Roger Daltrey has one of rock’s most legendary voices, but he doesn’t take it for granted. That’s why the set of solo dates he’ll be playing – beginning Oct. 10 in Vancouver – has been dubbed the Use It or Lose It Tour.
As lead singer for The Who, he’s lent his Olympian pipes to a staggering array of enduring rock ‘n’ roll anthems. And with plans for the band’s next tour still up in the air, Daltrey decided a solo jaunt – his first since 1985 – would be just the thing “to keep my voice in trim, so I’ll be ready,” he explains. “Those songs demand a lot of voice!”
Of course, the iconic singer’s vocal regimen is just part of the equation. “I thought it’d be nice to play smaller, more intimate venues,” he says. “I look forward to getting back to that. I want to give people a good night out. The economic situation being what it is these days, I think that’s what they want: to go out and feel they’ve had a good jolly-up.”
Those venues (which, though hardly small, are certainly intimate compared to the arenas The Who has been rocking for the last several decades) include Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, Denver’s Paramount Theatre, L.A’s Orpheum, Baltimore’s Lyric, and several prominent casinos, House of Blues locations and Hard Rock Cafes.
Daltrey will be joined onstage by a longtime collaborator, guitarist/backup singer Simon Townshend (“His harmonies work beautifully with my voice,” Daltrey notes), and a stellar crew of American players, including guitarist/musical director Frank Simes, keyboardist Loren Gold, bassist Jon Button and drummer Scott Devours.
Promising a healthy serving of Who songs (“but they’ll be my versions of them”), solo material – including some songs he’s never played live – and covers that pay tribute to his influences and admired contemporaries, Daltrey relishes the chance to showcase dimensions of his vocal ability that even longtime fans haven’t yet experienced. “I think I have one of those unique, recognizable rock voices,” he ventures with typical understatement. “Even in a Who show there’s enormous range, but this show will give me an even greater opportunity to explore.”
Although he prefers to keep his set lists a surprise, it’s no secret that Daltrey has over the years performed songs by the likes of Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Queen, among others, alongside favorites from his Who and solo catalogs.
The singer’s substantial solo discography includes the acclaimed discs Daltrey, Ride a Rock Horse, One of the Boys and Under a Raging Moon, among numerous others, and such hit singles as “I’m Free,” “Giving It All Away,” “Without Your Love,” “Free Me” and “After the Fire.” His solo work has been compiled into two anthologies, Martyrs and Madmen (1997) and Moonlighting (2005).
Daltrey’s film career began, appropriately enough, with the title role in Ken Russell’s kaleidoscopic 1975 adaptation of The Who’s rock opera “Tommy.” He has since appeared in some 30 films, portraying composer Franz Liszt (as well as writing lyrics and performing several songs) in Russell’s wild classical-music fantasia “Lisztomania,” the lead in the gritty crime drama “McVicar” (for which he also furnished the hit soundtrack), and roles in “The Legacy,” “Vampirella,” “Johnny Was” and many more. His television work includes appearances on “CSI,” “That ’70s Show” and “Rude Awakening.”
Time declared Daltrey a European Hero in 2003 for his work with Teenage Cancer Trust, among other charities; he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004. Along with Pete Townshend, the singer was a recipient at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors.
In addition to his charity work, Daltrey has devoted considerable time and energy to the cause of performers’ rights. In recent years he’s become one of the rock world’s most outspoken advocates on the subject, appealing to the British government to extend to musicians who play on recordings the same copyright protections now given to writers.
“We had a partial victory recently,” he reports. “The government agreed to extend the copyright period from 50 to 70 years. Intellectual property is one of the biggest battles the free world is going to face in the near future, and it’s important to get these things set in international law so it’s a fair playing field for everyone.”
In the meantime, though, Roger Daltrey is ready to use his voice to do the thing he was born to do – bring rock fans to their feet.
thewho.com will have exclusive Pre-sale tickets, VIP packages, and all other tour information posted soon. The pre-sale is set for next Wednesday, 5 Aug. to Friday 7th Aug.
Stay tuned for more information.
10-Oct Vancouver, BC — Commodore Ballroom
12-Oct Seattle, WA — Showbox SoDO
15-Oct Highland, CA — San Manuel Indian Casino
17-Oct Los Angeles, CA — Orpheum Theatre
18-Oct San Diego, CA — Humphrey’s
20-Oct Denver, CO — Paramount Theatre
22-Oct Thackerville, OK — Winstar Casino
24-Oct Biloxi, MS — Hard Rock Café
25-Oct Jacksonville, FL — Florida Theatre
28-Oct Durham, NC — Durham PAC
30-Oct Nashville, TN — Ryman Auditorium
31-Oct Elizabeth, IN — Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino
2-Nov Chicago, IL — House of Blues
3-Nov Cleveland, OH — House of Blues Cleveland
5-Nov Orillia, ON — Casino Rama Ent. Centre
7-Nov Mashantucket, CT — MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods
8-Nov Boston, MA — House of Blues
10-Nov Baltimore, MD — Lyric Opera House
11-Nov Montclair, NJ — Wellmont Theatre
13-Nov Atlantic City, NJ — Borgata – Music Box
14-Nov Atlantic City, NJ — Borgata – Music Box
17-Nov Red Bank, NJ — Count Basie Theatre
18-Nov Norfolk, VA — Chrysler Hall Theatre
20-Nov New York, NY — Nokia Theatre Times Square
24-Nov N Charleston, SC — North Charleston Coliseum, PAC
25-Nov Buena Vista, FL — House of Blues
27-Nov Ft. Myers, FL — Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
29-Nov Hollywood, FL — Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock
30-Nov Clearwater, FL — Ruth Eckerd Hall