Tonight, The Who went where only Prince. Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, and the Rolling Stones have gone before them: Into the post-Janet Jackson wardrobe malfuncton Super Bowl halftime crucible. Before they did that, however, they let let Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas desecrate "My Generation," in a remix in an ad for FlowTV (whatever that is) by changing Pete Townshend's iconic "I hope I die before I get old" lyric to "Don't want to die young, I wanna get old."
It was a drag to see Pete Townshend playing acoustic guitar at the start for "Pinball Wizard." But soon enough, he switched to electric and was windmilling away on "Baba O'Riley," "Who Are You" and "See Me, Feel Me" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." No Roger Daltrey wild microphone swinging, however. If you were keeping score at home, that means, yep, the half-a-Who did all three of their songs that get weekly airtime on CBS's CSI crime drama shows.
Townshend wore shades, and Daltrey wore sleeves - meaning I lost both of my side bets. As for the performance, it wasn't terrible, but far from thrilling. Daltrey did his leather-lunged best, and Zak Starkey approximated Keith Moon's talking drums, but on my TV speakers, anyway, the music didn't come through with anything like the galvanic power that the band can still deliver in the flesh. And my educated guess is that they'll be ample opportunity to see the band play live in 2010, because if past Super Bowl half time show form holds, they'll probably be announcing an on sale date for an upcoming U.S. tour this week.
Previously: No Darlins