After a break for the holidays, The Who is ready to return to the road for a second North American leg of its "Quadrophenia and More" tour. The trek kicks off Monday night in Anaheim, California, and the British rock legends then will work their way to the East Coast, finishing up with a February 26 concert in Providence, Rhode Island.
The group's longtime touring guitarist, Simon Townshend, tells ABC News Radio that the new shows likely won't be very different from the ones The Who played last year. Those concerts featured a full performance of the band's 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia, plus a small selection of other classic Who songs.
"Normally, the shows do change a little," explains Townshend, "but I think this will stay the same 'cause it's been so bang on, and production-wise everything is so perfect."
Simon, whose the younger brother of Who guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend, tells ABC News Radio that he's really been enjoying the Quadrophenia shows because the band has been letting him step up to the mic and sing more, in particular the tune "The Dirty Jobs," on which he delivers the lead vocal.
"It's nice for me to…have a spot singing, because I think that's where I shine," he declares. "Doing background vocals, yeah, people hear you singing, but your voice is tucked away behind somebody else. Now, I've been given the opportunity to sing lead [and] it really makes a huge difference when people are, like, swooning around me."
The concerts also give Simon the chance to contribute his guitar talents to his favorite Who song, "Won't Get Fooled Again," which the group plays near the end of each show.
"'Won't Get Fooled Again,' I think, is such a great political statement but not, if you know what I mean," he says. "It's a clever play on words and it's great guitar playing. And the whole synthesizer arrangement is just so different."
Meanwhile, fans who plan to attend one of the upcoming concerts might want to try to get to the venue early, as they could very well get the chance to meet Simon and even take a photo with him.
"I go and see the fans before shows, which they love," Townshend tells ABC News Radio. "I didn't realize quite how important it was to people to go and just hang out for five, 10 minutes. I actually do about 40 minutes most days…It's just great."
After the group wraps up its trek, Simon will play a series of his own gigs to promote his recently released solo album, Looking Out Looking In. He also will be serving as Heart's opening act for that band's March tour of Canada. Log on to SimonTownshend.com to check out all of his forthcoming shows, and visit TheWho.com to view the band's complete itinerary.
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