The Who returned to the stage for the first time in more than two years this past weekend at a concert for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which took place at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The band was backed by guitarist Simon Townshend, percussionist Jody Linscott, bassist Phil Spalding and backing vocalist Billy Nicholls. The set list included various Who favorites, as well some recent songs, including the live debut of “Beads on One String” from their most recent album, 2019’s Who. “We’ve only had two hours rehearsal,” guitarist Pete Townshend admitted to the audience early in the show. “So it’s going to be shit.” At a few points during the performance, the band had to stop and restart songs.
A few unexpected moments transpired throughout the evening, including Roger Daltrey taking over lead vocals on “Eminence Front,” a song usually sung by Townshend. The band also dusted off the Townshend solo cut “Let My Love Open the Door,” which they hadn’t played since their 1989 reunion tour.
“This next song is definitely not a Who hit, it’s a Pete hit,” Townshend said from the stage before launching into his 1980 hit single. You can watch a video of that performance below. A set list from the show can also be seen below.
Townshend explained that “Let My Love Open the Door” was recently used in the Netflix film The Adam Project, and had subsequently reached the No. 3 spot on song-identification app Shazam. “On Shazam, I think it had 600,000 Shazams of people going, ‘Hey, man, what’s that song? I’ll Shazam it,'” Townshend said.
The Who are scheduled to kick off their The Who Hits Back! tour on April 22. It wraps up on Nov. 5.
The Who, Royal Albert Hall, London, March 25, 2022
2. “Squeeze Box”
3. “The Kids Are Alright”
5. “Behind Blue Eyes”
6. “Real Good Looking Boy”
7. “Break the News”
8. “She Rocked My World”
9. “Beads on One String”
10. “Eminence Front”
11. “Pinball Wizard”
12. “Who Are You”
13. “Let My Love Open the Door” (Pete Townshend song)
14. “Baba O’Riley”
15. “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
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