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You Saw Them, But Did You Feel Them?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Roger Daltrey, Zak Starkey and Pete Townshend of the Who take the stage during the Super Bowl XLIV Halftime Show.

    Safe, safe, safe. That's my three-word review of the Who's performance at Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show in Miami.

    Since 2004's "nipplegate" incident with Janet Jackson, the NFL has tapped a series of classic rockers (including Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen) to take the conservative stage. With all due respect to the Who, their influence and brilliant catalog, the lasers were the stars of last night's performance, while Roger Daltrey (65) and Pete Townshend (64) provided the soundtrack. Performing a five-song medley consisting of "Pinball Wizard," "Who Are You," "See Me, Feel Me," "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Riley," the surviving members of the Who were joined onstage by Pete's brother, Simon Townshend, on guitar, Pino Palladino on bass, John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards, and Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey, on drums. 

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    Overall, the entire performance seemed forced and mechanical. Pete Townshend, donning shades, bandana and goofy hat, busted his signature "windmills" but failed to infuse a smashed guitar. Instead, we were treated an awkward performance, complete with a "wardrobe malfunction" exposing his li'l' belly. Daltrey, freshly permed, belted some flat notes and appeared out-of-sync with the rest of the band. However, he should be commended for not lip-syncing and looking better on the national stage than most 65-year-old men I know (I'm thinking of my father-in-law).

    More important: What did you think of the Who's performance? We took that question to friends of SoundDiego on Twitter and Facebook, and here are some of the comments we received:

    Ian D: Whooooooooo arrre they? Old guys! Pld guys! Yeah, this is just another installment of radio, and the popular music media having nothing new that's good, so we all live in some sort of musical time machine.

    Paul M: Nice that there weren't 300 screaming teens (surrounding the stage) acting like they knew who the Who is.

    John L: Looked like Townsend was contractually obligated to perform a minimal number of windmills ("the kids love the windmills, Pete"). Wish they had told CBS to bugger off and performed Side 4 of Quadrophenia instead.

    Claudine V: For two 65+ year old guys, ya gotta appreciate it. They still have more talent than a lot of bands much younger than them.

    Sean M: Thought that the Who were OK but that stage is better served highlighting great up-and-coming acts.

    @gomezmig: Amazing ... for their age ... they rocked Miami!

    Dustin A: Sick LED lighting and laser show. Who was the band?

    Kim H : meh