The Who to Perform at Super Bowl XLIV

The Who were announced as half time entertainment for the Super Bowl this week, as initial marketing for the February 7 contest began in earnest.  While there may be product promotions in motion already, the announcement of The Who is different since music represents content.  The logo for Super Bowl was probably announced last year.

Half time at the big one has become one of the prime marketing opportunities for classic rock.  Since Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen have been featured with amazing results.  These are some of my favorite artists, and I am a big fan of the Super Bowl, even though I am not a big football fan.  What I like about it is the marketing, so much that I created my own rating system for it.

Watching one year with the legendary Jim Dunbar, we developed the idea that became the definition of The Rosenfelder Index: the amount of money it costs to buy one of everything advertised during the Super Bowl.  Now that The Who has been announced, let me recommend their best greatest hits album (The Who has what, ten anthologies?) Meaty Beaty Big and BouncyThen and Now 1964-2004 would suffice but a newer one featuring the CSI hits/tv graphics would probably get the nod.  The Bowl is going to be in Miami, that’s why they got the band.

Though CSI will dictate most of what the band plays, here’s my proposed set list for The Who at the Super Bowl:

1. I Can’t Explain 2. Baba O’Riley 3. Who Are You 4. Pinball Wizard 5. Won’t Get Fooled Again

I’d rather they play some more “esoteric” songs (i.e., ones without commercial/tv tie-ins).  “Magic Bus” has recognition from the commercials… What a strange place the band has been taken to culturally.  The ravages of time and the road prevent half the band from performing for the biggest audience that will ever hear these songs at one time.  I wish my heroes John Entwistle and Keith Moon were around!  But I would settle for Daltrey and Townshend letting loose with some real flavor instead of regurgitating the CSI stuff.  What about breaking a new old song like “The Punk Meets the Godfather” or have a cigarette lighter/cell phone moment with “See Me Feel Me”?  Have they been on tv yet?

The Who at Woodstock

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