When a legendary rock band from the 60’s announces a major tour, that’s news. When they honor tickets from a cancelled 1979 show, that’s even more news.
This week, the surviving members of The Who (i.e., Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend) announced a 36-date North American Tour this fall to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their double vinyl album/rock opera Quadrophenia, during which the opera will be performed in entirety. But the band didn’t stop there.
They have also announced that at their tour stop in Providence, Rhode Island, they will honor any tickets from their cancelled show from 1979, which was pulled in the aftermath of the Cincinnati tragedy.
In one of the most marking moments for the band, on December 3, 1979, 11 people were killed and 26 injured in Cincinnati as fans stampeded, attempting to get into Riverfront Coliseum when a sound check was mistaken for the start of the concert. The mayor of Providence subsequently cancelled the show over safety concerns. The Who has not played in Providence since—until now, that is.
The Who will be performing in the same venue at which they were slated in 1979 (then called the Providence Civic Center, now called Dunkin Donuts Center—don’t you just love corporate sponsorship?), and any tickets from that cancelled show still held by fans will be honored.
Generous though this gesture may be, it’s not likely that many of those tickets will be presented. Understandably, many (if not most) ticketholders turned those tickets in for refunds when the show was cancelled. But any fans who happened to hold on to their tickets for keepsake reasons now have a reason to use them. If nothing else, it’s a great way for The Who to honor their Rhode Island fans after being away for more than 30 years.
This is not the first time The Who has revived Quadrophenia. They toured the rock opera at the 25-year mark back in 1996-97, and re-released a deluxe “directors cut” edition of the album in November 2011.
The 36-date tour will happen in two legs from November to February, with a break for the holidays. Tickets go on sale to fan club members today, July 20, and to the general public a week from now. The Who will close out their tour with the Providence, Rhode Island show.
(Photo: Joep Vullings.)