Tommy grabbed the attention, but the Who’s 1973 opus Quadrophenia was the more muscular and cohesive rock opera of the two, bridging energy and emotion in the tale of Jimmy, a young Mod with a split personality. Led by surviving members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, the Who will perform Quadrophenia in its entirety at the TD Garden Friday, backed by a crack band that includes bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Zak Starkey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2J1zd4TlSc&feature=relmfu. And if that majestic double album isn’t enough to satiate the masses, expect the Who to cap the night with a handful of more familiar anthems. Also on Friday, the exuberant indie-rock act Matt and Kim returns to House of Blues to throw a crowd-rousing party from the duo’s keyboard/drums pedestal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=443LXIImaMI&feature=related. And the Sword cuts through with Black Sabbath-rooted metal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0EYvogWTK8&feature=plcp) at the Middle East Downstairs, followed Saturday by the rambunctious, oddly named Austin alt-rockers …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSYh7tRRGm4.
But the weekend largely belongs to local hero Amanda Palmer, who rounds out a three-night stand at the Paradise Rock Club on Friday and Saturday with her new Grand Theft Orchestra. Riding the million-dollar success of a Kickstarter campaign behind her fabulous, '80s-flavored new album Theatre is Evil, Palmer knows how to connect with a crowd both onstage and off, as she demonstrates at this recent New York show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tYmbEw9GuA, mining her conceptual chutzpah for all its worth. You can jump to my recent interview here: http://www.improper.com/going-out/naked-truth/. Also on Saturday, guitarist/singer Simon Townshend (yes, Pete’s brother) takes advantage of an off-night from the Who tour to play an early show with his own band at Church: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIgHPOx6H8E.
On Sunday, back at the Garden, another legendary old-timer comes round again. But if the Who’s Daltrey has seemingly regained his form from throat surgery, Bob Dylan’s ragged croak has only grown more inscrutable, which makes the perfect (if equally frustrating for some) match to his highly rearranged classics in concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVLlN6h0LXQ. Whether or not he pays much attention to his strong new album Tempest, Dylan not only has guitarists Charlie Sexton and former Bostonian Stu Kimball in his sturdy band, but he’s got ex-Dire Straits king Knopfler serving as both opening act and cameo trump card. And speaking of bards, Waterboys frontman Mike Scott rolls through the Brighton Music Hall for an hour-long reading from his memoir Adventures of a Waterboy, followed by a 40-minute acoustic set with Waterboys fiddler Steve Wickham. Scott’s next album, An Appointment with Mr. Yeats (due in March) will set that Irish poet’s words to music, but Waterboys fans can expect to hear some of Scott’s old favorites Sunday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdUwSZJzjTw.