South Jersey Courier Post on Philadelphia

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Tue Oct 28 06:05:18 CDT 2008

The Who is another S. Philly winner
By STEVE WOOD • Courier-Post Staff • October 28, 2008

With the Phillies vying to win the World Series, the Eagles moving past .500 and The Who invading South Philly, the list of events was as long as it was lustrous Sunday.

And with apologies to the Abbott and Costello baseball skit,  The Who weren't on first.

"There are three games being played today," guitar hero Pete Townshend acknowledged to a crowd still filing into the Wachovia Center, "and we know this is the smallest."

But the legendary rock band was definitely on, eventually winning over a full house with a 20-song set that spanned four decades of work and seven innings of Game 4 play.

The veteran tandem of singer Roger Daltrey, 64, and songwriter Townshend, 63, the only living members of the British quartet, opened the night with "I Can't Explain," leaving no microphone un-twirled, no Stratocaster guitar un-windmilled.

Classics such as "The Seeker" kept fans clapping and newer songs such as "Fragments" off the band's 2006 album, "Endless Wire," kept them scratching their heads.

"Over and over again they shout, "Get on with it,' " Townshend said playfully to and of the classic-craving crowd. "Who are you?"

With that segue, the band jumped into "Who Are You?" and followed with a stream of familiar tunes such as "Behind Blue Eyes," "Baba O'Riley," "5:15" and "My Generation."

While TV show "CSI" and its spinoffs, all of which use the band's songs as their intros, may have introduced a new audience to the band, the majority of fans seemed to come from The Who's generation and knew what to expect.

Daltrey, sporting a vest and blue eyeglasses, danced with his microphone, Townshend cursed with his mic and the band, including Townshend's brother, Simon, effectively blurred into the background.

Daltrey showed he still has the lungs to reach the high notes  in "Love Reign O'er Me" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." However, the mystery -- and the country's biggest distraction  -- for many was at Citizens Bank Park.

Plenty of fans wearing Phillies T-shirts were in the stands, pumping their fists and, with their other hand, text messaging for score updates.

Still, the fans couldn't help calling The Who, who perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City, back onto the stage.

Once infamous for ending nights by smashing instruments into oblivion, the twosome showed its refined side, capping the second and last encore with a stripped-down performance of "Tea and Theatre" -- and with an outstretched teacup.

"Will you have some tea at the theatre with me?" Daltrey sang  quietly to the restless crowd.

Cheers to that.

 -Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!


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