The Who Hits 50! ended the second leg of its four concert tour in the United States on Saturday, May 30, at a familiar venue – the West Side Tennis Center in Forest Hills. The iconic rock band performed in the states for six weeks, including stops at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Barclays Center. It was also the third concert in three days at the Forest Hills venue, with Ed Sheeran having performed the previous two nights.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were the opening act. In addition to playing “Bad Reputation” and “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Jett included hits from her days with The Runaways, such as “Cherry Bomb” and “You Drive Me Wild”. Jett and the Blackhearts performed 11 songs in just over 40 minutes, finishing with “I Hate Myself For Loving You”.
After a 20-minute break, The Who came out to a huge ovation and played “I Can’t Explain”. Although in their 70s, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend kept up the energy for nearly two hours, finishing with “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” On the drums was Zak Starkey, son of Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr. Starkey has played with The Who since 1996.
The band also played fan favorites “My Generation”, “You Better You Bet”, “Eminence Front” and “Pinball Wizard”. Because of the 10 p.m. curfew set by the neighborhood, the band didn’t perform “Pictures of Lily” and “Slip Kid”, which they performed at their other U.S. concerts.
The Who last performed at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium on July 29 and July 31, 1971. The July 29 show made headlines when a security guard was stabbed to death by a gate-crasher while the band set up.
The Who will return to the Tri-State area in the fall when they will perform at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Oct. 25, and at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 27.