Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Who Super Bowl weekend (part 1)

Hey, it’s Super Bowl weekend and that means food, football, beverages, people actually talking about commercials…and, a rock n roll halftime show by The Who.

Consider that The Who will have 12 minutes to play at halftime to an expected worldwide TV audience approaching 1 billion people. And 12 minutes in Wholand means maybe 2 songs, if the band chops out some parts - or – more truthfully, a medley.

I dunno about medleys myself – they serve a purpose for an occasion like this, but they often have a cheesy kind of Vegas feel to them. When they’re done right, though, they can work very well. I still recall the amazing Queen medley that Extreme pulled off at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert back in April of 1992; that’s how it’s done with taste.

Townshend and Daltrey have already made public the list of songs they’ll be tapping into for the big show. If you haven’t seen or heard about the list, I won’t play spoiler for you here.

For a different perspective on The Who and this weekend, I thought it might be cool to serve up a couple of choice Who covers.

The first is by Philly-based jazz/funk guitarist Dirk Quinn. Judging by his website, the Dirk Quinn Band is out playing shows regularly and gaining momentum and profile. While I guess Dirk most often performs in a band scenario, I found a killer clip of him online where he’s going solo, and it’s pretty awesome. Rather than say too much about what’s going on with his playing, I think it’s best to let the man speak for himself.

Dirk Quinn - Baba O’Riley

Eddie Vedder has long made it known that his biggest musical inspiration has always been The Who. Ed has appeared with the band a few times, and done a few guest spots with his hero, Pete Townshend, on occasion, as well. And PJ have often covered Who songs as part of their encores over the years. Here’s Eddie & Co. doing a couple of tracks at the VH1 Rock Honors The Who tribute event from 2008.

Pearl Jam – Love Reign O’er Me / The Real Me
(songs follow Sean Penn intro; fast forward clip to 1:21 for tunes if you're so inclined)