The Compendia Music Group's 2004 Pete Townshend CD Magic Bus -- Live from Chicago is an abridged version of the 2000 album Live: A Benefit for Maryville Academy -- House of Blues, containing eight of the 12 tracks from that collection. Townshend, fronting a six-piece band, performs a few Who songs ("Drowned," "You Better You Bet," "Magic Bus") after beginning with Canned Heat's "On the Road Again," but otherwise delves into his less-well-known solo work, including his only big solo hit, "Let My Love Open the Door," plus "Now and Then" from Psychoderelict, "Heart to Hang Onto" from Rough Mix, the duo album with Ronnie Lane, and "North Country Girl" (which is really just his version of the Bob Dylan song "Girl from the North Country") from All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes. Townshend is typically energetic, and he is further inspired by the appearance of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder to sing along on "Magic Bus" and "Heart to Hang Onto."
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann