'Who Put the Boot In'

Counting down to the Super Bowl and The Who’s halftime show. I’m pretty stoked to see them play even though I have a feeling I’ll be disappointed in the end. The last couple of years have brought some outstanding performances from Bruce Springsteen and Prince and I’m halfway dreading seeing The Who get up there and mash 40-odd years of music into a 15-minute medley of greatest hits. Or worse, something that sounds like a collection of TV theme songs and beer commercials. But hey, that’s just me – ever the optimist.

In an interview with Billboard, Pete Townshend says the band plans on “kinda doing a mashup of stuff: 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.’

As a sort of blogging tailgate party, I’ve dug up an old live Who show. This comes from a June 12, 1976, performance at the Swansea City Football Club in Swansea, Wales.

According to The Who Concert Guide, there are about seven songs the band played that didn’t make it onto this recording. The recording here opens with a set of “Tommy” material, whereas the actual show opened with older stuff and put “Tommy” in the middle. Some other songs here were also moved around a bit from their actual order in the show. Seeing as this clocks in at exactly an hour, maybe it was meant for radio broadcast or summat and was edited for that. But don’t let all these details bog you down. This is a typically powerful performance from The Who and the sound quality is very good and we’ll be damn lucky if they turn in half as good a performance tonight.

Amazing Journey.mp3
Acid Queen.mp3
Fiddle About.mp3
Pinball Wizard.mp3
I’m Free / How Can We Follow.mp3
Baba O’Riley.mp3
Squeeze Box.mp3
Behind Blue Eyes.mp3
Dreaming from the Waist.mp3
Summertime Blues.mp3
My Generation.mp3
Won’t Get Fooled Again.mp3

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At 8:25 PM , Blogger Dylan said...

It was pretty bad. Almost all half-time shows in recent memory suffer from terrible mixes; this was no different. To top it off, for once, Daltrey sounds every bit his age. And add that to the fact that ever since the Who started touring with a 2d guitarist (usually Pete's brother; not sure if that was him there or not, for he's usually bald), Pete pretends he's Clapton. And he's not. In fact, he's rather terrible at lead playing. Boy does it show...

So cliff notes? Disappointed, but at about where I expected.

At 9:39 PM , Blogger aikin said...

yeah, unfortunately I agree. The sound was terrible (although to be fair, I saw Joan Jett in that stadium and her sound sucked too) and Daltrey sounded way bad.

I'm interested to hear thoughts from anyone else who saw it.

At 2:23 PM , Blogger Dave C said...

I'm a big Who fan, but their performance at the Super Bowl was a horror to watch. They looked really out of their element and every bit the has beens. But let me add that I've listened to an audio only recording of the performance from Big O that sounds really good. Plus the crowd sounds totally into the show. If I hadn't watched it live I'd have thought they were a real home run.


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