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The Who Are Much More Than ‘Alright’ at Madison Square Garden Show: Review and Photos

In September, the Who were forced to postpone all of their remaining 2015 North American dates on their Who Hits 50! tour when singer Roger Daltrey was diagnosed with meningitis. At the time, guitarist Pete Townshend proclaimed, “Once Roger is completely well, we will come back stronger than ever, and Roger and I will give you all a show to remember.” While “ever” is a strong word, the Who definitely gave the fans at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 3 a show to remember.

The Who Hits 50! is a celebration of the band’s entire career, with Daltrey and Townshend sharing brief stories behind the songs as the band rips through the hits that have helped make the Who one of the greatest bands in the history of rock music. The show kicked off with a performance of “Who Are You” and immediately followed with the sing-along classics “The Seeker,” “The Kids Are Alright,” “I Can See for Miles” and “My Generation.”

The band has taken some heat for continuing to tour after the deaths of founding members Keith Moon and John Entwistle, but Zak Starkey is a beast behind the kit and Pino Palladino is a workhorse on bass. Sure, it’s not the same as seeing the original foursome, but the guy who created all of the songs and the guy who sang them are still alive and well, giving new generations a chance to experience their timeless music. The proof was in the audience at Madison Square Garden, where 70-year-old fans were singing along next to teenagers.

Having just turned 72 a few nights before the show, Daltrey is no youngster himself. And while he may have missed a couple of notes here and there in the beginning of the set, his voice got stronger as the night went on. Anyone who wasn’t already standing rose to their feet to applaud Daltrey’s vocal efforts on “Love, Reign O’er Me,” and he absolutely killed it during the set-closing one-two punch of “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts opened the night, with Jett telling the stories behind her songs as she played a couple of Runaways cuts along with hits like “Bad Reputation,” “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” (Jett’s appearance was a one-off gig for Madison Square Garden only. The rest of the Who tour has Tal Wilkenfeld and Slydigs splitting opening duties.)

See the Who’s 21-song set list below, as well as our exclusive photo gallery above. If you want to catch Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and the rest of the band in action, the rescheduled The Who Hits 50! tour continues through a May 29 gig in Las Vegas. Check out a complete list of dates and ticket info.

The Who at Madison Square Garden, March 3, 2016

1. “Who Are You”
2. “The Seeker”
3. “The Kids Are Alright”
4. “I Can See for Miles”
5. “My Generation”
6. “The Real Me”
7. “Pictures of Lily”
8. “Behind Blue Eyes”
9. “Bargain”
10 “Join Together”
11. “You Better You Bet”
12. “I’m One”
13. “The Rock”
14. “Love, Reign O’er Me”
15. “Eminence Front”
16. “Amazing Journey”
17. “Sparks”
18. “Pinball Wizard”
19. “See Me, Feel Me”
20. “Baba O’Riley”
21. “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

The Who Albums Ranked From Worst to Best

Next: Top 10 Who Songs

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