I know, taking the Super Bowl halftime show seriously is folly, as it is and always has been about lowest-common-denominator entertainment. However, since the last two years have featured my two most favorite bands from my adolescent years, I’ve been paying more attention than I probably should.
Springsteen last year got some flak for a too-theatrical show, but I thought it put the best of what he does out there and even included a new song or two, not the typical choice for one of these ‘classic rock’ entertainers at a big gig like the Super Bowl.
The Who was a whole other story, as the band itself was only half there–Keith Moon’s been gone for years, of course, and John Entwistle passed away in 2002. So, with the 65-year old Roger Daltrey and 64-year old Pete Townshend on stage atop a dizzying array of lights, lazers and pyrotechnics, the canon of the Who’s original hits were bound to come off as less than the classics they are.
Daltrey’s voice hasn’t aged well; he wisely avoided the high notes. Townshend windmilled his way through the set looking bemused at the whole thing, no doubt he was just glad they didn’t have to sing that “Hope I die before I get old” line again.
Instead of watching that DVR’ed halftime show again, check out the vast number of vintage clips online–here’s one for starters.