The Who Tour 1979

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The Who Tour 1979
Tour by The Who
Associated album "Who Are You"
Start date 2 May 1979
End date 28 December 1979
Legs 3
Shows 35
The Who concert chronology
The Who 1977–1978 performances
(1977–1978)
The Who Tour 1979
(1979)
The Who Tour 1980
(1980)

The Who Tour 1979 was The Who's first concert tour since the death of original drummer Keith Moon, supporting their film releases The Kids Are Alright and Quadrophenia.

History[edit]

Following Keith Moon's death in September 1978, The Who made the decision 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. On 18 August, a horn section was introduced to the band's act for the first time for their show at Wembley Stadium in London. It would be retained through 1980.

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. 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[citation needed] at a crowd crush before a concert at Riverfront Coliseum (now US Bank Arena) in Cincinnati on 3 December. This led to the banning of festival seating in Cincinnati and many other cities and states around the United States for a considerable period. 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. They would resume touring in February 1980.

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 some new material Townshend was introducing on some nights during jams, most of which did not see release until later on. Some notable songs which evolved out of 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.

Live Releases[edit]

Live material from 1979 has appeared on the following:

Band members[edit]

Additional musicians

Typical set lists[edit]

First UK/Europe Leg[edit]

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). 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):

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:

  • "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 Leg[edit]

This leg was one of the shorter ones of the tour, only lasting from 10 to 18 September (two nights at the Capitol Theater 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. 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. "Let's See Action" (only on 14 September)
  17. "Blue Black White" (dropped after 16 September)
  18. "Join Together" (dropped after 14 September)
  19. "Magic Bus"
  20. "Won't Get Fooled Again"

Encores (variations of the following list):

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:

Second UK/US Leg[edit]

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 Masonic Temple Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan and ended on 17 December 1979 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. 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 infamous 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.

  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):

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:

  • "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 dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
Europe
2 May 1979 London England Rainbow Theatre
12 May 1979 Fréjus France Arenes de Frejus
13 May 1979
16 May 1979 Paris Pavilion
17 May 1979
8 June 1979 Glasgow Scotland Apollo Theatre
9 June 1979 Edinburgh Odeon Theatre
18 August 1979 London England Wembley Stadium
1 September 1979 Nuremberg Germany Zeppelinfeld
North America
10 September 1979 Passaic, New Jersey United States Capitol Theatre
11 September 1979
13 September 1979 New York City Madison Square Garden
14 September 1979
16 September 1979
17 September 1979
18 September 1979
Europe
10 November 1979 Brighton England Brighton Centre
11 November 1979
16 November 1979 Stafford New Bingley Hall
17 November 1979
North America
30 November 1979 Detroit, Michigan United States Masonic Temple Auditorium
2 December 1979 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Civic Arena
3 December 1979 Cincinnati, Ohio Riverfront Coliseum (11 persons killed)
4 December 1979 Buffalo, New York Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
6 December 1979 Richfield, Ohio Richfield Coliseum
7 December 1979 Pontiac, Michigan Pontiac Silverdome
8 December 1979 Chicago, Illinois International Amphitheatre
10 December 1979 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The Spectrum
11 December 1979
13 December 1979 Landover, Maryland Capital Centre
15 December 1979 New Haven, Connecticut Memorial Coliseum
16 December 1979 Boston, Massachusetts Boston Garden
17 December 1979 Landover, Maryland Capital Centre
Concert for Kampuchea
28 December 1979 London England Hammersmith Odeon

See also[edit]

External links[edit]