It's official: The Who will play Wisconsin's historic Alpine Valley Music Theatre Sept. 8

Piet Levy
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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It’s official: The Who will rock out here in the fields — er, the hills — of East Troy.

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend’s seminal classic rock band will play Alpine Valley Music Theatre Sept. 8, part of the 29-date North America "Moving On! Tour," with support from a full symphony.

The Who will play Alpine Valley Music Theatre for the first time in 30 years Sept. 8 as part of its "Moving On! Tour" with a full symphony.

"Just because it's The Who with an orchestra, in no way will it compromise the way Pete and I deliver our music," Daltrey said in a statement. "This will be full throttle Who with horns and bells on.”

The official news followed some Facebook hints over the weekend, when the Live Nation-operated Alpine posted a video that also appeared on the Who's Facebook page, hinting at a tour.

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It’ll be the band’s first concert at the outdoor amphitheater since playing three shows there in 1989, when the band reunited for a 25th-anniversary tour. (The Who also played the Marcus Amphitheater in 1997, and the BMO Harris Bradley Center in 2016.) 

It’s a bit of a surprise booking, and a pretty remarkable one, for a long-struggling venue largely getting by on a few perennials, like Dave Matthews Band, Zac Brown Band, and Jimmy Buffett, since 2011. 

Alpine even closed down for a summer, a first in its 42-year history, in 2017 when Live Nation was unable to lock in any acts. 

But for 2019, Alpine can boast one of its strongest seasons in years.

This year, in addition to the Who, Phish will be back in East Troy for the first time in four years, with three shows in July. Jimmy Buffett is also returning to Alpine for the first time in two years, after opting to play Wrigley Field instead in 2017 and 2018. And a reunited Hootie & the Blowfish will also play Alpine Aug. 23 as part of its first tour in a decade.

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Fan club presales for the Who show begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday on the band's website. Tickets are available to the general public beginning at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting

Each pair of tickets purchased online will include a code for a CD copy of the Who's forthcoming new studio album, its first since 2006. 

And while the Who, unlike its touring peers like Elton John, KISS and Ozzy Osbourne, isn't billing this as a final run, Townshend said in a Rolling Stone article Friday he may not have too many shows left in him. 

“I think it is always a mistake to ever say ‘farewell,’ ” he told Rolling Stone. “But this will possibly be my last tour. I’m just being realistic about going through the 75th year of my life. 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.”

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Piet Levy talks about concerts, local music and more on "TAP'd In" with Jordan Lee, 8 a.m. Thursdays on WYMS-FM (88.9). Follow him on Twitter @pietlevy and on Facebook at


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