Not so much now, but last night: The Who at Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, NH with wife & daughter.
Yes, Pete & Roger are old (Pete turns 68 in May, Roger 69 this week). They made fun of if all night long. That said, they've still got IT, and the show stirred the same emotions as the supposed "Farewell Tour" of 1989 (The Who at full volume & throb in a venue like Giants Stadium 1989 remains my touchstone as to concert quality/emotion/you had to be there). This show was a full Quadrophenia followed by a short set of "best-of". Roger designed all the staging and vids and turned Quadrophenia from the story of one angsty Mod trying to fit into early-60's Mod culture to Roger & Pete's angst against the world, and, surprisingly enough, it worked. The screens were laid out as a scooter's headlight and turn lights, pushing the Quadrophenia theme.
Roger can still go get those high notes when required, saving most of his wind for "Love Reign O'er Me" and "Won't Get Fooled Again", and nailed both. The show even brought in loving tributes to Ox (John Entwistle) and Keith Moon. Ox's bass solo from "5:15" was obviously recorded in HD at some show before he died and played on the main video screen (no one else can make a bass sing like that), while old film of Keith singing "Bellboy" came in later. During the bits where Keith was singing on film, Roger's actions clearly showed the sense of loss they all felt after his death.
One funny bit was a display on the video screens prior to the band coming on, stating "Roger is deathly allergic to smoke, so he'd really appreciate it if you all stuck to brownies".
Daughter loved every second of the show; the real reason for the spendy tickets and hotel room. Most likely the last chance to see them at even a decent percentage of what they once were, and there are certain things from my past that I want to transmit to the future so that the memories are not forgotten. We've checked off Genesis and The Who, next up is Tull (if it ever happens, and Ian's voice is but a fragment of what it used to be). When I left this show I had the same feeling I had during the 2007 Genesis show: I'm glad I saw the old warriors turn back the clock just one more time. Stuff like this means something when you're 49. Based on what I saw, most of those at the show were boomer-era families bringing their kids to see a piece of their past. Thankfully this was no oldies show.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. Ralph Waldo Emerson.