It’s The Who. It’s a Dangerous Band’! Pete Townshend says, it’s the latest step for a band that has regularly pushed itself.
Although the stadium is different to the one we played in at Live Aid, and with AC/DC even further back in 1979, we were asked many times whether we remembered those shows, and how this forthcoming one would be different.
“What’s interesting about this event — the Who, Moving On! with an orchestra — is that it really is a big move on,” he says in the video below, an exclusive provided by Live Nation. “This is something that Roger [Daltrey] started. We’re doing a few new things, a few things that we haven’t done before. We’re doing ‘Imagine a Man,’ we’re doing ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ with acoustic guitars and cello and violin.”
Pete Townshend, 2011.
Have you heard 2019’s Orchestral iteration of Tommy yet? pic.twitter.com/CRXw9pzKNO
— The Who (@TheWho) August 8, 2019
“The Who had an extraordinary manager,” Townshend continues. “We made him a little silly opera for his birthday. He said, ‘Pete, I know this was a joke, but have you ever thought about trying to write an opera?’ and I said, ‘Well, I am studying, you know, music.'”
Townshend also paid tribute to his long-term guitar tech Alan Rogan, who passed away days before the concert was due to take place.“Some of you may already know that Alan Rogan passed away two days ago” he said, ahead of ‘Substitute’.“He was my guitar tech for over 40 years. He battled cancer and he finally lost his battle. He was a great guy and he was chipper and in high spirits until the end.”
It was tempting to make jokes about it, and we tried, but the fact is we are honoured and excited that at this phase of our career, and at our age, anyone would think about coming out to see us play a stadium like Wembley (which let’s face it is really Ed Sheeran’s London flat these days), and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be another amazing event.
The Who’s Tommy Orchestral.
Performed by Roger Daltrey, with members of The Who band and the orchestra conducted by Keith Levenson will be released on June 14th, and is available to pre-order now. pic.twitter.com/rC4FVAolgk
— The Who (@TheWho) May 9, 2019
— Adrian Hayter (@Dochayter) July 6, 2019
We are performing with an orchestra, and Roger made it very clear that it won’t just be an add on: it will be a cohesive and valuable complement to the kind of intense shows we always do.
When we play in London, as well as seeing our local fans, we gather so many old friends – this is our town after all – but also family and other musicians we know. It’s a wonderful thing. I hadn’t seen Roger for quite a long
THE WHO SET LIST AT WEMBLEY Below – here more video – link
It’s a Boy
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Who Are You
Imagine a Man
Hero Ground Zero
Won’t Get Fooled Again
(acoustic; Roger & Pete only)
Behind Blue Eyes
The Real Me
The Punk and the Godfather
(with Eddie Vedder)
Love, Reign O’er Me
The orchestra had a two-and-a-half-hour rehearsal the morning of the show before The Who take the stage for their own half-hour soundcheck, then they all jam together for another half-hour. And that’s it. During the show, the orchestra is onstage for an hour and 40 minutes before The Who take over for 25 minutes or so for band-only runs through hits and deep tracks.
They’ve gone out of their way to say this is not officially a farewell tour, although Daltrey indicated it might be, saying “I have to be realistic that this is the age I am and voices start to go after a while.”