No, tell me, Who are you?

By By Danny Letz

By Danny Letz

The past two years have seen what may later be termed a renaissance of sorts for classic rock. These brief 24 months have seen the release of apropos albums by The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and, as of two weeks ago, The Who.

And if your only exposure to The Who is the 30-second snippets used as the opening themes for television shows such as “Alias” and “C.S.I.,” then it’s time for a re-evaluation of your life.

Thankfully, tonight is your chance to do so.

Touring through Salt Lake City as part of its world tour, The Who will be playing at the Delta Center tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Noted extensively by every rock historian ever for the breadth, depth and power of the band’s live performances, The Who plays best live.

Made famous by stage performances–which in the good old days consisted of smashing guitarist Pete Townshend’s guitar into bits at the close of a number or taking a mallet to late drummer Keith Moon’s drum set–to remember The Who simply for the band’s onstage antics is to miss the point. The members also play their music really hard, really loud and really, really well.

Accredited with introducing the Marshall Stacks (a set of amps twice as loud as any band’s in existence at their invention) and performing some of the loudest concerts in recorded history (typically remaining in the ear-thrashing 130 decibel level–10 above the pain threshold), The Who refuse to be missed or looked over.

With a revolutionary sound that blends leading parts from all three of the band’s instruments (read: simultaneous leads from drums, bass and guitar), The Who has been deigned by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame as a contender for “World’s Greatest Rock Band,” a feat shared only by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Needless to say, the band’s pretty damn good.

Fortunately, none of this energy has been lost with age.

Though the death of bassist John Entwistle in 2002 looked to many like the close of the band’s touring days, the remaining duo of wind-milling guitar god Pete Townshend, and bombardonic lead singer Roger Daltrey still has what it takes to produce a good album–and an even better tour.

Playing with as much energy, cheaper tickets and less sell-out status than their aged rock brethren The Rolling Stones, Daltrey and Townshend are guaranteed to put on a show worth every penny.

The crowd may be littered with the occasional Woodstock child turned investment-banker yuppie, but don’t mind it. Tonight at the Delta Center is a chance to see history in the making–relish it, even if the person next to you has to remove his hearing aid.

Lead singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend rock out.