DAYTON, OH (April 24, 2018) – On Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 8 pm in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present the sixth and final concert in the 2017–2018 Dayton Freight Rockin’ Orchestra Series, The Who’s Tommy. The Dayton Philharmonic welcomes to the stage Dayton favorites Jeans ’n Classics (JnC), with founder Peter Brennan, for a celebration of the Rock Opera Tommy performed in its entirety. DPAA’s Innovation Partner for this 2017-2018 The Great Ones Season is the DP&L Foundation: Powering Innovation in the Performing Arts.
In 1959, two young teenage boys named Pete Townshend and John Entwistle got together to form a traditional jazz band called The Confederates while attending Acton County School in the London Borough of Ealing, England. Pete played the banjo, and John played the French horn. A few short years later, a former schoolmate by the name of Roger Daltrey, who had been one year ahead of Pete and John in school, was assembling a group of musicians for a band, and he recruited John as bass guitarist. John proposed to Roger that his old trad–jazz bandmate Pete should join them, and so entered Pete Townshend on lead guitar. As it goes with most bands in the early stages, bandmates joined and bandmates left over things like disagreements or other life commitments, and Roger eventually assumed the role of lead singer of the band, who were now calling themselves The Who. To complete this famous foursome, in the spring of 1964, after an impromptu audition at the Oldfield pub in Greenford, England, drummer Keith Moon came on board, and the rest, as they say, is history.
After a few years and a few strong album releases, The Who began recording Tommy at IBC Studios in London in September 1968. In March of 1969, “Pinball Wizard” was released, and it quickly jumped to number four in the UK and number five in the US. The following month The Who previewed Tommy live before the UK press at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London, and the critics raved. The Tommy LP was released on May 23, 1969, and it flew to number two in the UK and number four in the US, staying on the charts for a staggering 47 weeks. That summer, The Who played Tommy to ecstatic audiences all across America. The success of Tommy in England and the United States turned the group’s finances around within a year and almost overnight The Who, along with The Rolling Stones, became the hottest live rock ticket in the UK. This pivotal rock album literally rocketed The Who to megastardom worldwide.
The songs for the live rock opera and the corresponding album Tommy were mostly written by The Who’s Pete Townsend and tell the tale of Tommy, a deaf, dumb, and blind boy. The story focuses on his life and his complex family relationships. Many of the songs from Tommy stand on their own and have been smash hits for The Who outside the rock opera, including “See Me, Feel Me,” “Pinball Wizard,” “I’m Free,” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
Jeans ’n Classics and the Dayton Philharmonic are honored to join forces this coming May for a full presentation of The Who’s Tommy on stage at the Schuster Center. With the full force of the Dayton Philharmonic and the incredible talent of JnC founder and lead guitarist Peter Brennan, pianist John Regan, bassist Mitch Tyler, drummer Jeff Christmas, and vocalists David Blamires, Andrea Koziol, Stephanie Martin, and Kathryn Rose, the Schuster Center is going to experience a rock event like none other before it.
Pete Townsend once said, “Rock ‘n Roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them.” Buy your ticket to this one-of-a-kind symphonic rock opera, bring your problems (but be ready to leave them at the door), and don’t be afraid to dance the night away with Jeans ’n Classics and the Dayton Philharmonic Rockin’ Orchestra!
Tickets for The Who’s Tommy in Concert range from $29 to $81 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at the box office. For more information or to order subscriptions, including flexible subscription types that include performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.