Feb 12, 2020: The Who Play Club Shows to Celebrate ‘Live at Leeds’ 50th

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The Who celebrated the 50th anniversary of their historic 1970 concert at Leeds University with the first two of four acoustic club shows that were held on Feb. 12, 2020. (They were followed by two more on Feb. 14.) All four were instant sell-outs when tickets went on-sale in mid-December 2019. All were held at a venue called Pryzm in Kingston-Upon-Thames, U.K., outside of London, which is miles away from the university where they famously performed exactly 50 years earlier, on February 14, 1970.

The setlist for both of the Feb. 12 shows was just eight songs, spanning early favorites like “Substitute” and “The Kids Are Alright” through two tracks from the well-received Dec. 2019 release, WHO.

The “Live at Kingston” performances are now included in a deluxe edition of WHO. It’s also available as a 7-inch singles box. (See links below.)

Watch the opening song, “Substitute,” from the Feb. 12 early show

Watch them perform “Squeeze Box” from 1975’s The Who By Numbers at the Feb. 12 early show

Tickets for the shows were just £13.00, the equivalent of $16.84. A ticket and a CD copy of The Who‘s new album, WHO, was only £17.00.

Watch “Behind Blue Eyes” from 1971’s Who’s Next, from the Feb. 12 early show

Five songs into the early show on Feb. 14, as Daltrey strapped on a guitar, Townshend asked him, “Are you going to play on this?” When the “Guv’nor” replied, “Yeah,” Townshend deadpanned, “Oh, fuck…” as the crowd roared.

Watch them perform their mainstay, “The Kids Are Alright.” (In the second clip, they offered an extra verse to the song.)

Those in attendance on Feb. 14 were treated to two additional songs when the Who offered a bit of Eddie Cochran’s “Three Steps to Heaven” and gave their first live performance since 2008 of their own “Tattoo.”

To get a sense of how intimate the concerts were, here’s a clip from the early show on Feb. 14, where Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend talk about their attempt to score a #1 album for the new album, only to be blocked, as Townshend recalls, by “that f**king c*nt Rod Stewart. We love him… actually he’s an old buddy of ours.” After more back-and-forth and thanking the fans, they perform “Behind Blue Eyes.”

The club dates were held roughly one month before the band was scheduled to begin its 2020 U.K. tour. Those dates were ultimately pushed back to 2021, due to the pandemic.

Before performing “Break the News” from the new album, Daltrey complemented its songwriter (and Pete’s younger brother), Simon Townshend, who has been with The Who’s touring band for years. “Simon is such a great songwriter. It’s great to find a song that fits on a Who album.”

Watch as Daltrey forgets the words for the song’s live debut

That’s percussionist Jody Linscott, who has collaborated with Townshend and Daltrey many times.

Next, they performed “She Rocked My World,” from the new album

Watch them perform “Pinball Wizard” at the Feb. 12 early show

For the finale, it was just Pete and Rog

The Who, Pryzm, Kingston-Upon-Thames, U.K., Feb. 12, 2020 Early Show Setlist

Squeeze Box
Behind Blue Eyes
The Kids Are Alright
Break the News
She Rocked My World
Pinball Wizard
Won’t Get Fooled Again

Thanks to Jeff Galasso for the great vids!

Before each of the performances, fans lined up outside the venue for hours for the rare opportunity to see the band up close.

The Who updated their well-received Dec. 2019 studio album, WHO, with live performances from their February 2020 club dates.(If The Who tour, tickets will be available at Ticketmaster and here.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

The Who’s catalog, including their deluxe box sets, are available in the U.S. here and in the U.K. here.

Best Classic Bands Staff
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