The Who kick off Teenage Cancer Trust 2024 with orchestral show

The Who kicked off the 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust concert series in London with a special orchestral show last night (March 18). See footage, images and the full setlist below.

This year’s edition of the charity’s annual run of gigs – curated by The Who frontman Roger Daltrey – is taking place at the historic Royal Albert Hall this week, with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Chemical Brothers and more also on the line-up.

Following an opening set from Squeeze, yesterday’s audience was treated to The Who’s first live show of 2024. The iconic group delivered a 21-track set that saw them put an orchestral spin on their catalogue, with a “band only” segment in the middle.

“It energises these shows, bringing in donations,” said guitarist Pete Townshend at one point in the evening, “which is, of course, you buying tickets. We appreciate it.”

The concert began with an airing of ‘I Can’t Explain’ ahead of orchestral takes on several cuts from The Who’s 1969 rock opera album ‘Tommy’, including ‘Pinball Wizard’, ‘Overture’ and ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’.

Later, the “band only” run featured airings of ‘The Kids Are Alright’, ‘My Generation’, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ and more.

The orchestra then returned for a triumphant final run of tunes consisting of ‘The Real Me’, ‘I’m One’, ‘5.15’, ‘The Rock’, ‘Love, Reign O’er Me’ and ‘Baba O’Reilly’.

The Who performing live on stage at the 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust concert series at the Royal Albert Hall in London
The Who at the 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust concert series in London. CREDIT: John Stead

The Who performing live on stage at the 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust concert series at the Royal Albert Hall in London
The Who at the 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust concert series in London. CREDIT: John Stead

The Who performing live on stage at the 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust concert series at the Royal Albert Hall in London
The Who at the 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust concert series in London. CREDIT: John Stead

The Who performing live on stage at the 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust concert series at the Royal Albert Hall in London
The Who at the 2024 Teenage Cancer Trust concert series in London. CREDIT: John Stead

The Who played:

With orchestra
I Can’t Explain
Overture
Amazing Journey
Sparks
Pinball Wizard
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Who Are You
Eminence Front

Band only
The Kids Are Alright
You Better You Bet
Substitute
My Generation
Cry If You Want
Won’t Get Fooled Again
Behind Blue Eyes

With orchestra
The Real Me
I’m One
5:15
The Rock
Love, Reign O’er Me
Baba O’Riley

Daltrey is stepping down as the curator for the Teenager Cancer Trust concert series this year after more than two decades.

The benefit shows have been taking place at the Royal Albert Hall since 2000, but took a break in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its initiation, the series has raised over £32million to support those struggling with cancer.

Last summer saw Daltrey and co. embark on an orchestral live tour in the UK. Speaking to NME in March 2023, the frontman described this set-up as being “really big, bold and sexy”.

“We really like that format, and I’ve always felt that it suits Townshend‘s music perfectly,” he explained. “When you hear real strings and amplify the orchestrations with the arrangements we’re doing, the sound is just extraordinary.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Daltrey talked about how the Teenage Cancer Trust funded 29 age-specific specialist units in NHS hospitals across the UK. “We’ve done remarkably well, but it’s not to say we can’t do better,” he told NME.

The singer will continue as an Honorary Patron of TCT, despite stepping down as curator of the charity’s annual concert series.

The Who are set to return to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow (March 20) before Daltrey participates in a special closing night event, dubbed ‘Ovation’, which will be “a celebration of 24 years of gigs for Teenage Cancer Trust”.

Also appearing at the latter show will be Kelly Jones, Robert Plant with Saving Grace, Eddie Vedder and Paul Weller. You can see the full line-up for the series and find ticket details here.


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