Last night, at an almost full TD Banknorth Garden, the Who played â€œBaba Oâ€™Riley,â€ possibly the greatest, most glorious, most epic rock song ever written, with all the requisite bluster and bombast. The band was on, the crowd felt it, the result was a perfect rock â€™nâ€™ roll moment.
But that doesnâ€™t mean the kids are all right. The kids - who stayed home to download their Young Jeezy and Taylor Swift and â€œWomanizerâ€ - donâ€™t much care for rock. Itâ€™s the adults who are all right with the Who.
The crowd, most of whom were born between 1960 and 1980, werenâ€™t nearly as effusive as they should have been (Chardonnay and golf claps are for the Eagles). But the night was as rock â€™nâ€™ roll as any Garden party can be.
The Who began with a few quick ones including â€œI Canâ€™t Explainâ€ and â€œThe Seeker,â€ No prog-rock embellishments, these were just as punchy and tight as the London swingers remember.
After reliving their mod past, maestro Pete Townshend and still-brilliant bulldogish frontman Roger Daltrey rocked by the numbers. â€œWho Are Youâ€ into â€œBehind Blue Eyesâ€ hit with a Herculean thud, reminding everyone this was the band that invented stadium rock.
Sure, not the â€œsameâ€ band. Keith Moon and John Entwistle canâ€™t be replaced. Ringoâ€™s kid Zak Starkey can play, but the absent menace of Moon is glaring. Without the Loon, the set sadly never teeters on the brink of imploding. Pino Palladino is a bassistâ€™s bassist but doesnâ€™t have the Oxâ€™s blunt brilliance.
But Daltrey can still sing like a kid and Townshend windmills through those guitar chords with pints of piss and vinegar to spare. â€œGetting In Tune,â€ â€œWonâ€™t Get Fooled Again,â€ â€œMy Generationâ€ and a superb â€œLove Reign Oâ€™er Meâ€ were dead-on.
The one very wimpy moment came during an ill-advised â€œReal Good Looking Boy.â€ The Whoâ€™s tribute to Elvis sounded like a lame outtake from â€œThe Joshua Tree.â€