The Who: Breaking Down Super Bowl Performance by Peter Townshend, Roger Daltrey
Who are they? I hear you ask, well they are only one of the greatest rock bands to grace gods green earth.
For the optimistic fan out there that has offered criticism on the old time English band that originated in 1964, The Who's performance shut many mouths on Sunday night as their half time show performance dazzled audiences world wide.
Classic songs were played, and the audience danced in joy as the game was finally heating up. The Who delivered in every way possible, and left them waving and smiling as they had reached yet another big stage.
Song List: "Pinball Wizard", "Who Are You", "Baba O'Riley", "Won't Get Fooled Again".
The Who have been out of action for a while. After taking numerous almost "secret" world tours to countries like Australia and New Zealand, The Who returned to the United States with an air of confidence as their music was still featuring the same iconic tunes and beats.
When I originally saw The Who make their way onto the stage, I questioned the NFL's original decision to have a circular stage. In past years we've seen stages that have left a lot to be desired, particularly The Rolling Stones tongue back in Super Bowl XL.
However, I was proved to be wrong. The circular stage almost represented somewhat of an outer space type feel, and the laser show that was constantly going on in the background added to the affect. A wise decision was made by throwing in millions of dollars worth of fireworks, and the red, blue and white classic Who colors made the show what it was.
As always, the beginning of the show started with the eerie pitch black stadium while the faint flashes of camera bulbs illuminated the night sky. That was soon set aside by some minor flames, and finally the appearance of the beloved band.
As I expected there was a long list of 'good' points in The Who's performance. The first one that was notable was the clear and concise vocals that were portrayed by lead singer Roger Daltry. In past years we've seen many a time when the lead singer fails to live up to expectation, this wasn't one of them.
The second point that came as a surprise to me was the consistent crowd noise that was heard in the background. Sitting at home I couldn't help but sing along, and I soon found out that the crowd in Miami felt the same way. Once the fireworks and guitar riffs were silent, you could hear the faint noise of "Teenage Wasteland" coming through.
As for The Who's performance, it was exceptional. Pete Townshend's classic red Fender was in attendance, and the harmonica solo performed by Roger Daltry was almost Bob Dylan like. Throw in the wild guitar thrashing, funky and classic clothing of scarfs and loose vests and you've got yourself a pretty rocking performance.
Yes, unfortunately there were some bad points that I have to raise about The Who's performance.
The first one being the timing. Whether or not it was The Who's entire fault or not is another question, but for those of you who were watching ESPN or NFL Network, you would have noticed the mistiming between the vocals and the broadcast. As minor as it is, it's something that can be quite annoying.
Secondly, the camera work was a little off. Constant shots of the drummer weren't really necessary, and the lack of crowd shots proved to be disappointing.
Last but not least, the lack of fan interaction. In past years we've seen Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and numerous others one on one with the crowd, shaking hands and interacting with their supporters. This year there was a very setback feel, and although the crowd were heard singing, it would've been nice to see a few faces enjoying it.
In comparison to previous years performances, The Who are up there among the best. Maybe not the Top 5 just yet, but nonetheless they put on a good show.
Playing their classic hits was a bonus, and I think the laser show and the outer space type of feel connected to the new generation, rather than just trying to reignite the old flame with the old time followers.
In regards to the NFL's selection, I'd give them a ten out of ten. Sticking to old bands is a must, as it leaves no option but for a great show to be staged. The Who will more than likely be up there with Tom Petty, Prince, Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones, but they still haven't topped U2 for me.
With that said, kudos to them for still having the passion and vocals to pull it all off. They put on a stand up show, and one that was worth all of the hype.
Although this years half time show has only just come to a close, I can't help but speculate for the future. Personally my wish would be to see Led Zeppelin hit the stage, as their catchy tunes would bring another classic rock feel to the scene.
I've heard some requests for Pink Floyd, but unfortunately that is never going to happen. Huey Lewis could be a possibility, along with The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Either way you look at it, the NFL is in firm control of their big time show, and are delivering in every way possible.