By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 28, 2010 at 9:04 PM Photography: David Bernacchi

Perhaps Roger Daltrey and his cohort Pete Townshend are smarter than most everyone else of, ahem, their generation.

While lots of groups with roots in the '60s break-up and reform, the duo has never split The Who. The band languishes for a while but then pops back up again, like it did earlier this year for the much-discussed Super Bowl halftime show.

Daltrey, who warmed up the crowd for fellow legendary rocker Eric Clapton at the Marcus Amphitheater at Summerfest on Monday night, has long had a solo career, which he launched with "Daltrey," in 1973. His eighth and most recent solo outing was 1992's "Rocks in the Head."

Few, however, could name a solo Daltrey tune, except perhaps "Free Me," from the 1980 "McVicar" soundtrack (on which all members of The Who performed).

But that's OK, because Daltrey favored songs by The Who in his set, doing only a one tune from his solo records. Daltrey -- who arrived on stage in full daylight to little fanfare -- knows what his fans want and he's eager to give it to them.

"The point of what I'm doing is to have fun," Daltrey said before the band launched into "I Can See For Miles," with Daltrey donning an acoustic guitar.

Shedding the six-string, Daltrey kicked into another high-octane Who favorite, "The Real Me," which the singer spiced up with his trademark microphone twirling.

Of The Who songs, Daltrey said, "Sure, they're Who songs; they're my songs and I enjoy playing them."

With that, the chatty, personable showman played "Behind Blue Eyes" and continued focusing on songs by his band during the 52-minute set, with only a glancing nod at his eight solo records.

That nod came in the form the catchy "Days of Light," about Daltrey's brief stint as a working stiff, from "Rocks in The Head."

He also played a few covers, including an almost Celtic-sounding reading of Taj Mahal's "Freedom Ride," Mose Allison's "Young Man Blues" and "Gimme A Stone," a song written by The Hooters and sung by The Band's Levon Helm.

Among the other Who songs revisited by Daltrey were "Who Are You" and "Going Mobile" -- sung by the band's guitarist -- and "Baba O'Riley," the first song to get the sedate crowd onto its feet.

Supporting Daltrey was his current band, No Plan B, which features Townshend on guitar. In this case, however, that Townshend is Pete's younger brother, Simon.

The group also includes guitarist Frank Simes, bassist Jon Button (who has played with The Who), Loren Gold on keyboards and drummer Scott Devours.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.