This passed Wednesday night was one of those epic nights that, as a fan, one will not quickly forget – for me, it took place at Madison Square Garden with the opportunity to not only see The Who, but to meet them as well.  When the privilege to speak to actual living legends of Rock n’ Roll happens to one, the real question you ask yourself is “What do I say?”  Does one just say “Hi, nice to meet you.”  Or do you make an attempt at engaging them in conversation?  And if the latter, and your nerves are up to the challenge, what in God’s name do you ask them?  You don’t say “Um, I really love ‘Baba O’Riley’, it’s my favorite song.”  No, that is simply not going to cut it, because EVERYONE says that.  So, again, the question is – what do you say?

Well, the stars were aligned and the fates were forever in our favor last night, as we were lucky enough to have had the opportunity to meet both Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend prior to the show.  As the two legends had just finished their soundcheck, we were able to chat with them for a few minutes.  After some polite greetings and handshakes, the twenty of us in the room were at that awkward moment when nobody knows what to say.  As British Airways was kind enough to have L4LM run a meet and greet contest for The Who (which included VIP tix, viewing of soundcheck, and pre-show food and drinks), Townshend asked our two winners how they arrived here.  They responded with “We won a contest on Live for Live Music”, to which our very own Kunj Shah began telling him what it is that we do.  Townshend smiled a bit wickedly and responded with a sarcastic, “Oh, so you’re those internet types?”, to which everyone laughed, and rightfully so; it was pretty amusing to even have Pete Townshend acknowledge your existence.

Now, if I was British, I would guess you could consider my reply a bit “cheeky”.  Instead of just smiling politely, I go “Yeah, we are the internet types that want to help promote Teenage Cancer America“.  After the words rolled off my tongue, I held my breath, as I couldn’t believe that I had just countered Pete Townshend.  I am waiting for this guy to literally say, “Who Are You?”  Well, chalk one up for the home team, because that got him.  Instead of everyone just standing there in silence, and this rock star politely taking a leave, a discussion about an organization that is near and dear to the hearts of both Daltrey and Townshend sparked a near 15-minute conversation.  It was amazing to see how passionate these gentlemen are about this organization.

For those of you that don’t know about TCA, or it’s sister organization TCT (Teenage Cancer Trust) in the United Kingdom, it is an initiative by Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend & friends to set up units in hospitals and medical centers in both the U.S.A. and the UK to cater for the needs of teenagers suffering from cancer.  The goal is to create an environment in which teenagers can have people their own age around them, feel comfortable, and pretty much help each other get through what it is they are going through.  While the cancer road is never an easy one, there is no reason for these kids to be going at it alone.  They have had much success over in the UK, and have recently begun work here in the US since the first unit was opened in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in November 2012 of this year.

After that incredible conversation, there was just enough time for a drink (or two) and a bite to eat before the show.  I just want to preface the review of this show by saying that The Who is far from a nostalgia act.  This was a flat-out rock show and absolutely blew any expectations I had out of the water.  For guys in their late-60s, they certainly don’t act like it once they get going.  Between Townshend’s windmill guitar strokes, and Daltrey dancing and crawling around (literally, crawling around on stage at one point), we witnessed something that most musicians and bands thirty to forty years younger than these guys could take something from.  THIS is what Rock n’ Roll is and always should be, AND they played for over two hours.

As they are playing Quadrophenia in its entirety on this tour, the show began with “I Am the Sea>The Real Me” with visions of the ocean and rolling waves set as the backdrop behind the band, and the constant reminder that this is part of the cycle of the story for the stories protagonist Jimmy Cooper.  As the show progressed, we were treated to the epic songs that Townshend so proficiently wrote before the albums release in 1973.  Pete’s brother, Simon, took lead vocals on “Dirty Jobs”, and we were reminded of how great of a musician he is in his own right.  “Helpless Dancer” saw Daltrey and Townshend going line for line, as live clips of them from their younger years were played on the screens – Townshend smashing guitars, Keith Moon going nutty on the drums, John Entwistle playing the bass like no other, and of course, Daltrey being the incredible frontman that he is.

“Drowned” really went off, especially with Zak Starkey (yes, son of Ringo Starr) on drums.  If there is anyone that can sufficiently play the late Keith Moon’s parts, why shouldn’t it be the son of a Beatle?  It doesn’t get much better than that, in my estimation.  “The Rock>Love, Reign O’er Me” brings the story of the schizophrenia suffering Jimmy to an end, with Jimmy battling drugs and his multiple personalities clashing at all times, he comes down off his high and finally realizes who he truly is.  He is finally alone for the first time, not battling this disorder, or so it seems.  Unfortunately, he has stranded himself on a rock and his boat has sadly drifted away.

After a standing ovation, The Who went straight into a six-song encore of greatest hits that blew the roof off of MSG; people were going crazy.  I have to admit, I get worried when going to a show with an older demographic as sometimes you get told to sit down, but this was not one of those times thankfully.  Sitting simply wasn’t an option on this night.  The encore was about as perfect as it gets.  Between seeing “Who Are You”, “Pinball Wizard” and the mind-blowing “Won’t Get Fooled Again” with an epic scream from Daltrey, the opportunity to see just the two remaining original members of The Who together on stage for an acoustic “Tea & Theatre” closer was the icing on the cake.  It was one of those moments that, as a fan, you won’t ever forget.  Chalk that one off the bucket list.  Absolutely stellar evening, and one that can be put down in the books.

For further information about Teen Cancer America and how YOU can help, please go to

The Who will be back in New York on February 21st in Uniondale at Nassau Coliseum.


I Am the Sea
The Real Me
Cut My Hair
The Punk and the Godfather
I’m One
The Dirty Jobs
Helpless Dancer
Is It in My Head?
I’ve Had Enough
Sea and Sand
Bell Boy
Doctor Jimmy
The Rock
Love, Reign O’er Me

Who Are You
Behind Blue Eyes
Pinball Wizard
Baba O’Riley
Won’t Get Fooled Again
Tea and Theatre

Here is a video of Pete Townshend giving band intros into “Who Are You”