Barry Fox of The Patriot News
The cold, hard numbers would not appear to add up for The Who. Half of the original band is dead.
Roger Daltrey is 62. Pete Townshend is 61. They've just released their first album since 1982 and are on the road 24 years after their "farewell tour."
But this is The Who.
The "hope I die before I get old" Who, and last night at Hershey's Giant Center, they proved to be ageless.
Townshend's windmills and Daltrey's mike twirls may be less frequent and more controlled, but this is still a powerful band with few rivals.
The stellar touring band -- Townshend's brother Simon on guitar, Pino Palladino on bass, Zak Starkey on drums and Brian Kehew on keyboards -- picks up the Big Two by injecting new energy into the classics and giving life to the material on the long awaited "Endless Wire" disc.
After opening with cautious versions of "Can't Explain" and "The Seeker," the sensory overload bar was set with four huge video screens and an impressive light set-up masking a simmering explosion.
Archival footage reminded what an explosive, dangerous and unpredictable band The Who was with drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle.
They're now a more sedate version of their former selves, but still capable of some incendiary music. After "Fragments" from the new album, "Who Are You?" and the cool video of a train racing down the tracks ignited a buzz that did not subside.
The crowd sang along to "Behind Blue Eyes" and was given a bit of respite with a sample of Townshend's mini-opera "Wire & Glass."
But in his familiar singing style, Daltrey gathered himself and belted out a red-faced, vein-popping version of "Baba O'Riley" (known in some circles as "Teenage Wasteland") that was just a decibel or two above the din of the band and the crowd.
Townshend spat out the lyrics to "Eminence Front," Daltrey growled out "You Better You Bet." An extended version of "My Generation" and Daltrey's famous scream on "Won't Get Fooled Again" put an exclamation point on the evening.
It was an evening that began with an electric set by The Pretenders in all their jangly, punkish glory.
Led, as always, by Chrissie Hynde through classics such as "Message of Love" and "Back on the Chain Gang," The Pretenders are still a four-piece group with a knockout punch.