The Who brings 50 years of songs, symphony to Ruoff Music Center

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Halfway through The Who’s epic set on Saturday night, Jon LaFollette of Brownsburg shouted at the stage, “I love you Pete!”

Pete Townshend, the iconic guitarist and chief songwriter of The Who, looked in his direction and said, “I love you too. I don’t know you from Adam, but I’ll take you any time!”

The band then played the fan favorite and crowd sing-a-long “Join Together,” a moment that encapsulated the feeling of the night at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center.

Playing suites from their seminal rock operas, Tommy and Quadrophenia, The Who were also backed by a full orchestra which made the show an immersive experience.

This was the sixth time seeing The Who for LaFollette, who was overwhelmed with emotion. “The orchestra really added to the show. The music was big!”

Singer Roger Daltrey seemed particularly happy with the evening. At 75 years old, he was grinning from ear-to-ear most of the night, and sounded fantastic by all accounts.

“It’s so great to be playing music at this age!” Daltrey said.

Daltrey’s trademark microphone twirl and Townshend’s windmill arm were both still present after 50 years, and no Who set would be complete without a few sarcastic quips from Townshend.

After thanking the fans on the lawn, Townshend also thanked the lower pavilion and added, “We know you paid a lot of money.”

Other highlights included Townshend’s announcement of a new album with a tentative end-of-year release, and a stripped-down, acoustic version of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” that delighted the Indiana crowd.

“Every song was special tonight,” said LaFollette. “I’m more than satisfied, I’m gratified.”

Follow Jeremiah Beaver at and on Twitter: @JerBearMedia

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