Prior to the upcoming kick-off of their “THE WHO HITS 50!” much-anticipated North American tour in Tampa, FL on April 15, one of rock’s most legendary and defining bands performed their annual Teenage Cancer Trust Concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on March 26. In a review of the show, The Telegraph (UK, March 2015) said, “The Who were fantastic, as we have come to expect. With those dynamic characters, such incredible songs and that powerful sound, they are a rock band who can only be judged by the very high standards they have set themselves…There’s a particular kind of punch the Who deliver when they emerge from mellifluous dreamy melodies to slam together on a power chord that no other band has ever matched.” With NME.com (March 2015) adding: “The band performed a two-hour set of tracks and hits spanning their entire career...Kicking off with 'I Can't Explain', the veteran rockers played a series of greatest hits including 'Substitute', 'Who Are You' and 'The Kids Are Alright' against a backdrop of moving images of the band during their younger days…”
The extensive "THE WHO HITS 50!" North American tour will include the band's final shows in many of the tour cities. As Roger Daltrey recently explained to RollingStone.com, "I do know this is the last big tour we'll ever do. We have to be realistic. I want us to stop at the top of our game when we are still really good at what we do. The quality of the music is really what this is all about."
"THE WHO HITS 50!" North American tour includes special guests:2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. The spring run of 20 stops throughout the east wraps May 30 in Forest Hills, NY and includes a Saturday, April 25 performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell (the band's first U.S. festival appearance in more than 40 years). The fall leg will launch September 14 in San Diego, CA and begin with west coast dates throughout the U.S. and across Canada before concluding November 4 in Philadelphia, PA. Tickets are currently on sale at www.thewho.com and www.axs.com. "THE WHO HITS 50!" tour is being presented by AEG Live.
Roger Daltrey recently told RollingStone.com, "the tour rehearsals are going, "Great. It's not like we don't know the songs! I mean, the band is just amazing; as fresh as ever." As for each night's set list he adds, "we just throw it in the air. It is what it is. The thing we try and do is move people; take them high and bring them low. If you get one song in the wrong place, it throws the mood. It doesn't carry the audience. It puts them off balance."
THE WHO have sold over 100 million records since forming in 1964; they brought together four different personalities and in effect produced a musical hurricane. Each of them was a pioneer. Wildman drummer Keith Moon beat his kit with a chaotic elegance; stoic bassist John Entwistle held down the center with the melodic vertuosity of a solo guitarist; raging intellectual Pete Townshend punctuated the epic universality of his songs with the windmill slamming of his fingers across his guitar strings; and Roger Daltrey roared above it all with an impossibly virile macho swagger. They exploded conventional rhythm and blues structures, challenged pop music conventions, and redefined what was possible on stage, in the recording studio, and on vinyl. As they enter their 50th year, the band is still going strong, winning rave reviews for their performances of QUADROPHENIA in 2013.