The Who’s Orchestral Moving On! Tour Kicks Off in Grand Rapids: Set List, Videos
Pete Townshend told the audience as they opened the show, "Great to see you guys! Grand Rapids, Grand River … grand occasion" before the band launched into the first five songs from Tommy – "Overture," "It's A Boy," "1921," "Amazing Journey" and "Sparks."
There followed more material from Tommy and Quadrophenia, with the orchestra taking a break mid-performance for the central members of the band to play four songs on their own.
Watch the Who Perform 'Overture,' 'It's a Boy' and '1921'
Watch the Who Perform 'Pinball Wizard'
At the end of the show, which culminated in a stirring "Baba O'Riley" with violin solo by Katie Jacoby, Townshend thanked a clearly elated crowd for its support during what he called an "experiment."
He'd earlier said he was experiencing some "tension" as a result of having to "play with some discipline" to keep in time with the orchestra. "It’s great to see old faces, and new ones,” noted Roger Daltrey, who added he felt “just lucky to be around” at his age.
In the run-up to opening night, a pair of blog posts and videos about the tour rehearsals appeared on the band's website. Keyboard technician Brian Kehew took video of the band and orchestra separately running through the material and explained that arranger David Campbell "has been working specifically to get the orchestra to play like powerful rock musicians" so that "the horns or the strings to function like an electric guitar would – bolder notes, longer, bigger gestures."
Watch the Who Perform 'Who Are You'
Kehew added that Daltrey made the decision to change up the visual presentation, with less focus on the "bouncing pinballs, spinning cards, swimming sharks or ’60s miniskirts" on the video screens and more emphasis on the musicians. "It will look cooler and more interesting visually without losing exactly what is good about the band," Kehew said.
The tour will resume tomorrow at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The Who will remain on the road through June 1, when the first leg ends at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. They'll return to North America on Sept. 6 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and wrap it all up on Oct. 23 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Watch the Who Perform 'Love Rein O'er Me'
Watch the Who Perform 'Baba O'Riley'
The Who, Grand Rapids, Mich., May 7, 2019 Set List
2. “It’s A Boy”
4. “Amazing Journey”
6. “The Acid Queen”
7. “Pinball Wizard”
8. “We’re Not Gonna Take It”
9. “Who Are You”
10. “Imagine a Man”
11. “Eminence Front”
12. “Join Together”
13. “The Kids Are Alright” (The Who only)
14. “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (The Who only, acoustic)
15. “Behind Blue Eyes” (The Who only)
16. “Join Together” (The Who only)
17. "I’m One”
18. “The Punk Meets the Godfather”
20. “The Rock”
21. “Love Reign O’er Me”
22. “Baba O’Riley”