Top five legends of rock 'n roll, in no particular order and in my particular opinion, are as follows: John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and, undeniably, Pete Townshend. The Who took Shoreline Amphitheater by storm last night as they ripped through countless classics. Coming out on stage with "I Can't Explain" and "Substitute" started the evening off with a bang when "Dr. Billy", my Who-veteran next seat neighbor (100+ shows) then turned to me and warned, "they're just getting warmed up." Following that intro came "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere". Seeing those windmill guitar strokes live was truly an incredible sight. "Baba O'Reilly" brought tears to my eyes as I remembered hearing that song for the first time, as a teenager in a teenage wasteland. Pete Townshend then amazed the crowd with a gorgeous and volatile solo acoustic version of "Drowned". Other classics included a beautiful "The Kids are Alright" into an energized "Pinball Wizard". Roger's voice was soaring through the air as they careened through "The Real Me". A shredding "Magic Bus" went on for about 15 minutes of madness. The magic continued with "Bargain", "Behind Blue Eyes" "You Better, You Bet" and, a personal fave, "5:15" with a huge bass solo by The Ox, John Entwistle. The Who rocked, in classic fashion, closing the set with "Won't Get Fooled Again".

This show was an incredible learning experience for me. Hearing the music that has had an immeasurable affect on what we listen to today. The compostions are extraordinary, the lyrics timeless. This was definitely a night to remember. It's amazing to see where rock 'n roll has come from, and where the next generation is taking it, because some things never change. "Can't I live while I'm young" or do I "hope I die before I get old?" Who will be the legends of our time? We'll just have to hang out for another 30 years or so and find out for ourselves.

San Francisco
Cirrito is King!

[Published on: 8/22/00]

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