It’s only appropriate that at an event known as halftime, half of The Who would show up to play. That’s exactly what happened at this year’s Super Bowl, when Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend and some tomato cans performed at the world’s most-watched gig.
The other half of the band — Keith Moon and John Entwistle — couldn’t make it due to their current state of deadness. Moon choked to death on his vomit more than 30 years ago, leading indirectly to the Spinal Tap franchise, while Entiwstle died in bed with a stripper in Vegas a few years back in one very fine rock-n-roll demise. The fact that they made up the best rock backline in history seems lost to memory now. Sunday’s drummer, whoever he was, covered “Won’t Be Fooled Again” by hitting about a third as many beats as Moon laid down in the original, while the band didn’t even attempt “My Generation,” in which Entwistle put down the best R-n-R bass solo of all time.
The Who’s performance was made tolerable in part by a fantastic light show, but Daltry looked like he was wearing a wig and he can’t hit some of those high notes any more. Meanwhile, Townsend covered up his gray skull with a little I’m-bringing-sexy-back fedora (actually not a bad look for him). But perhaps next year we can have halftime entertainment with musicians who have something to say to anyone under 40.