It has been quite an emotional week for The Who. This past Sunday, the band gave their first concert in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1979 (33 years after the tragic night at Riverfront Coliseam in Cincinnati, where 11 fans of the band died in one of the worst tragedies in rock history). The show was reportedly quite a healing experience for the group and the family and friends of those who were lost that night. Just three days after this show, The Who performed at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on May 18, 2022.

Still reeling from the goodwill that was shared in Cincinnati, the band was in epic form. This tour, labeled "The Who Hits Back!", is similar to the last time they played Boston (an outstanding pre-pandemic show at Fenway Park).

The Who members Roger Daltrey (vocals) and Pete Townshend (guitar and vocals) are again backed up by an orchestra for most of the evening. They began the night with a half-dozen highlights from their legendary rock opera, "Tommy".

The bombastic instumental opening "Overture", led into the "1921" (Daltrey manned the lead vocals, whereas Townshend had on the studio version), which is the beginning narrative stating the cause of Tommy's case of "deaf, dumb, and blindness".

The sad feelings awoken from the story shared in "1921" were quickly erased (actually...obliterated) by a raucous "Amazing Journey" and a blistering take of "Sparks".

A phenomenal "Pinball Wizard" was followed by "We're Not Gonna Take It", where the song's coda (the "See Me, Feel Me" and "Listening to You" sections of the tune) evoke such cathartic emotions, the crowd seemed to never want it to end.

With "Tommy" now done for the evening, The Who ripped into a fierce "Who Are You" (where Daltrey donned an electric guitar and played rhythm). Townshend took a few minutes to thank the crowd for venturing out to the show and added that it's a "gamble" during these challenging times. He admitted he was once hit with Covid and that "really old people" who get it just "keel over and die". But, in typical Townshend style, he shouted out, "But I f-----g didn't!"

Townshend's pandenic pep talk was followed by 1982's "Eminence Front", (the only song of the night culled from that year's "It's Hard" album) the newer "Ball and Chain", (from 2019's release, "WHO") and wrapped up the first part of the concert with a spectacular "Join Together".

The orchestra then took a break and the band played four classics in stripped-down mode: "The Seeker" and the 80's classic "You Better You Bet", which were followed by the concert favorite "Relay", and a full-blown version of "Won't Get Fooled Again" (revving up the song in its original electric form, it was much more well received by the crowd than the acoustic version Daltrey and Townshend performed as a duo last time around).

With the orchestra members back in their seats, The Who did a cool version of the classic rock staple "Behind Blue Eyes", before starting a sampler from their other rock opera, "Quadrophenia".

"The Real Me", truly one of the band's most intense rockers, gave way to Townshend's acoustic guitar-driven "I'm One". The full orchestra was greatly appreciated on the instrumental, "The Rock", while Daltrey again impressed all with a feverish take of "Love Reign O'er Me".

The crowd greatly embraced the show-ending "Baba O'Riley", where electric violinist Katie Jacoby tossed off an epic solo to recreate the song's iconic ending.

It's difficult not to get emotional at a Who concert. Their material evokes strong emotions and the band touched on many highlights from their 57+ year career during the night.

Before leaving the stage, Daltrey led the crowd in a Happy Birthday sing-a-long for Townshend, who turned 77 on May 19th.