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The Who Bridge Generations

The legendary rockers prove they can still rock as hard as the up-n-comers -- and appeal to the under-10 set.

With one scan of the crowd watching the Who, it was clear that the families wandering the V Fest grounds today were here primarily for these British veterans. Now playing as a quintet, they delivered a canon that sounded like it hadn’t aged a day, featuring hits like “Who Are You,” “Baba O’Riley,” and “Pinball Wizard.”

That tireless energy wasn’t lost on the crowd, especially on parents who reveled in their children’s appreciation of classic rock. Damien Allen, 33, who was apprehensive about bringing his two toddlers, was thrilled to see his kids getting into the show. “It was a bit of a gamble actually, because I’ve never brought [my family] to anything like this before,” Allen said. “The website said it was a family-friendly environment, and I knew it was a park so there would be plenty of room for them to run around. And I think they liked it too.”

Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters rocked out together, watching the legendary group erase the age barrier typically associated with classic rock. When the Who began playing one of their greatest hits, “My Generation,” everyone listening on the fringe stood up and moved in, perhaps because a universal lyric like “People try to put us down / Just because we get around” never gets old. STORY BY ADAM Z. WINER / PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE POTTER

At V Fest ’06, SPIN.com is on the ground with eight college students — four writers, four photographers — to cover the festival for SPIN.com, live. We’ll be sending them out on mini-missions throughout the festival, and they’ll be reporting live from our booth on the festival grounds. Here’s one writer’s perspective on being picked to cover V Fest.

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