By DAVID BURROWS
From Las Vegas to Florida and all around the world, “The Wholigans,” the world’s first and longest running tribute to The Who since 1982, played the Stubborn Mule this past Friday.
It was a curious crowd and many I spoke to asked me if I had ever witnessed the “The Wholigans” before.
With an honest answer in the negative I was very curious myself. I have seen many tribute bands from all over and many of more than one style. But I’ve never seen or even heard of any other “WHO” tribute band except for “The Wholigans.”
I asked the question to the band: Why do you think you are the only one?
Barry Quinn, original member and playing the role of Roger Daltrey, said: “The Who” as individuals are each very unique and because of that it takes time to study the moves and antics of each performer. I guess we were the only ones to have taken the time to not only sound like The Who but to learn the role as well.”
I spoke to the band for several minutes before their performance and they were very friendly and fun to chat with. I would have to say they were just as curious to see the audience as the audience was to see the passionate performers. Often times an audience looks to see a great performance as a band. As a tribute band the audience tends to be more critical of not just how good they sound but how well they perform and behave as though it were the original band on stage, in this case The Who.
The band came on strong from the start with classic hits that you would expect, including Pinball Wizard, Can’t Explain and, well you know the rest. The audience was continually grateful to The Wholigans for their accurate sound and portrayal of the classic icons. I was certainly thankful for the passion and energy that “The Wholigans” delivered on the stage.
As their saying goes, “I am a Wholigan. Who are you?”