The Who’s on first.
At least that’s the case this summer when a modern-day British Invasion will hit the shores of Lake Tahoe. The Who will bring its 2017 Tommy & More tour to the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Lake Tahoe as part of the Summer Concert Series. The concert will be on Wednesday, Aug. 16.
Tickets for “An Evening with The Who” go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at Ticketmaster and Another Planet Entertainment websites. Top-tier tickets, including the entertainment fees, are $217.46; middle tier $162.96; and bleacher seats are $97.56.
“The music of The Who has a lasting quality,” Harveys spokesman John Packer said. “It’s multi-generational, not just my generation.”
It’s been a good run for the Brits. Last year, Peter Gabriel and Sting joined forces in Tahoe. In 2015, Sir Elton John performed here.
The Who is widely considered one of the world’s greatest rock and roll bands, in the company of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. More than 50 years of its inception, the band still is entertaining crowds across the globe.
Founding members Pete Townshend (guitar and vocals) and Roger Daltrey (guitar, vocals and harmonica) will lead the charge.
Daltrey, believe it or not, turned 73 last month. The man who once sang “I hope I die before I get old” seems intent on sticking around long enough to be the hardest-rocking octogenarian in the history of popular music. Townshend is 71 and, while he can’t leap as high as he did in the 1970s, can still windmill and power-chord with the ferocity of an entire generation of punk rockers he not only influenced, but somehow managed to outlive.
Most notably, this tour represents yet another reunion of sorts between Townshend and “Tommy,” the rock opera he wrote (with a couple of contributions from late bassist John Entwistle) for the band’s groundbreaking 1969 album of the same name.
The last major “Tommy” themed tour was in 1989, when the band played the rock opera in its entirely the first half the show, then returned for a hits-laden performance in the second half. Look for just a handful of “Tommy” tunes this time around instead of the entire rock opera; recent set lists suggest the band has figured out that most fans would rather hear “The Seeker” and “You Better You Bet” than “Cousin Kevin” and “Fiddle About.”
Other members of The Who’s current touring band are:
* Simon Townshend (guitar, mandolin and backing vocals). Simon is Pete Townshend’s baby brother and he’s been singing since the ripe old age of 9. He has been playing with The Who since 1996, and has been called the band’s “secret weapon.”
* In a major change, Jon Button is filling in for Pino Palladino on bass. Palladino, who has played with The Who since Entwistle’s death in 2002, is currently on the road with John Mayer Trio. Button is no stranger to Who tunes; he’s previously toured with Daltrey, and has also played with Sheryl Crow, Robben Ford and Shakira.
* Zak Starkey (drums). Son of Ringo Starrr, he received his first drum set from his godfather, Keith Moon, who he know as “Uncle Keith.” Ringo reportedly gave his son only one lesson on the drums, trying to sway him from a life of rock and roll. But look what happened.
* Loren Gold (keyboards and backing vocals). He was raised in Palo Alto, California, and has toured extensively with a number of artists since 2000, including Roger Daltrey since 2009 and The Who since 2012.
* John Corey (keyboards and backing vocals). He played piano and organ on The Who’s Quadrophenia & More tour in 2012-13. He has played keyboards and/or guitar with artists including The Eagles, Don Henley, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks and Eddie Money.
* Frank Simes (musical director and multi-instrumentalist). He plays keyboards, banjo, squeezebox, harmonica, mouth harp and claves. Simes began working as musical director of The Who in 2012 and toured with the band in 2013 during its Quadrophenia & More tour.
Last month, The Who announced an exclusive Las Vegas residency with six shows – July 29, Aug. 1, 4, 7, and 11 – at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Tickets cost from $500 to $75
The Who’s website posted: “Fans can expect the band to take them on an Amazing Journey through their entire career with songs from classic albums such as ‘Who’s Next,’ ‘Tommy,’ ‘Quadrophenia,’ ‘My Generation’ to the present day.”
In a December interview with Rolling Stone, Townshend said he enjoys playing for a new generation.
“It’s much nicer to play our music to younger audiences, who really haven’t grown up with it,” Townshend said. “That’s what struck me about the last five weeks of the tour; we were playing to a much larger number of younger people. I just feel, like, ‘Wow. I’m alive to see a new generation of people really get this stuff.’ It’s just a real kick.”
The history of the summer concert series at Harveys spans decades, but the major acts were booked after Harveys and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe merged in 2001. Some of the biggest shows have been Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Bob Dylan, The Eagles, Crazy Horse, KISS, Aerosmith, Widespread Panic and Phish.
-Mike Wolcott and Randy Hashagen