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Review: Talking about my (dad's) generation


Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend of The Who

Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend of The Who

Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend of The Who

"Hope I die before I get old," Roger Daltrey growls on The Who's calling card anthem My Generation. The delicious irony is his band are in the middle of an ongoing tour to celebrate 50 years in rock n' roll, which in Daltrey's words is also a "long goodbye."

The only other surviving founder member Pete Townshend has confessed to rarely being able to get himself into 'the zone' anymore, while insinuating that perhaps this last hurrah is one tour too many.

However, there are no signs of any chinks in their armour on a stunning opening section of their Dublin leg. The rapport between Daltrey and Townshend is particularly warm.

Daltrey talks about taking the train down from playing in Belfast and enjoying a few pints in what he calls a "drinking village" called Skerries, which immediately attracts much mirth from Townshend.

The opening six-song salvo includes I Can't Explain, The Kids Are Alright and My Generation. Less impressive is Eminence Front, a 1982 single which is introduced by Townshend as "the definitive song about cocaine." It is a bloated-sounding dirge that serves little function apart from being a cautionary example of the delusions of the drug and the ghastly horrors of a soporific guitar solo.

The middle section of the set list sags and this powerhouse of a band momentarily lose their lustre. They spectacularly regain it with Pinball Wizard, Baba O'Riley and a monumental rendition of Won't Get Fooled Again.

"It is incredible we've made it to 50 years," Daltrey reflects to a rapturous ovation. "Things were so volatile back in the day it was a miracle we even made it to the weekend."

It remains to be seen if this is a full stop to their long and winding career.

Irish Independent