Well, here's my attempt to persuade you that The Who should slightly edge out Springsteen by the criteria.
1964 - The Who initially made a name for themselves by smashing up their gear at the ends of their performances.
1965 - The Who's first single "I Can't Explain" initially peaked at #22 on the British charts. It was only after performing the song live on Ready Steady Go! that it went Top Ten.
1967 - It was The Who's performance at the Monterey Pop Festival that netted them their appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which helped put "I Can See For Miles" in the Top Ten and is probably where most Americans of the time first became aware of "My Generation".
1969 - Tommy peaked at #7 and then slid back down the charts in the USA. It was the release of the Woodstock film, and The Who's performance contained within, that launched Tommy back up the charts to peak at #4 and become a very long-lasting chart presence. The Woodstock performance, more than any other event in The Who's career, is responsible for launching them to superstar status.
1976 - Voted "Band of the Year" in Rolling Stone on the strength of their live performances alone. There was no new studio album that year.
1979 - Again voted "Band of the Year" in Rolling Stone on the strength of their live performances alone. Again, no new studio album that year.
I'll submit that Bruce Springsteen's lead in "Impact of live performances on career" is smaller than The Who's lead in "Influence on the evolution of live performances" and for that reason The Who should just edge him out. They're both amazingly consistent at maintaining a high level of performance over time. They may be tied in live reputation, but Live at Leeds is frequently cited as the best live rock album ever, while Bruce Springsteen's live albums are not.
But in all of those cases, The Who were already doing well, the live appearances only nudged things higher, as it does for almost every artist who gets seen live, that's what appearances and touring is designed to do. Appearing on Ready Steady Go was about exposure, it happens all the time. Jerry Lee Lewis's Breathless wasn't doing as well as his previous records until he went on Bandstand and it tied in with a Beechnut promo on the show, the resulting exposure made it go Top Ten.
Tommy was already a Top Ten hit before the Woodstock film. Hell, Sly & The Family Stone's I Want To Take You Higher charted because of the Woodstock film, does that impact their career to the extent that it'd raise them up significantly here? No. Sly was even considered, more than The Who, to have owned Woodstock. As for Monterey, the Who comparatively bombed there, as I said before, wrong show to do.
You're guilty once again of trying to connect too many dots and stretch too many things too far in you're desperate effort to see them raised. If you hadn't done this all over the place for the last half dozen years maybe it'd be more convincing (not with me, because I'd keep sticking to the criteria argument), but your track record works against you (again, not with me, I stick to the criteria, but just in general). You can't obsess over one artist like you do, it does more harm than good. The same holds true for anybody with their favorites, everyone's guilty of it, just not quite to your level. You're like a 12 year old girl fawning over Justin Beiber. If you tried to talk music without mentioning the Who for a year you'd probably explode with more force than Keith Moon's drum kit.
They're really close to Springsteen, but trust me when I say that they get edged out by the slimmest of margins and leave it at that. The one to make the argument to raise the Who's position on any list can't be the one who probably would clean Pete Townshend's toilet bowl with his tongue. Just talk about someone else... PLEASE!