The Who, one of rock’s legendary and defining bands, has announced a UK arena tour where they’ll perform their iconic 1973 double album Quadrophenia in its entirety, along with a selection of Who classics.
The UK tour follows on from a hugely successful North American tour, praised by press and fans alike as probably the definitive interpretation of Quadrophenia and ‘a rock ‘n’ roll lover’s dream come true’ (Telegram.com, Boston).
“Quadrophenia is their (The Who’s) boldest and most fully realised albums,” said Rolling Stone. “But it’s never quite gotten the live show it deserves – until now”.
The critically acclaimed Quadrophenia marked the British band’s second rock opera (after Tommy), raised the bar for rock albums as an art form, hit number two on the UKalbum chart and massively influenced the future of UK style, fashion and culture.
The album’s title is a variation on the popular usage of the medical diagnostic term schizophrenia and exemplifies the four varying personalities of the band members who created the album.
The band, founded in 1964, brought together four different personalities and in effect produced a musical hurricane. Each of them was a pioneer. Wildman drummer Keith Moon beat his kit with a chaotic elegance, stoic bassist John Entwistle held down the centre with the melodic virtuosity of a solo guitarist, raging intellectual Pete Townshend punctuated the epic universality of his songs with the windmill slamming of his fingers across his guitar strings and Roger Daltrey roared above it all with an impossibly virile macho swagger.
They exploded conventional rhythm and blues structures, challenged pop music conventions, and redefined what was possible on stage, in the recording studio, and on vinyl.
This new concert version of Quadrophenia, personally directed by Roger Daltrey, focuses on the original album and replaces the narrative used in previous stage versions with powerful imagery projected on an array of massive screens, designed to support, complement and propel the musical content of the work by setting it in the context of the history of the band.
This is achieved to startling effect. “Quadrophenia and its coming-of-age story unfolded in songs that blended nuance and noise, a spectacle grand and gritty,” wrote the Orlando Sentinel.
The Who’s 8-date UK tour features founding members Daltrey and Townsend, who will be joined by Zak Starkey (drums), Pino Palladino (bass), Simon Townshend (guitar/backing vocals), John Corey (keyboards), Loren Gold (keyboards/backing vocals) and Frank Simes (musical director, keyboards/backing vocals).
The UK tour kicks off on June 8 in Dublin and visits Belfast, Glasgow, London, Sheffield, Newcastle, Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham and Liverpool. Tickets go on sale on Friday February 1 from 9am. Go to www.thewho.com/tour for details.