The Who's Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend spoke via a live media conference from London on Wednesday, announcing plans for new tour, to stop in Atlantic City Feb. 22.
Although London has the Summer Olympics starting up only nine days from today, a "virtual" world-wide press conference was held on Wednesday afternoon, July 18, from the city announcing that the legendary rock band The Who would be touring once again, playing their 1973 album Quadrophenia album in full.
And, yes, the Who will "Reign O'er" Atlantic City on its first tour in several years.
The Who's two surviving founding members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend spoke to media from around the globe, live from London via uStream, announcing that the band would play shows in North America (with two dates in Ontario, Candada), including a stop at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Feb. 22.
The Borgata brought The Who to Atlantic City in 2006 and the band returned to the resort for a March 2007 show at Boardwalk Hall.
The two spoke about attracting young audiences as well as older fans, in additoin to their new Quadrophenia documentary film, based on their 1970s record and film.
On July 24, the doc (Quadrophenia — Can You See The Real Me? The Story Behind the Album) will be shown for the first time, on the big screen, in the U.S. and Canada.
The Who is also expected to perform at the London Olympics.
"The Mods are still sharp," Daltrey said with a laugh. "The songs [from Quadrophenia] come from a very deep space."
Townshend said that they were not looking back on the album in a self-indulgent or nostalgic way, but rather that "it still has a coolness to it" and there's "a poignancy to being reconnected to all those feelings [of our youth and Mod days]."
Zak Starkey (drums), Pino Palladino (bass), Simon Townshend (guitar/backing vocals), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Loren Gold (keyboards/backing vocals) and Frank Simes (musical director, keyboards/backing vocals) will join Daltrey and Townshend on the tour.
The Who will also delve into its back catalogue, aside from Quadrophenia tunes, on the tour.
"People do so much want to hear the hits and it's great to hear the classics," says Daltrey. "To kiss [the audience] goodnight, what better then 'Baba O'Riley'?
The pair say they chose the United States to debut the tour because "it's easier to tour in the States" and that the audiences there are "incredible."
Townshend also spoke about the book he is writing.
"The less said about it now, the better," he said, saying nothing is a done deal yet.
Townshend said he is writing new music and that a new Who album could happen after he deals with his autobiography.
The tour begins Nov. 1 in Sunrise, Fla., and wraps up Feb. 26 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Tickets go on sale later this month (check Ticketmaster). Pre-sale begins at 10am (EST) on July 20.
Tickets for general public go on sale July 27.
Here is a Q&A with Townshend on the Quadrophenia album.
Why do you think the music, the themes of “Quadrophenia”--both the album and film adaptation--resonate so strongly today?
In 1972 I was twenty-eight, writing about London and Brighton in 1963 and 1964 when the band was just starting. I was still young enough to remember how it felt to be sixteen or seventeen, and at war with my parents, bosses and authority. I could still remember that feeling of struggling to fit in, something that happened to me when I was even younger, around fourteen, and everyone around me seemed to have got their lives on track. This is such a universal experience for young people that it has echoed.
(It also seems that many of the first fans of the album don't want to let it go; it connects them now, just as it did the band, with the important emotions and frustrations of growing up, the poignancy of it all. The film took the musical journey into the real world, and gave it flesh. That could have been a problem, but the Mod look is subtle, and cool, and so it doesn't suffer the way some other youth films have. I've come to appreciate that the film has become almost more important than the album in some ways, especially in the visual age we live in.)
In this singles-driven digital age, there are artists now singing the praises of the album as an art-form and playing their own albums from front-to-back onstage. Since ‘Quadrophenia’ represents the album aesthetic in its highest form, what are your thoughts about the importance of albums these days for artists and audiences?
Mod was over in the South of England by the spring of 1965, and in a sense the band had changed too. We were less pure, less an R&B band and becoming more of a singles-oriented pop band. So there is an irony in the fact that when I decided we needed to reconnect with that vitally important and colourful period of our career, and our lives as young men trying to pursue a dream of becoming famous and respected, I realised I would need a double album. I'm pleased to hear about artists who uphold the album as an art-form.
Album. Art. The questioner's words here, but I have often been ridiculed for using them about pop music in the past. The digital medium is only just starting to lend itself to long form work. So I expect to see more of it. It was once thought new music fans had a low attention span; but what they reveal is immense commitment to researching what touches them most deeply, and as the internet gets faster they can find what they seek more quickly. Once a connection is made, it can be extremely deep and long-lasting. This is really just another echo: this is how it was back in the '60s. Singles first, then albums. Maybe the preponderance of singles on the internet has made the album feel special again? Maybe the old way of listening to music – in longer sittings – is finding its way back into vogue? A journey, for example, is an opportunity to listen to something longer, and easy to carry mobile music has made that possible.
Which are your favorite songs from “Quadrophenia” to perform live and why?
I really love playing all of it. It's a unique piece for me in that. Some Who music is nightmarish to perform live. Roger has some very tough songs to sing, and he must have preferences. But for me on guitar everything falls under the fingers. It flows naturally, and I always feel proud of my achievement as the writer, that I put it all together and gave the band a third wind. The real high point for me is always the final song ‘Love Reign O'er Me.’ Roger and I now stand almost alone together, representing not only the original band, but also its Mod audience, and of course all our other early fans. We are connected by it, in what is the most clear cut prayer for redemption, and it feels like an acknowledgment that rock music has managed to deal with the highest emotional challenge: spiritual desperation.
What else can fans expect to hear on the upcoming tour?
We plan to close the show with a few of the really well-known anthems, and maybe some last minute surprises. These will be as much a surprise to me as to our audience because this is an area I tend to leave to Roger; he's very good at it.
North American Tour Schedule, promoted by AEG.
DATE: CITY: VENUE:
Tue 11/1 Sunrise, FL BankAtlantic Center
Sat 11/3 Orlando, FL Amway Center
Mon 11/5 Duluth, GA The Arena at Gwinnett Center
Thu 11/8 Greenville, SC Bi-Lo Center
Fri 11/9 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
Sun 11/11 Pittsburgh, PA CONSOL Energy Arena
Tue 11/13 Washington, DC Verizon Center
Wed 11/14 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
Fri 11/16 Boston, MA TD Garden
Tue 11/20 Montreal, QC Bell Centre (on sale 7/28)
Wed 11/21 Ottawa, ON Scotiabank Place
Fri 11/23 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Sat 11/24 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
Tue 11/27 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
Thu 11/29 Chicago, IL Allstate Arena
Sun 12/2 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
Wed 12/5 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Thu 12/6 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
Sat 12/8 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Sun 12/9 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena (on sale 8/3)
Mon 1/28 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
Wed 1/30 Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
Fri 2/1 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
Sat 2/2 Reno, NV Reno Events Center
Tue 2/5 San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center
Wed 2/6 Glendale, AZ Jobing.com Arena
Fri 2/8 Las Vegas, NV The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Tue 2/12 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
Thu 2/14 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
Sat 2/16 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Arena
Sun 2/17 Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center
Tue 2/19 Hamilton, ON Copps Coliseum
Thu 2/21 Uniondale, NY Nassau Coliseum
Fri 2/22 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall
Sun 2/24 Manchester, NH Verizon Wireless Arena
Tue 2/26 Providence, RI Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Pete Townshend talks about growing up before and after the Who formed as the U.K. rockers bring Quadrophenia and More Tour to Boardwalk Hall Feb. 22
"It’s a good time, a rockin’ time. I plan on bringing some joy and rock-and-roll vibes to Atlantic City. "
Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Indian Tribe casino company, which operates casinos in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, says it's the perfect time for a strategic partnership with Resorts and get back into the Atlantic City market.