What’s different between Roger Daltrey's version of the tale depicting blind, deaf and dumb Tommy Walker and The Who’s 1989 tour featuring the 1969 album? As with the U.K. tour, the North American run is being described as the first start-to-finish performance of the rock opera. While The Who presented Tommy several times since the late 1960s, the band was known to leave out a song or two, most notably “Welcome” which was not included in the 1989 tour.
Daltrey and his band premiered their rendition of Tommy at the March 25 Teenage Cancer Trust at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Since then, fans have been lusting for a full-blown Tommy tour. For North American fans, today’s announcement was Christmas seven months early.
The AEG Live-produced tour launches in Hollywood, Fla., at the Seminole Hard Rock Sept. 13 and wraps in Winnipeg, Manitoba., at the MTS Centre Nov. 2. Stops in between include Boston at the Agganis Arena Sept. 17; Philadelphia at the Mann Center Sept. 21; Uniondale, N.Y., at Nassau Coliseum Sept. 23; Montreal at Place Des Arts Sept. 27; Ottawa, Ontario, at Scotiabank Place Sept. 28 and Toronto at Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Sept. 30.
Other cities where you’ll find Tommy include Minneapolis (Oct. 5); Grand Prairie, Texas (Oct. 12); Los Angeles (Oct. 19); Las Vegas (Oct. 22); Vancouver (Oct. 27) and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Nov. 1).
Who has the chops to back Daltrey in this Tommy undertaking? That would be guitarist Frank Simes, drummer Scott Deavours, bassist Jon Button and keyboardist Loren Gold. Also backing Daltrey on guitar will be Pete Townshend’s brother Simon, who has also played in The Who on the band’s recent tours.
“Tommy, an album that tells a story about a ‘deaf, dumb and blind boy’ who becomes the leader of a messianic movement, will always be seen as a turning point for the band,” Daltrey said. “Within it, I found the new voice of The Who and the band found its stride in making that music, adjusting it, using all that knowledge that we had from jazz and the blues into making it work in a rock way.”
Canadian shows go on sale May 19 while U.S. dates go up May 20. For more information, visit AEGLive.com.