The Who rolled through Boston, MA’s TD Garden on Wednesday for a performance as part of the iconic British rock outfit’s ongoing The Who Hits Back North American tour.

With the Boston Celtics on the road in Miami doing their best to beat the Heat in the NBA‘s Eastern Conference Finals, The Who made sure to keep the Cs’ house warm with a cathartic performance of more than 20 classic numbers backed by an orchestra comprised of local classical music pros. Singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend matched the thrill of the hit-filled setlist with a generous display of their equally beloved onstage theatrics, from Daltrey swinging his microphone like a yo-yo to Townshend showing off his patented “windmill.”

While the performance came on the eve of Townshend’s 77th birthday—and Daltrey would eventually close the show by leading the crowd through a rendition of “Happy Birthday to You”—the grizzled guitarist seemed to approach his increasing age with defiance throughout the night. “You know, it’s so great to be… anywhere,” he joked prior to a rendition of “Eminence Front”. After thanking the audience for taking the COVID-19 “gamble” to come to a big show, he continued, “But what you must be consoled by is that it’s a gamble for us, as well.”

Alluding to his recent bout with the virus, he concluded, “Apparently, when old people get it, like really old people, they just keel over and die… Well, I f—ing didn’t!”

The Who Hits Back Tour continues on Friday, May 20th with a show at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. For a full list of upcoming tour dates for The Who, head here.

Scroll down to check out a gallery of images from the Boston show below via photographer Brent Goldman. Watch a video of Townshend’s stage banter and the ensuing “Eminence Front” below via YouTube user DGB519.

The Who – Pete Townshend Speaks, “Eminence Front” – 5/18/22