The Who Turns 50 Tour: Their big wheel still turnin’ burnin’ bright

Sunday 08th, May 2016 / 20:00
By B. Simm

Pete_Townshend_windmillCALGARY — The windmill: Pete Townshend’s windup, the rebel yell that launched the Who into a frontal assault and deconstruction of the world as we knew it. The Who changed the playing field of pop culture. Sputtering out “Talkin’ about my g-g-g-generation” wasn’t just a teenage anthem, it was the defiant rise of what was soon to come — youth brigade breaking down the barriers and bullshit of the old, post-war guard cresendoing with “We don’t get fooled again!”

Townshend art school and political, Roger Daltrey pure Teddy, R&B and working-class, Keith Moon and John Entwistle post-modern Mods all wrapped up in a weird, new commodity called The Who. Despite the indulgence of Swingin’ London and burst of British blues-rock that propelled the Stones, Cream and Zeppelin to the stratosphere, The Who charted their own trajectory guided by Townshend’s sense of the spiritual, surrealism and stories that mattered. Even though he created the rock opera, The Who was still a singles band, a sophisticated singles band that spurred on revolution of the soul.

“My Generation” was released in 1965; The Who are now 52 years in the making. With Tommy, Who’s Next and Quadraphenia, Townshend and Daltrey soared through the stratosphere, the afterburn still glowing bright. The Who Turns 50 Tour has been going strong for throughout 2015 playing powerful shows that pack in all the hits. Townshend’s windmill, the rebel yell windup still launching its frontal assault. The Who are at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary Tues., May 10, and then Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Fri., May 13.

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