Local Wire

The Who

Okay, so that comeback album never quite came back, stalling out on the quality trail somewhere between It's Hard and Roger Daltrey's latest solo album. And the band's down to two crucial members from the glory days of "Substitute" and "I Can See for Miles." But if The Who can make it through the death of Keith Moon, rock's most awe-inspiring drummer, and still be counted on to deliver the goods while touring through a 24-year drought, then the group can make it through another disappointing album — even with some faceless session guy in for the late John Entwistle. They're survivors that way. And Pete Townshend remains one of rock's quintessential performers, slashing his way through such road-weary classics as "My Generation" and "Baba O'Riley" with the passion of a man who might've penned them both just yesterday. It may not be the same without the other two Whos, but on a good night, you can feel the spark that made The Who the most exciting live performers of their generation. Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke, for instance, caught this lineup last September and hailed it as "more of a Who in fight and rapport" than any Who he'd seen since the band pulled Kenney Jones in for that first tour after losing Moonie. And current fill-in Zak Starkey's twice the drummer Jones was.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ed Masley