townshend's brother Simon is also playing rhythm guitar with the band.
The missus also had a blast and I was quite gratified to hear her say she liked the Who much better than Bon Jovi - her previous alltime favorite band. Yatta!
I've always been a huge Who fanatic; the very first album I bought was Who Are You - back when I was about 11. For two years after, my prized possession was a captain's hat with a Quadrophenia button pinned to the front - I was the only kid in my preppy high school who wore any kind of hat other than a "tuke" in winter. Then my Ma sent me down to Seattle on a bus to see them live.
Knew every song by them by heart, and learned to play most of them by ear on a little nylon string - although I couldn't pull off pinball wizard until I was a little more skilled and had the help of a superb musician by the name of Paul Wilson Brown to walk me through it.
To a great degree, the lyrics and imagery of the Who's music shaped my attitudes and personality as a young 'un, and their music is just as powerful and relevant today.
So tonight, I felt like basically, for a short space of time, we shared the room with the coolest guys on the planet.