The Who will launch an extensive 2019 North American concert tour, dubbed Moving On! that will see the legendary English rock band accompanied by what the group is billing as “some of the best orchestras in the U.S. and Canada.”
A new, 13-song album is also in the works by the Who, whose leader and creative driving force — guitarist, singer and principal songwriter Pete Townshend — on Friday disclosed in an online post that he is taking medication to deal with his ongoing “manic depression.”
The tour is the Who’s first full U.S. concert trek since 2016.
The 2019 tour kicks off May 7 in Michigan at Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena and concludes Oct. 23 in Edmonton, Canada’s, Rogers Place arena. It will include three California dates — Oct. 11 and 13 at the Hollywood Bowl, and Oct. 16 at San Diego State University’s Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl.
All Moving On! tour dates and ticket information appear below. Each pair of tickets purchased will include “a redeemable code for a CD copy of the Who’s forthcoming album when it’s released,” according to a statement issued by the band Monday morning. The tour’s title does not appear to signal the graying band has retirement on its mind, at least not yet.
In that statement, which announced the Moving On! tour, Townshend enthused: “I love it. It is what both of us want to do. Move on, with new music, classic Who music, all performed in new and exciting ways. Taking risks, nothing to lose.”
Added Who singer Roger Daltrey: “Just because it's the Who with an orchestra, in no way will it compromise the way Pete and I deliver our music. This will be full throttle Who with horns and bells on.”
The prospect of releasing a new album — the Who’s first since 2006’s “Endless Wire” — was pivotal for Townshend, who — like Daltrey — is 74.
“I said I was not going to sign any [touring] contracts unless we have new material,” Townshend told Rolling Stone in an interview published Friday. “This has nothing to do with wanting a hit album. It has nothing to do with the fact that the Who need a new album. It’s purely personal. It’s about my pride, my sense of self-worth and self-dignity as a writer.”
Also on Friday, Townshend posted an 892-word essay entitled “A New Who Year Ahead,” on the Who’s website. In it, he writes candidly about what he describes as his seasonal affective disorder-fueled case of mild manic depression.
“At this time of year I suffer from a fairly mild form of manic depression that in the past has caused me to turn to all kinds of addictions, prescribed and otherwise,” Townshend wrote.
“I think it’s what we now know as SAD, but almost as soon as the days start to get longer, it gets better for me. I’m feeling much happier already, and it’s still January. I send out heartfelt love and compassion to all those who suffer from depression more seriously, and not just in the deep winter months.
“Accepting the reality of clinical and psychological depression must be The Big Cause for 2019 ... some artists have already been brave enough to speak about it. It’s not uncommon among creative people; it’s not uncommon period.
“Time to be aware, and be as kind as we can to people who suffer from depression that can disable them as surely as a car crash. Medication, very carefully handled and prescribed, can really help so many.”
The Who’s touring lineup will be completed by Townshend’s brother, guitarist/backup singer Simon Townshend, keyboardist Loren Gold, bassist Jon Button and drummer Zak Starkey, who is the son of Ringo Starr.
Tickets for the Who’s tour go on sale to the general public Friday at 10 a.m. at livenation.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.
A presale for Who fan club members starts Wednesday at 10 a.m. local time and runs through 10 p.m. Thursday.
The Who 2019 North American tour dates
May 7: Grand Rapids, Mich., Van Andel Arena
May 9: Buffalo, N.Y., KeyBank Center
May 11: Bristow, Va., Jiffy Lube Live
May 13: New York, Madison Square Garden
May 16: Nashville, Bridgestone Arena
May 18: Noblesville, Ind., Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
May 21: Chicago, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
May 23: Maryland Heights/St. Louis, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
May 25: Philadelphia, Citizens Bank Park
May 28: Detroit, Little Caesars Arena
May 3: Pittsburgh, PPG Paints Arena
June 1: Toronto, Scotiabank Arena
Sept. 6: St. Paul, Minn., Xcel Energy Center
Sept. 8: Alpine Valley, Wis., Alpine Valley Music Theatre
Sept. 1: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Blossom Music Center
Sept. 13: Boston, Fenway Park
Sept. 15: Wantagh, N.Y., Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
Sept. 18: Atlanta, State Farm Arena
Sept. 2: Fort Lauderdale, Fla., BB&T Center
Sept. 22: Tampa, Fla., Amalie Arena
Sept. 25: Houston, Toyota Center
Sept. 27: Dallas, American Airlines Center
Sept. 29: Denver, Pepsi Center
Oct. 11: Los Angeles, Hollywood Bowl
Oct. 13: Los Angeles, Hollywood Bowl
Oct. 16: San Diego, Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl San Diego State University
Oct. 19: Seattle, T-Mobile Park (formally Safeco Field)
Oct. 21: Vancouver, Canada, Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
Oct. 23: Edmonton, Canada, Rogers Place