The old and the new

The Who, T.D. Banknorth Garden, September 16, 2006
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  September 18, 2006

“I wanna live in the present,” said Pete Townshend from the Garden stage Saturday night, early in The Who’s set. “So let’s play fuckin’ ‘Behind Blue Eyes’. . . awright?” All kidding aside, the Who finally do have new material to draw on – an import EP and a full-length due in October. But their two hour show was a loud meditation on both youth and aging. The youth was seen mostly on a hi-tech video screen, where images of the band in their earlier phases were projected. The age was on stage: not evey drummer Zak Starkey gets a pass anymore – he’s 41.

The original Who are down to two: drummer Keith Moon died in 1978, and bassist John Entwistle in 2002. Pino Palladino continues to fill Entwistle’s spot capably. And Starkey’s long since perfectly his Moon drumming. Vets John “Rabbit” Bundrick (on keys) and Pete’s brother Simon (on rhythm guitar) were also on hand to flesh out the sound. But it was the theme of age, or aging, that provided the set with its real backdrop, in songs like “The Seeker” (“I won’t get to get what I’m after ‘til the day I die”), “My Generation,” and “Real Good Looking Boy” (about the young Elvis shown on screen). They faltered on one new one, “Mike Post Theme,” with Daltrey admitting he missed a verse in what he called “a senior moment.” They also played their new six-song mini-opera “Wire & Glass” in its entirety and trotted out a few others from the forthcoming The Endless Wire.

Of course, the crowd were there for the big numbers, and the Who happily obliged. They began with mid-‘60s classics (“I Can’t Explain” and “Anyway Anyhow Anywhere”), tripped through “Baba O’Riley,” and they made “Won’t Get Fooled Again” seem even more trenchant than it was in 1971. Given the context, it was as good as anyone could expect from the Who as currently constituted.

They encored with a 25-minute “Tommy” compression and closed the show with Daltrey and Townshend performing an unnamed new acoustic tune. And then the lights came up and the future intruded in the form of a voice advertising recorded DVDs and CDs of the show at                      

Related: The Who, For Pete’s sake, Long live rock, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Elvis Presley, Keith Moon, The Who,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   INTERVIEW: CARL HIAASEN  |  July 22, 2010
    Novelist Carl Hiaasen likes to create scenarios where very bad and tremendously satisfying things happen to despicable people: crooked politicians, real-estate scammers, environment despoilers, greedy bastards of all stripes.
  •   AFTER IMAGES  |  May 28, 2010
    Karen Finley won’t be naked, or covered in chocolate. Candied yams will not be involved. If there are neighborhood morality-watch squads in Salem, they’ll have the night off.
  •   INTERVIEW: SARAH SILVERMAN  |  April 23, 2010
    Recently, “Sarah” — the character played by Sarah Silverman on Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program — was upset because in today’s world it just wasn’t safe anymore for children to get into strangers’ vans.
  •   TATTOO YOU  |  April 06, 2010
    Dr. Lakra is no more a real doctor than is Dr. Dre or Dr. Demento. The 38-year-old Mexican tattoo artist’s real name is Jerónimo López Ramírez. As for “lakra,” it means “delinquent.” Or so I thought.
  •   INTERVIEW: DAMON WAYANS  |  February 16, 2010
    "Right now, my intent is not to offend. I just want to laugh. I want to suspend reality."

 See all articles by: JIM SULLIVAN