|Tour by The Who|
|Associated album||Who Are You|
|Start date||February 5, 1979|
|End date||December 28, 1979|
|No. of shows||21 in North America|
14 in Europe
35 in total
|The Who concert chronology|
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.
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. 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.
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.
Live material from 1979 has appeared on the following:
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.
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:
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. All songs written by Pete Townshend unless otherwise specified.
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:
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. 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.
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:
|2 May||London||England||Rainbow Theatre|||
|12 May||Fréjus||France||Arènes de Fréjus|||
|16 May||Paris||Pavillon de Paris|||
|8 June||Glasgow||Scotland||The Apollo|||
|9 June||Edinburgh||Edinburgh Playhouse|||
|18 August||London||England||Wembley Stadium|||
|10 September||Passaic||United States||Capitol Theatre|||
|13 September||New York City||Madison Square Garden|||
|10 November||Brighton||England||Brighton Centre|||
|16 November||Stafford||Bingley Hall|||
|30 November||Detroit||United States||Detroit Masonic Temple|||
|2 December||Pittsburgh||Civic Arena|||
|3 December||Cincinnati||Riverfront Coliseum|||
|4 December||Buffalo||Buffalo Memorial Auditorium|||
|6 December||Cleveland||Richfield Coliseum|||
|7 December||Pontiac||Pontiac Silverdome|||
|8 December||Chicago||International Amphitheatre|||
|13 December||Landover||Capital Centre|||
|15 December||New Haven||New Haven Coliseum|||
|16 December||Boston||Boston Garden|||
|17 December||Landover||Capital Centre|||
|28 December[a]||London||England||Hammersmith Odeon|||