Rock Legends The Who Still Aren't Coming to Cincinnati, But You Can See Them With an Orchestra in Indy Later This Year

Iconic rockers' 2019 North American tour — which could be their last — will also hit the Cleveland, Ohio area. But like with every tour since after 1979, Cincy is not on the itinerary

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click to enlarge The Who in 1975 - Photo: Jim Summaria (CC-by-SA 3.0)
Photo: Jim Summaria (CC-by-SA 3.0)
The Who in 1975

Last week, The Who announced that they would embark on a North American tour and release a new album in 2019. Today, the dates were announced, and like with every tour since 1979, Cincinnati is not on the itinerary.

On Dec. 3, 1979, one of the worst concert tragedies in history occurred at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum (now called U.S. Bank Arena) when The Who performed there. Eleven people died in a stampede to get inside the arena as fans pushed through the doors upon hearing the group soundchecking before the concert. The Who has not performed in Cincinnati since.

A memorial marker was erected at the site in 2015 to honor the victims. The event led to major changes in safety procedures in the concert industry.

The Who's upcoming tour — which will come to a few somewhat nearby cities, including venues near Indianapolis (on May 18) and Cleveland, Ohio (Sept. 10) — will find the band performing with local symphony orchestras, according to recent interviews with singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend in Rolling Stone. The group will also be playing new material on the tour; a new album — The Who's first since 2006 — is in the works.

Though the band members have never explicitly said they would never perform in Cincinnati, they've avoided playing a concert in the city for nearly 40 years now. And The Who may well never end up playing Cincinnati again — in the Rolling Stone interview, Daltrey said this may be the band's final tour of the States.

"I’m just being realistic about going through the 75th year of my life,” he said. “I have to be realistic that this is the age I am and voices start to go after a while. I don’t want to be not as good as I was two years ago.”

Pearl Jam paid tribute to The Who concert victims when they performed at U.S. Bank Arena in 2014.

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