The Who Tour 1979

The Who Tour 1979 was The Who's first concert tour since the death of original drummer Keith Moon. The tour supported their 1978 album Who Are You, and consisted of concerts in Europe and the United States and acknowledged the band's return to live performance.

The Who Tour 1979
Tour by The Who
Associated albumWho Are You
Start date5 February 1979 (1979-02-05)
End date28 December 1979 (1979-12-28)
Legs5
No. of shows21 in North America
14 in Europe
35 in total
The Who concert chronology

HistoryEdit

Following Keith Moon's death in September 1978, The Who decided to continue as band, recruiting former Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones; keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick was also added to the line-up for live performances, adding another element to the band's sound. The post-Moon incarnation of The Who played as a five-piece for seven shows, the first occurring on 2 May at the Rainbow Theatre in London.

In September, the group made their first trip to the United States since 1976 for a series of shows at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey and Madison Square Garden in New York City. A horn section was introduced to the band's act for the first time around this time. It would be retained through 1980. They returned to the States in November for an official tour, which was marred by tragedy when 11 fans were killed and 26 others were injured at a crowd crush before a concert at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati on 3 December.[1] This led to the banning of festival seating in Cincinnati and many other cities and states around the United States for a considerable period.[2] The disaster also caused a scheduled concert for 17 December in Providence, Rhode Island to be cancelled, leading to a second show in Landover, Maryland (the first was on 13 December) to be scheduled in its place. The group ended the year with a benefit appearance at the Hammersmith Odeon, London on 28 December as part of the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea.[1]

The band added three new songs from Who Are You in 1979, "Who Are You," "Sister Disco," and "Music Must Change"; John Entwistle's "Trick of the Light" was also played occasionally, with Entwistle playing 8 string bass and Pete Townshend also playing a standard bass guitar. The horn section also allowed numbers like "5:15" and "Drowned" (now sung by Townshend) to be reintroduced to the act. Meanwhile, 1979 shows are known among Who fans for new material that Townshend introduced on some nights during jams, most of which did not see release until later on. Some notable songs that evolved from these jams are "Cat's in the Cupboard" and "I Am an Animal" from Townshend's 1980 album Empty Glass, as well as "How Can You Do It Alone" from The Who's 1981 album Face Dances, and "Dance It Away," a bonus track on the reissued edition of Townshend's 1982 album All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes.[1]

Live releasesEdit

Live material from 1979 has appeared on the following:

Tour bandEdit

Additional musicians

Typical set listsEdit

First UK/Europe legEdit

This "leg" started from 2 May 1979 at the Rainbow Theatre in London and went on until 1 September 1979 at the Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg. Here is a fairly typical set list for this leg (actually taken from a concert at the Arenes de Frejus in Frejus on 12 May 1979).[1] This leg featured the first performances of four songs from the band's last album, Who Are You: "Who Are You", "Trick of the Light", "Sister Disco" and "Music Must Change". All songs written by Pete Townshend unless otherwise specified.

  1. "Substitute"
  2. "I Can't Explain"
  3. "Baba O'Riley"
  4. "The Punk and the Godfather"
  5. "Boris the Spider" (John Entwistle)
  6. "Sister Disco"
  7. "Music Must Change"
  8. "Behind Blue Eyes"
  9. "Dreaming from the Waist" (dropped after 18 August)
  10. "Pinball Wizard"
  11. "See Me, Feel Me"
  12. "Long Live Rock" (not played on 1 September)
  13. "Bargain" (dropped after 8 June)
  14. "Who Are You"
  15. "My Generation"
  16. "Join Together"
  17. "My Generation Blues" (dropped after 9 June)
  18. "Magic Bus"
  19. "Keyboard Bridge" (Townshend and John Bundrick; dropped after 18 August)
  20. "Won't Get Fooled Again"

Encores (variations of the following list):[1][5]

There were some set list substitutions, variations, and order switches during the tour. "Behind Blue Eyes" switched places with "Music Must Change" after the second concert. "Bargain" was dropped after a concert in Glasgow, Scotland on 8 June 1979. Also, some other songs were played which are not in the above lists:[5]

  • "Trick of the Light" (Entwistle)
    • Performed on 18 August and 1 September.
  • "5:15"
    • Performed on 18 August and 1 September.
  • "Drowned" (Townshend on vocals)
    • Performed on 18 August and 1 September.
  • "Blue Black White" (unreleased Who song)
    • Performed on 1 September.

First US legEdit

This leg was one of the shorter ones of the tour, only lasting from 10 to 18 September (two nights at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey and five nights at the Madison Square Garden in New York City), but it was also the one with the most set list variations. Nearly nightly, Townshend was improvising and incorporating new songs into the set list, such as "Dance It Away", "That's Rock And Roll", "I'm London", "Cat's in the Cupboard" and others. This particular set list is taken from the second show in New York, 14 September 1979.[5] All songs written by Pete Townshend unless otherwise specified.

  1. "Substitute"
  2. "I Can't Explain"
  3. "Baba O'Riley"
  4. "The Punk and the Godfather"
  5. "Boris the Spider" (John Entwistle)
  6. "Sister Disco"
  7. "Behind Blue Eyes"
  8. "Music Must Change"
  9. "Drowned"
  10. "Who Are You"
  11. "5:15"
  12. "Pinball Wizard"
  13. "See Me, Feel Me"
  14. "Long Live Rock"
  15. "My Generation"
  16. "Blue Black White" (dropped after 16 September)
  17. "Join Together" (dropped after 14 September)
  18. "Magic Bus"
  19. "Won't Get Fooled Again"

Encores (variations of the following list):[5]

There were some set list substitutions, variations, and order switches during the tour. "My Wife" was played on 17 September and took the place of "Boris the Spider" on 18 September. Some of the songs in the encore list also made appearances in the regular set, and vice versa. Also, some other songs were played which are not in the above lists:[5]

Second UK/US legEdit

This leg featured the second leg of the US tour, as well as its four warm-up shows from 10 to 17 November in Brighton and Stafford, England. The US tour started on 30 November 1979 at the Detroit Masonic Temple in Detroit, Michigan and ended on 17 December 1979 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland.[3] The concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on 28 December for the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea could also be included here. Sadly, a disaster occurred at the Cincinnati concert on 3 December leading to the death of 11 fans and the cancellation of one scheduled concert. This particular set list is taken from a concert in New Haven, Connecticut on 15 December 1979.[4]

  1. "Substitute"
  2. "I Can't Explain"
  3. "Baba O'Riley"
  4. "The Punk and the Godfather"
  5. "My Wife" (John Entwistle)
  6. "Sister Disco"
  7. "Behind Blue Eyes"
  8. "Music Must Change"
  9. "Drowned"
  10. "Who Are You"
  11. "5:15"
  12. "Pinball Wizard"
  13. "See Me, Feel Me"
  14. "Long Live Rock"
  15. "My Generation"
  16. "I Can See for Miles"
  17. "Sparks"
  18. "Won't Get Fooled Again"

Encores (variations of the following list):[3][4]

There were some set list substitutions, variations, and order switches during the tour. "Boris the Spider" was played in the first half of this leg, being dropped after 7 December. Some of the songs in the encore list also made appearances in the regular set, and vice versa. Also, some other songs were played which are not in the above lists:[3][4]

  • "Boris the Spider" (Entwistle)
    • Performed on 10, 11, 16 and 30 November; and 2, 4, 6 and 7 December.
  • "Dreaming from the Waist"
    • Performed on 11 November.
  • "I'm London"
    • Performed on 2 December.
  • "I Sent You a Letter"
    • Performed on 2 December.
  • "Slip Kid"
    • Performed on 4 December as a snippet.
  • "The Relay"
    • Performed on 8 December as a snippet.
  • "Mystery Train" (Junior Parker, Sam Phillips)
    • Performed during "5:15" on 28 December. Short tease only.
  • "I Am the Sea"
    • Performed (loosely) on 28 December before the intro of "Pinball Wizard".
  • "I Don't Want To Be an Old Man" (a.k.a. "Fuck All Blues")
    • Performed on 28 December.

Tour datesEdit

European leg (2 May – 1 September)Edit

List of tour dates with date, city, country, venue, references
Date
(1979)
City Country Venue Ref(s)
2 May London England Rainbow Theatre [1]
12 May Fréjus France Arènes de Fréjus [1]
13 May [1]
16 May Paris Pavillon de Paris [1]
17 May [1]
8 June Glasgow Scotland The Apollo [1]
9 June Edinburgh Edinburgh Playhouse [1]
18 August London England Wembley Stadium [5]
1 September Nuremberg Germany Zeppelinfeld [5]

U.S. leg (10–18 September)Edit

List of tour dates with date, city, country, venue, references
Date
(1979)
City Country Venue Ref(s)
10 September Passaic United States Capitol Theatre [5]
11 September [5]
13 September New York City Madison Square Garden [5]
14 September [5]
16 September [5]
17 September [5]
18 September [5]

U.K. leg (10–17 November)Edit

List of tour dates with date, city, country, venue, references
Date
(1979)
City Country Venue Ref(s)
10 November Brighton England Brighton Centre [3]
11 November [3]
16 November Stafford Bingley Hall [3]
17 November [3]

U.S. leg (30 November – 17 December)Edit

List of tour dates with date, city, country, venue, references
Date
(1979)
City Country Venue Ref(s)
30 November Detroit United States Detroit Masonic Temple [3]
2 December Pittsburgh Civic Arena [3]
3 December Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum [3]
4 December Buffalo Buffalo Memorial Auditorium [3]
6 December Cleveland Richfield Coliseum [3]
7 December Pontiac Pontiac Silverdome [3]
8 December Chicago International Amphitheatre [3]
10 December Philadelphia Spectrum [3]
11 December [3]
13 December Landover Capital Centre [4]
15 December New Haven New Haven Coliseum [4]
16 December Boston Boston Garden [4]
17 December Landover Capital Centre [4]

U.K. show (28 December)Edit

List of tour dates with date, city, country, venue, references
Date
(1979)
City Country Venue Ref(s)
28 December[a] London England Hammersmith Odeon [4]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The concert on 28 December was a part of the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea.[4]

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l McMichael & Lyons 1997, pp. 179–181
  2. ^ Henke 1980
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q McMichael & Lyons 1997, pp. 183–184
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j McMichael & Lyons 1997, p. 185
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n McMichael & Lyons 1997, p. 182

ReferencesEdit

  • McMichael, Joe; Lyons, "Irish" Jack (1997). The Who Concert File. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-6316-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Henke, James (7 February 1980). "Cincinnati Curbs Festival Seating in Wake of Who Disaster". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 January 2020.

External linksEdit