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The Who At The Theater At MSG, Thursday, February 28th, 2013, Reviewed

I always thought Tommy was the begriming of the end of the who as world greatest rock and roll band, but it was probably Live at Leeds. Tommy brought an end to the r&b supergroup with the run of singles from 1964 to 1968 that still defines their genius. But Live at Leeds ended them as a great little rock and roll band and turned them into the behemoth superriff monster band who ruled from 1968 to 1978 and have rested on their laurel;ls ever since.

Live at Leeds is what we got in 2012-2013. I've seen the Who three times in the past three months, the last time Thursday night at the Theater At MSG, the Who Cares Benefit for Teen cancer In America, and that is what I heard. I heard it when it worked, the Quadrophenia rock opera, and I heard it when it didn't, the overwrought Who's Next songs.

Thursday, I saw a little of both,. The last two songs were overlong and tediously overplayed and oversung "Baba O"Reilly" followed by "won't get Fooled Again". But there were three songs off the rock opera, two of each were excellent, and two left field surprises, an overdone "The Kids Are Alright" and an evening highlight "You Better You Better"… if they had just thrown in  "Squeezebox".

The band were tight alright but overdone, both Townsend and Daltry were tremendous for men in their late 60s, the "5:15", without Entlewhistle's bass but still, was pretty excellent. and while I am so sick of "Love Reign O'er Me" i can't listen to it anymore, it is still half the Who and Roger can still sing and Pete, who had just been waken from a sleep and missed Costello's set, is wide awake,  and they still give it everything they've got.

Next time they should let the fans choose the setlist.

Grade: B

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