BULLETIN: Townshend reveals the Super Bowl setlist

Martin Bailey Martin.Bailey at netsoltech.com
Tue Jan 26 13:06:06 UTC 2010

Ernie quoted Pete:

> "We're kinda doing a mashup of stuff," the guitarist tells Billboard. "A
> bit of 'Baba O'Riley,' a bit of 'Pinball Wizard,' a bit of the close of
> 'Tommy,' a bit of 'Who Are You,' and a bit of 'Won't Get Fooled Again.' "

Oooh!  Nice.

It will all have to be very short to fit a surprising FIVE songs in.  (Or SIX - if you include the Tommy finale as two songs.)

Before now, I think we all thought that 4 songs would have been pushing it.

I wouldn't be surprised if the number of songs got revised downwards before the actual show.

So, it'll be something like this:  (I can hear the whole concert in my head.)

        1. Big start to Baba O'Riley.  No time for the big harmonica / violin finish though.
        It'll get as far as "Don't Cry, Don't raise your eye, it's on-ly teenage wasteland!"

        2. But instead of continuing with B'OR, the guitar intro to Pinball Wizard will kick in.
        The crowd will be confused, but pleasantly surprised.  Really cheering now.

        Pete has done a Pinball Wizard / See Me, Feel Me / Listening to You medley before.  Live BAM 1993, for example.
        But the Who's version will need to be shorter, faster, and use the whole band - not just Pete on acoustic guitar.

        3. The Pinball Wizard instrumental will slow down, until the first two notes of "See Me, Feel Me" are heard.

        Now Roger is the only one on stage making a sound.  A strong voice singing the frail lines. "See Me, Feel Me".
        He's still got it, the crowd thinks.
        The band pumps up the sound.  "Listening to You".
        For the first time, the WHOLE crowd really get to sing along. Even those who have never heard The Who before.

        4. Listening to You doesn't have time for a long finale.
        Even before Roger and the crowd have stopped singing it, the backing vocals of "Whoooo Are you, Who Who! Who Who!" have begun.

        Who Are You starts up.  Still Powerful.
        The Who haven't had a chance to catch their breath yet.  And neither has the crowd.

        5. The instrumental part of Who Are You - the "mad pianos" - has a delicate keyboard undercurrent.
        It gets louder.  The synth loops are familiar to a large portion of the crowd.  And, one by one, they "get it".
        They know what's coming next.

        The Who Are You instrumental never gets the chance to finish.  Before most of the crowd have caught up, its all quiet.

        Except for the "Won't Get Fooled Again" synth instrumental.

        Clapping. Everyone's clapping now.

        Then Zak starts the drum roll.
        He knows, that this is THE GIG OF HIS LIFE.
        There's more eyes on him right now than ever saw his father play.

        Crash of drums.  And then... "Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
        Its 60% Roger, 20% Pete's guitar, and 20% crowd.

        "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

        Big finish, with a fake ending.  Windmills ahoy.

        That's it.  That's all of WGFA that there was time for.

        But that's all that's needed.  The crowd LOVE IT.

        As the song ends, Roger and Pete know: "we did it.  we won.  job done.  lets go home".

Is everyone else's heartbeat pounding as fast as mine right now?

No "My Generation".  But no disappointment; the rest of the song choices are sound.  Very, very, sound.

-MB  (I'm excited now.  Very pumped.)

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