Roger Daltrey Scoffs at Retirement, Belts Out Who Classics, Deep Cuts, and Cool Covers During Show at Famed Tanglewood Venue

A rainstorm passed through Lenox, Massachusetts, in the afternoon of Saturday, June 22, making way for a beautiful, balmy night and setting the scene for an inspired performance by Who frontman Roger Daltrey at the famed Tanglewood venue.

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To say Daltrey was in good vocal form would be an understatement. The 80-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s belted out 20 or so songs with power, clarity, and, sometimes, nuance.

Daltrey and his solo band kicked off the concert with a rendition of Who bandmate Pete Townshend’s 1980 solo hit “Let My Love Open the Door.” The two-hour show featured a mix of classic Who songs and deep cuts—nearly all written by Townshend, of course—as well as selections from Roger’s solo career and a few interesting cover songs.

[Get Tickets to See Roger Daltrey Perform Live via StubHub]

Among the Who classics Daltrey performed were “Who Are You,” “Squeeze Box,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and “Baba O’Riley.” The lesser-known Who tunes he sang included “So Sad About Us,” “Naked Eye,” and “Real Good Looking Boy.”

Daltrey’s solo work was represented, in part, by his 1975 U.K. hit “Giving It All Away,” two songs from the 1980 McVicar soundtrack—“Waiting for a Friend” and the Top-20 U.S. hit “Without Your Love”—and the Townshend-penned 1985 near-hit “After the Fire.”

Among the covers Daltrey and company performed was “Freedom Ride,” a song from the 1998 Largo project originally sung by Taj Mahal. They also played two classic Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes, “Born on the Bayou” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” and the 1986 Paul Simon song “The Boy in the Bubble,” from the Graceland album.

[RELATED: “Rain” O’er Me? Watch The Who’s Roger Daltrey Sing a Classic CCR Song at His Solo Tour Kickoff Show]

Daltrey Fielded Fan-Submitted Questions

Throughout the show, Daltrey also stopped to interact with the audience and answer a series of fan-submitted questions that were written on slips of paper.

During these interludes, Roger was asked if Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” was really written about his longtime wife, model Heather Taylor, which he confirmed. Hendrix dated Taylor before Daltrey met her in 1968. The couple have been married since 1971.

Another fan asked if Daltrey really was considering retiring. The singer responded by adamantly asking, “Does this look like retirement?” He also noted that he wasn’t sure whether The Who would tour again, but he insisted he planned to keep performing.

Daltrey also responded to a question about whether he still misses Who drummer Keith Moon, who died in 1978.

“I miss him every day,” Roger said. “He lives in my heart. He was so talented, but so f—ed up.”

The fan questions also inspired Daltrey to kick into a couple of abbreviated versions of Who songs that weren’t part of the planned set—“Pinball Wizard” and the Who’s Next deep cut “Love Ain’t for Keeping.”

About Daltrey’s Backing Band

Daltrey was accompanied by a nine-piece backing group that included three members of The Who’s current touring group—guitarist/backing singer Simon Townshend, violinist Katie Jacoby, and backing singer/mandola player Billy Nicholls. The band also featured acclaimed percussionist Jody Linscott, a previous Townshend and Who collaborator, and veteran keyboardist/accordionist Geraint Watkins.

Simon, who is Pete Townshend’s younger brother, stepped to the mic to sing lead on a version of the Who’s Next gem “Going Mobile.” As Daltrey pointed out, “Going Mobile,” which originally was sung by Pete, was never performed by The Who in concert. The younger Townshend also did a great job taking on his brother’s lead vocal section of “Naked Eye.”

Jacoby was a highlight in and of herself. One of her standout moments was recreating the synth intro to “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on violin. As it had been on The Who’s recent orchestral tours, Jacoby’s big showcase was playing the celebratory fiddle solo at the end of “Baba O’Riley.”

It’s worth noting, as Daltrey did during the concert, that Nicholls wrote the two songs Roger performed from McVicar.

Other Concerts Highlights

For his performance of The Who’s tongue-in-cheek 1975 hit “Squeeze Box,” Daltrey asked just the ladies and then just the men in the audience to sing the song’s “in and out” refrain.

Daltrey explained before performing “Won’t Get Fooled Again” that he no longer would do the song’s trademark scream, because he was tired of waking up the next morning with no voice. Instead, he asked the audience to scream for him and, of course, the crowd obliged.

Daltrey brought the show to a close with a rocking rendition of jazz artist Mose Allison’s “Young Man Blues.” The Who began playing the tune in concert during the 1960s, and famously included a version on their 1970 Live at Leeds album.

About KT Tunstall’s Opening Set

Scottish singer/songwriter KT Tunstall opened the show with an entertaining set that included renditions of her hits “Other Side of the World,” “Black Horse and Cherry Tree,” and “Suddenly I See.” Using a looping device, Tunstall was a veritable one-woman band.

At one point, Tunstall explained that she wanted to play a Who song in honor of Daltrey, so she asked him if there was a tune by the band that wasn’t in his set that he’d like to hear her sing. She then proceeded to play “Acid Queen,” from the Tommy rock opera.

Daltrey’s Remaining 2024 Solo Tour Plans

Daltrey’s North American solo tour continues on Sunday, June 23, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The trek is mapped out through a June 29 gig in at the Ravinia Festival near Chicago.

Tickets for Daltrey’s concerts are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

Roger Daltrey, Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood, Lenox, MA, 6/22/2024:

“Let My Love Open the Door”
“Freedom Ride”
“Who Are You”
“Waiting for a Friend”
“So Sad About Us”
“After the Fire”
“Days of Light”
“Giving It All Away”
“Squeeze Box”
“Naked Eye”
“Won’t Get Fooled Again”
“Going Mobile” (sung by Simon Townshend)
“Real Good Looking Boy”
“Born on the Bayou”
“Pinball Wizard” (snippet)
“Love Ain’t for Keeping” (snippet)
“Have You Ever Seen the Rain”
“Without Your Love”
“Boy in the Bubble”
“Baba O’Riley”
“Young Man Blues”

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Photo by Hilary Scott

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