Credit: Fabrice DemessenceIn recent years, The Who‘s Pete Townshend has admitted to the media that he doesn’t get much enjoyment from performing live anymore, but in a new Rolling Stone interview, the guitar legend reveals that during the last few weeks of his band’s 2016 tour he’s developed a new enthusiasm for playing in front of fans. Townshend explains that his newfound appreciation is due to the fact that he’s noticed a lot more young people in the audience at recent Who shows.

“[I]t’s much nicer to play this stuff to younger audiences, who really haven’t grown up with it,” Pete tells the magazine. “I just feel, like, ‘Wow. I’m alive to see a new generation of people really get this stuff. It’s just a real kick.”

He adds, “Maybe it’s because I can see the end in the distant, misty future…but I started to feel like what I’m doing is of greater consequence. It means more to me. I feel better about the future of The Who than I have in a long time.”

Speaking about the future, Townshend reports that he has a number of new projects in the works, including a novel he hopes will be published in 2017 and a related collection of songs he says is “part rock opera and part art installation.”

The Who wound down 2016 with October performances at the star-studded Desert Trip festival in Indio, California, and in Mexico City. The band’s next shows will be a run of spring U.K. dates that include two benefit concerts for the Teenage Cancer Trust at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The charity events will feature The Who’s first full performances of their 1969 rock opera Tommy in almost 30 years.

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