Open main menu

The Who Tour 1970 was a series of performances and tours by The Who in support of both their Tommy and Live at Leeds albums.

The Who Tour 1970
Tour by The Who
Associated album"Tommy"
Start date16 January 1970
End date20 December 1970
No. of shows76 (approximately)
The Who concert chronology



As in most of 1969, the band's stage act was dominated by the stage performance of the rock opera Tommy, which had been the centerpiece of their show since the previous spring. The year began with the group bringing Tommy to various European opera houses, a trend they had begun in December 1969 when they performed at the London Coliseum. Included were January stops at the Champs-Elysees Theatre in Paris, the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, and three opera houses in Germany. The band then focused again on recording a live album, having abandoned the idea of wading through the hours of tape they had from recording shows during their North American tour the previous autumn. While 14 February Leeds University and 15 February Hull City Hall performances were both recorded, only the Leeds recording was deemed suitable for release, as the bass track was inadvertently not captured during the first few songs at the Hull show. The result was the legendary Live at Leeds, which became a hallmark live rock album and has been released three more times since its initial May 1970 debut (the 2010 "Super Deluxe" edition would include both the Leeds and Hull performances for the first time).

After beginning recording sessions for a planned new album, the group returned to the United States for a 30-day tour in June to support Live at Leeds. In the year since the release of Tommy, the group had become rock superstars and now commanded considerably larger venues than on previous stints in the country, when they played mostly in theatres and colleges. The tour began with the band's final opera house date, as they performed two shows at New York City's Metropolitan Opera House in what was erroneously billed as their final performance of Tommy (which in reality was kept in their act for the rest of 1970). While the rock opera remained the focal point of the set, the band also featured their latest single, "The Seeker" on this tour, although it was dropped after only two weeks and would not be performed again until 2000. They also added some material from their in-progress album (eventually abandoned in favour of Townshend's Lifehouse project), performing "Water" and "I Don't Even Know Myself" regularly; "Naked Eye", although unfinished in the studio, was performed in various arrangements on the tour as well, generally during the long show-ending jams catalysed by "My Generation". The group's stage show on this tour would basically remain for the rest of the year.

Following the American tour, the band was one of the headlining acts at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and embarked on a short European tour shortly afterward. A number of shows in the United Kingdom followed, the last being a Christmas benefit concert at The Roundhouse in London where they included what was intended to be the last complete performance of Tommy, although it would be played again a few times in 1989. Townshend would lead the group into his Lifehouse vision when they began performing in 1971.

Live releasesEdit

Live material from 1970 (excluding TV appearances where the band mimed to pre-recorded material) has appeared on a number of different releases:

Tour bandEdit

Typical set listsEdit

European Opera House and Live Recording DatesEdit

The band played several shows in various opera houses in Europe starting on 16 January at the Champs-Elysees Theatre in Paris, as well as two shows in February that were recorded for the purposes of a live album. The set for these shows was the same as in late 1969, with shows again ending with long versions of "My Generation" that included themes from Tommy and other instrumental passages. The group also played a short series of university shows in England in April and May, but no set list information for these dates has surfaced.

All songs written by Pete Townshend unless otherwise specified.

  1. "Heaven and Hell" (John Entwistle)
  2. "I Can't Explain"
  3. "Fortune Teller" (Naomi Neville)
  4. "Tattoo"
  5. "Young Man Blues" (Mose Allison)
  6. "Substitute"
  7. "Happy Jack"
  8. "I'm a Boy"
  9. "A Quick One, While He's Away"
  10. "Overture"
  11. "It's a Boy"
  12. "1921"
  13. "Amazing Journey"
  14. "Sparks"
  15. "Eyesight to the Blind" (Sonny Boy Williamson II)
  16. "Christmas"
  17. "The Acid Queen"
  18. "Pinball Wizard"
  19. "Do You Think It's Alright?"
  20. "Fiddle About" (John Entwistle)
  21. "Tommy, Can You Hear Me?"
  22. "There's a Doctor"
  23. "Go to the Mirror!"
  24. "Smash the Mirror"
  25. "Miracle Cure"
  26. "Sally Simpson"
  27. "I'm Free"
  28. "Tommy's Holiday Camp" (Keith Moon)
  29. "We're Not Gonna Take It"/"See Me, Feel Me"
  30. "Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart)
  31. "Shakin' All Over" (Johnny Kidd)
  32. "My Generation" (usually including "See Me, Feel Me", "Naked Eye (instrumental)", "Coming Out To Get You" and "Sparks".)

Also occasionally played were:

"Fortune Teller", "Tattoo", "Happy Jack", "I'm a Boy", and "A Quick One, While He's Away" were all dropped after these dates.

US TourEdit

A 30-day tour of the United States began with two shows at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City on 7 June, concluding with a show at Tanglewood Music Shed in Lenox, Massachusetts on 7 July that was filmed for an aborted TV special. The set for the tour was altered somewhat to allow for four new songs, "The Seeker" (dropped after two weeks), "Water", "I Don't Even Know Myself", and occasional performances of "Naked Eye".

All songs written by Pete Townshend unless otherwise specified.

  1. "Heaven and Hell" (John Entwistle)
  2. "I Can't Explain"
  3. "Young Man Blues" (Mose Allison)
  4. "The Seeker" (dropped after 19 June)
  5. "Water"
  6. "Overture"
  7. "It's a Boy"
  8. "1921"
  9. "Amazing Journey"
  10. "Sparks"
  11. "Eyesight to the Blind" (Sonny Boy Williamson II)
  12. "Christmas"
  13. "The Acid Queen"
  14. "Pinball Wizard"
  15. "Do You Think It's Alright?"
  16. "Fiddle About"
  17. "Tommy, Can You Hear Me?"
  18. "There's a Doctor"
  19. "Go to the Mirror!"
  20. "Smash the Mirror"
  21. "Miracle Cure"
  22. "Sally Simpson" (dropped after 9 June)
  23. "I'm Free"
  24. "Tommy's Holiday Camp" (Keith Moon)
  25. "We're Not Gonna Take It"/"See Me, Feel Me"
  26. "Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart)
  27. "Shakin' All Over" (Johnny Kidd)
  28. "Spoonful" (Willie Dixon) (Dropped after 16 June)
  29. "My Generation" (usually including "See Me, Feel Me", "Naked Eye (instrumental)" and "Sparks". "I Don't Even Know Myself" was included on 14 June.)

There were some set list substitutions, variations, and order switches during the tour. Some other songs were played which are not in the above lists:

August–September DatesEdit

Following the US tour, the group played several dates in England, then the Isle of Wight Festival; a short European tour followed. The set was the same as on the previous tour, with the exception of "Shakin' All Over" now segueing into the rock standard "Twist and Shout"; the band also stopped including Tommy themes in their long versions of "My Generation" and often moved it into "Naked Eye" and "Magic Bus".

UK TourEdit

The band finished the year with sporadic dates in the United Kingdom starting on 6 October in Cardiff, Wales. These were the last dates in which they showcased Tommy, which would not be performed in complete form again until 1989. They continued to play the same basic set as in August and September, occasionally adding loose versions of Free's "All Right Now" towards the end of the show. Their last performance of the year was at a charity benefit at The Roundhouse in London on 20 December, which also featured Elton John. Of note is that this tour is the last in the group's history in which no live recordings have surfaced.

Tour datesEdit

Date City Country Venue
European Opera House and live recording dates
16 January 1970 Paris France Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
17 January 1970
24 January 1970 Copenhagen Denmark Royal Theatre
26 January 1970 Cologne Germany Opernhaus
27 January 1970 Hamburg Opernhaus
28 January 1970 Berlin Deutschland Stadt Opera House
30 January 1970 Amsterdam Netherlands Concertgebouw
14 February 1970 Leeds England University Refectory
15 February 1970 Hull Hull City Hall
United Kingdom university dates
18 April 1970 Leicester England Leicester University
25 April 1970 Nottingham Portland Building, Nottingham University
27 April 1970 Dunstable Civic Hall
1 May 1970 Exeter Great Hall
2 May 1970 Sheffield Sheffield University
8 May 1970 Kent Eliot College, University of Kent at Canterbury
9 May 1970 Manchester Manchester University
15 May 1970 Lancaster University of Lancaster
16 May 1970 York Derwent College, University of York
North America
6 June 1970 New York City United States Metropolitan Opera House
7 June 1970
9 June 1970 Denver Mammoth Gardens
10 June 1970
13 June 1970 San Diego Convention Hall
14 June 1970 Anaheim Anaheim Stadium
15 June 1970 Berkeley Berkeley Community Theatre
16 June 1970
19 June 1970 Dallas Dallas Memorial Auditorium
20 June 1970 Houston Hofheinz Pavilion, University of Houston
21 June 1970 Memphis Ellis Auditorium
22 June 1970 Atlanta Municipal Auditorium
24 June 1970 Philadelphia The Spectrum
25 June 1970 Cincinnati Cincinnati Music Hall
26 June 1970
27 June 1970 Cleveland Public Auditorium
29 June 1970 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
1 July 1970 Chicago Auditorium Theatre
2 July 1970 Kansas City Freedom Palace
3 July 1970 Minneapolis Minneapolis Auditorium
4 July 1970 Chicago Auditorium Theatre
5 July 1970 Detroit Cobo Hall
7 July 1970 Lenox Tanglewood Music Shed
25 July 1970 Dunstable England Civic Hall
8 August 1970 Sutton Coldfield The Belfry
24 August 1970 Wolverhampton Wolverhampton Civic Hall
29 August 1970 Isle of Wight Isle of Wight Festival 1970
12 September 1970 Münster Germany Halle Münsterland
13 September 1970 Offenbach Stadthalle
16 September 1970 Rotterdam Netherlands De Doelen
17 September 1970
18 September 1970 Amsterdam Concertgeboew
20 September 1970 Copenhagen Denmark Falkoner Centret Teatret
21 September 1970 Aarhus Vejlby-Risskov Hallen
6 October 1970 Cardiff Wales Sophia Gardens
7 October 1970 Manchester England Free Trade Hall
8 October 1970 London Orchid Ballroom
10 October 1970 Brighton Old Refectory, Sussex University
11 October 1970 Birmingham Birmingham Theatre (now Hippodrome)
13 October 1970 Leeds Locarno Ballroom
16 October 1970 Stoke Trentham Gardens
17 October 1970 Norwich University Of East Anglia
18 October 1970 London Lewisham Odeon
22 October 1970 Stockton-on-Tees ABC Cinemas
23 October 1970 Glasgow Scotland Green's Playhouse
24 October 1970 Sheffield England Sheffield University
25 October 1970 Liverpool Liverpool Empire Theatre
26 October 1970 Stoke-on-Trent Trentham Gardens
29 October 1970 London Hammersmith Palais
5 November 1970 Birmingham Kinetic Circus
21 November 1970 Leeds University Refectory
28 November 1970 Coventry Lanchester Polytechnic
5 December 1970 Norwich Lads' Club
15 December 1970 Newcastle upon Tyne Mayfair Ballroom
16 December 1970 Scarborough Futurist Theatre
20 December 1970 Chalk Farm Roundhouse

See alsoEdit


  • Neill, Andy; Matt Kent (2002). Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicles of The Who 1958–1978. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 1-58663-133-0.
  • McMichael, Joe; 'Irish Jack' Lyons (1997). The Who Concert File. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-6316-9.

External linksEdit