The Who Announces 2019 North American Tour
Amy Harris / Invision / AP – The Who
The Who plays Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco Aug. 13.
The Who unveiled dates for a North American tour on Monday. Between summer and fall stints, the iconic British rock band will hit 28 cities for 29 shows, performing at venues including New York’s Madison Square Garden and Boston’s Fenway Park.
Though The Who tour frequently, the Moving On! Tour has some notable differences from The Who Hits 50!, the major jaunt the band embarked on from 2014 to 2017 to celebrate their 50th anniversary. For one, they’ll have new material: Along with the Moving On! announcement, the band shared plans to release their first album since 2006’s Endless Wire this year.
Moreover, they’ll be joined by orchestras in each market to realize symphonic interpretations of their beloved catalog — though singer Roger Daltrey emphasized in a statement that Who fans shouldn’t expect anything other than the group’s energetic rock.
“Be aware Who fans!” Daltrey said. “Just because it’s The Who with an orchestra, in no way will it compromise the way Pete and I deliver our music. This will be full throttle Who with horns and bells on.”
In addition to their orchestral accompaniment, Daltrey and founding guitarist Pete Townshend will be joined onstage by guitarist Simon Townshend, keyboardist Loren Gold, bassist Jon Button and drummer Zak Starkey.
According to Townshend, Daltrey named the tour. “I love it,” the guitarist said. “It is what both of us want to do. Move on, with new music, classic Who music, all performed in new and exciting ways. Taking risks, nothing to lose. Looking forward to seeing you all. Are you ready?”
The Who have remained a highly lucrative live act in the ’10s, headlining festivals including Desert Trip and Outside Lands. The band occupied Pollstar‘s Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours in both 2015 and 2016, grossing a total of $55.5 million. In 2017, between a Las Vegas residency and rescheduled tour dates from the prior year, The Who raked in $9.4 million in North America. They famously kicked off the decade with their 2010 halftime show performance at Super Bowl XLIV.
The Moving On! Tour will bring the band to some of the same venues they played the last time they hit America. In a March 2016 gig at Madison Square Garden, The Who sold 14,863 tickets for a gross of $1.6 million. The year prior, they sold 8,914 tickets for a gross of $626,547 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena and 10,498 tickets for a gross of $1.06 million at Dallas’ American Airlines Center.
Other bookings represent the end of longer absences. The band will kick off their tour on May 7 at Van Andel Arena, in Grand Rapids, Mich.; the last time The Who played there, in 2006, they sold 7,572 tickets for a gross of $532,445. And on October 11 and 13, The Who will perform at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl for the first time since 2006. That year, the band also played two shows at the venue, selling 24,888 for a gross of $3.47 million.
Some of the baseball stadiums The Who will play on this tour — Fenway Park, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, Seattle’s T-Mobile Park — mark their first gigs at those venues.
Daltrey made headlines last week when he ruled out a Who performance at the just-confirmed 50th anniversary Woodstock event scheduled for August. “I don’t see why they should have us there,” he told Rolling Stone, citing an aversion to the heat before adding, “And they couldn’t afford us anyway!”
He also told Rolling Stone that while the Moving On! Tour isn’t officially billed as The Who’s last, it plausibly could be. “This will possibly be my last tour,” he said. “I’m just being realistic about going through the 75th year of my life. I have to be realistic that this is the age I am and voices start to go after a while. I don’t want to be not as good as I was two years ago.”
Tickets for the tour, produced by Live Nation, become available for members of The Who’s fan club beginning Wednesday, January 16 at 10 a.m. local time. One dollar from each purchased ticket will benefit Teen Cancer America, the charity Daltrey and Townshed co-founded in 2012.
Find the Moving On! Tour’s North American dates below.