Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Teater

Performing "Tommy" at the Royal Theatre

In January 1970, the Who had finally decided to visit Scandinavia with their rock opera "Tommy" occupying the main part of the stage show. To the disappointment of some rock&roll conservatives, however, they decided to perform their shows at a number of opera houses around Europe, instead of the usual sports arenas. Some people were sure that this was just another publicity stunt by the Who management, and others were just angry because there were so few tickets, but again Pete explained why they chose to do this tour.

- We want the young people to come into the opera houses, which are regarded as symbols of authority by kids. Rock and roll is a mirror of the youth cult, and although they're kids today, they will some day take over, said Pete.

They were denied a booking at the La Scala in Milan and several other famous opera houses, but did play at opera houses in Paris, Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam, and were welcome to play at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. They didn't really play at the real opera stage though, called "the old scene", but were tricked (?) into playing at the "new scene" across the street. This only added to the ticket shortage since the new scene, or "Stærekassen" as it was popularly called, only held about 1100 people. The Who could have played for ten times as many.

When the Who eventually took the stage on the 24th of January there were- apart from the usual rock&roll crowd- who had been standing in line for hours in order to get tickets- also some of the more common opera attenders, like politicians and their wives etc. These folks got in free and occupied the very front row of the theatre, but after the intermission their seats were all empty.

The Who started their show with a "warm-up section" consisting of "Substitute", "A Quick One" and others. Then came "Tommy" played virtually as a whole, and they ended with "My Generation". In fact, their set list was identical to the one played at Leeds only three weeks later. Even part of song-"lead ins" were the same. Their music came through as strong as ever, and they didn't at all adjust to the opera surrounding. Everyone in the band played as well as they could, even Keith although he seemed to be more loony, this evening, than usual.

The following article appeared in a Copenhagen based newspaper a few days later, written by a journalist who dared enter the Who's dressing room after a show.