In 1967, the Who released an album called The Who Sell Out, a psychedelic set of songs interspersed with faux jingles and endorsements. A little more than 35 years later, they brought that theme to reality by lending their music to all three installments of the CSI television franchise. It sounds corny, but it marked a new, if somewhat cautionary milestone for a band still attempting to transition from the turbulent '60s into the new millennium. But then again, the Who have always been able to adapt. At first they were irreverent punk philosophers, then darlings of the Mod movement, without spending much effort. Turning their music into a vehicle for mercurial songwriter/guitarist Pete Townshend's grand ambitions, they eventually found unique standing among Rock's most revered entities ranking with the Beatles, the Stones, and Bob Dylan as the most influential artists of all time. They've also been forced to cope with turmoil and tragedy losing their fearless drummer Keith Moon and, just five years ago, bass player John Entwistle. Now down to only Townshend and fiery vocalist Roger Daltrey, the Who have become the Two, making their decision to continue under the original banner a somewhat questionable enterprise. And yet, while it also calls into question that vow to die before they get old, the opportunity to hear these ageless anthems of angst and outrage becomes an occasion that ought not to be missed.
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The Who perform at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $75-$350. Call Ticketmaster at 954-523-3309, or visit www.seminolehardrock.com.