It’s been almost 50 years since the Who first sang, “Hope I die before I get old.” And aren’t we glad they didn’t?
The Who “Hits 50!” tour roars into the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, May 17, then makes a stop in Atlantic City a few days later on May 22—with one final swing through the area in November. This is no maudlin anniversary acknowledgement; no resting on laurels here.
With a 23-song set list that covers nearly every facet of the band’s career from the early 1960s on, the two-hour-plus show reminds fans just how much of this music was the soundtrack to our lives.
Consider that the Who—once consisting of four very diverse and dynamic personalities—is down to just two original members. Yet lead singer Roger Daltrey and chief composer and guitarist Peter Townshend are still carrying the torch without compromise. While original drummer Keith Moon’s absence has been felt for decades, the death of bassist John Entwistle on the eve of a 2002 tour was a major blow.
But the core lineup has soldiered on with bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Zak Starkey, son of Ringo Starr. Rounding out the touring group is Townshend’s younger brother, Simon, on rhythm guitar, Loren Gold on keyboards and backing vocals, John Coury on keys, and multi-instrumentalist Frank Simes as music director.
Brand-new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee—and Wynnewood native—Joan Jett will open the show, blasting through 11 songs with her venerable Blackhearts. Her punk-pop sensibility meshes perfectly with that of the Who, arguably the grandfather of all punk bands.
The Who “Hits 50!”
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Wells Fargo Center
Sunday, May 17
Friday, May 22