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The legendary British rock band “The Who” will hit the road this with year with the “Moving On!” tour. Singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend promise to deliver an electrifying series of shows, accompanied by some of the greatest symphonic orchestras from the U.S. and Canada.

The tour kicks off May 7th in Grand Rapids, Michigan features stops in locations like New York, Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston, Denver and wraps up on October 23rd with a performance in Edmonton, Alberta.

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The two iconic members of “The Who” will be joined on stage by other gifted musicians: Simon Townshend on guitar, Jon Button on bass, Loren Gold on keyboards and Zak Starkey on drums. The tour that is set to unfold in two sessions – one from May 7th to June 1st and the other from September 6th to October 23rd, will deliver to fans an incredible playlist: singles from “Tommy” rock opera, which celebrates this year its 50th anniversary, as well as powerful tunes from the “Quadrophenia” album and other hits from the band’s career.

This year marks not only a new tour for the band but also the release of a new song album, the first since the 2006 “Endless Wire”. It seems that Pete Townshend has already finished the demos for the album, so now it’s Daltrey’s turn to bring his voice to the tunes scheduled for public release later this year. Although not labeled as a farewell tour of the band, Roger Daltrey stated that for him it might be the last, since he’s almost 75 years of life might weaken his voice at some point. But until that happens, the same Daltrey informed the fans that “Moving On!” tour “will be full throttle Who with horns and bells on”.

“The Who” are regarded as the pioneers of rock opera and godfathers of punk, being among the first rock bands that used in their playlist the synthesizers. In 1962, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle joined Roger Daltrey, who had a band called “Detours”. The addition of drummer Doug Sandom changed the name of the band into “Who and the High Numbers”. After the replacement, at the beginning of 1964, of Doug Sandom with Keith Moon, the band released a single called “I’m the Face”, which didn’t get much attention from the public and critics. The same year, the group decided the name of the band should be just “The Who”.

They began to develop a unique “voice”, adopting a musical style in contradiction with the peace and unity promoted at that time by the major musical groups.  They were the outsiders, singing about frustration and uncertainty, offering fans harsh lyrics and powerful chords. The four members of the band delivered a unique show with each performance, bringing the audience in a state of ecstasy as Townshend smashed his guitar during live concerts. The singles the band released between 1965 and 1966 —“I Can’t Explain”, “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere”, “My Generation” and “Substitute” were perceived as a musical statement filled with sound aggression, as these musicians turned musical violence into a form of rock catharsis.  The themes they approached in their songs were, for that particular musical time, strange to say the least: lust in “Pictures of Lily”, gender confusion in “I’m a Boy” or peer pressure in “Happy Jack”.

“The Who Sell Out” album, released in 1967 was presented as a pirate broadcast and indicated that the band was a singles group which, however, had more success in Britain (8 singles in Top Ten of the 1965 – 1967 charts) than in the U.S. (where they had only one song in Billboard’s Top Ten). And then 1969 came and everything changed: “Tommy” rock opera was released and “The Who” performed at “Woodstock”. These two events transformed the band into a state-of-the-art rock band. Pete Townshend was recognized by critics and fans around the world as one of the most intelligent composers of the era, with “Tommy” being adored by huge crowds of fans. Several different sites have tickets to this upcoming tour. Be sure to act now.

The band’s next album, called “Who’s Next” and released in 1971, showed the huge influence the Indian mystic Meher Baba had on Pete Townshend’s writing. “Who’s Next” featured both teen anthems like  “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and smooth romances like “Love Ain’t for Keeping” and “Behind Blue Eyes”. 1972 brought the first solo albums of John Entwistle – “Smash Your Head Against the Wall” and Pete Townshend – “Who Came First”. Roger Daltrey released his first solo album a year later, in 1973. The band continued to perform together and Townshend delivered his second rock opera masterpiece – “Quadrophenia” followed by “The Who by Numbers” in 1975 and “Who Are You” in 1978.

Dead because of an accidental drug overdose in 1978, Keith Moon was replaced by Kenney Jones from “Small Faces” and “Faces”. The new band line-up released in 1981 the album “Face Dances” and “It’s Hard” in 1982 before the group disbanded the same year. The members took separate ways: Daltrey got involved in acting and in a solo musical career, Entwistle recorded every now and then with no significant success, while Townshend approached book editing and other solo ventures. The three of them reunited and toured in 1989 and between 1996 and 1997. In 1990, the band was inducted in the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”. In 2002, when they were getting ready for a new tour, tragedy stroke as John Entwistle passed away.

The band’s greatest success, the rock opera “Tommy” became in 1972 an orchestral album and in 1975 it was turned into a little acclaimed movie starring Roger Daltrey in the head role. The band’s other rock opera – “Quadrophenia” was also turned into a movie, in 1979, and it was revived as a rock show in the band’s touring from the ‘90s.

In 2006, Pete Townshend inspired the release of the album “Endless Wire”, the first album with new material since 1982, based on his online novella “The Boy Who Heard Music”. In 2008, the group was offered the “Kennedy Center Honors” award. In 2010, the band performed at the “Super Bowl” halftime show and in 2012 they delighted the audience at the closing ceremony of the “Olympic Games”.

Between 2012 and 2014, “The Who” offered a series of performances from “Quadrophenia” and embarked on a tour to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary, a tour that ended in October 2017 with a sensational concert in Buenos Aires. Last year, in 2018, Roger Daltrey and “The Who” touring band continued to perform live, while this year’s tour announces to be just as extraordinary as the previous ones. So, what you are waiting for? Get ready to enjoy live one of the greatest rock bands of all time!

Sources:

https://www.thewho.com/the-who-announce-2019-north-american-moving-on-tour/
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-who-us-moving-on-dates-778467/
https://www.britannica.com/topic/the-Who
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/100-greatest-artists-147446/the-who-3-91715/

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