Last week one of the longest lasting bands in music today took the stage at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY. The crowd was excited to see The Who, who was celebrating its 50-year anniversary as a band. The band kicked in, playing their hits. But soon, according to reports, things began to go wrong. The Who’s lead singer, Roger Daltrey, started to lose his voice.
Daltrey stopped the show so he could address the problem, which was apparently someone smoking weed in the crowd. At this point it seems Daltrey threatened to stop the show if the weed consumption didn’t cease.
To be fair, Daltrey reportedly has an allergy to cannabis smoke. It’s also true that smoke is not conducive to any kind of voice gymnastics. And I’m quite certain that smoking — of any kind — is illegal in Nassau Coliseum.
But a couple of questions come to mind when one reads this story. First, at 71 years of age, how good can Daltrey’s voice really be nowadays? And second, how has Daltrey gotten through 50 years of concerts if weed smoke affects his voice this much?
Are we to believe that this is the first Who concert where weed has been smoked? Doubtful. To be sure, many of the concerts have been outside, mitigating the smoke problem, but arena rock legends like The Who have done plenty of shows inside.
Maybe Daltrey’s vocal cords are more sensitive due to age, and maybe he got caught in a wind stream that sent a huge cloud down his throat. In any case, the story has gone viral and the jokes are flying about Daltrey being an old fuddy-duddy.
So be warned. The Who concerts are no smoking areas, make sure you blaze up before the show!