The Who is still willing to take a chance on "Quadrophenia," even 40 years after its initial release.
In an era when most rock bands pay more attention to singles and radio hits than making album-length statements, the surviving members of The Who -- singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend -- still believe in the power of the rock opera about the British Mods and their rebellion against society's norms. And why shouldn't they, when the resulting show is as powerful as the one they delivered Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum?
The touring version of The Who -- which includes drummer Zak Starkey, bassist Pino Palladino and Townshend's brother, Simon, on guitar -- brought out "Quadrophenia's" wide range of styles. Townshend accentuated the gospel influence in "Drowned," and it was easy to see how the late Keith Moon, shown singing on a large video screen, influenced Britpop with "Bell Boy."
Of course, Daltrey's stunning power on "Love, Reign O'er Me," the "Quadrophenia" finale, has led many an aspiring rock singer to swing a microphone by its cord.
Closing the show with a string of its classics, including "Who Are You" and "Baba O'Riley," The Who was able to give the crowd the raging release it wanted while still leaving them wanting more.