Brian Kehew's Backstage Blog

Roger Daltrey performs Tommy: Forest Hills Stadium, NY, June 17, 2018

Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, Forest Hills, NY

June 17, 2018

We are back: Forest Hills was the site of a Who show not very long ago – with Joan Jett opening. That started rough, with Pete verbally abusing the location as the VIP ticket-holders watched. He felt it looked and sounded terrible. However, the show that night became a terrific and memorable one. Pete (and everyone else in range) went home quite happy.

We’re back now with the orchestra, and they have certainly improved the place! It’s got nice booths of food and stuff, drinking locations under the stands, nice all around! Forest Hills is a leafy suburb-meets-city, and home of the legendary Ramones, so you better show up and put up!

I think the NY area is just family now to The Who and off-shoots like this. The band sowed its seeds here in 1967 and the City stayed true. We’re not IN New York City – and almost an hour away by train, but it’s close enough to grab that crowd, and the locals who saw the band here back in the 60s, at this very tennis stadium.

It’s a local orchestra called the New York Pops. They came, practiced with us the day before, after sunset (it’s been blazing hot here for the crew, both on set-up and show-day.) They are a positive bunch. Because the stage is solid concrete (not wood) and the roof is just a very tall tent, it’s not acoustically comparable to the sound of Tanglewood. Only Robert Collins, our man out front, knows how good it sounded through the microphones – might be better or not. But they played very well.

Roger came out, and warmed up the crowd quickly – the VERY first second he stepped onstage. A huge scream went up and we were off; this audience was out to have a great time. They know Tommy, and sang along to everything, and stood and danced and so on, with a beautiful view from the stage as the setting sun behind them outlined their bodies at the top of the seats. (It looked very much like the end of the Tommy film, against the sun. . . . )

Our show is not that different from night to night – not with written sheet music, but the vibe still changes. Each night has its highs and loose spots. But the ending packs a punch the audience does not expect. Roger had a great deal to say, his appreciation of the audience coming out as always, his work to keep his voice strong during this ‘year off’ Pete has requested. Whether there will be more after – he could not say. So we hope, and look forward to more of this!

Again – great photos here from our buddy William Snyder! (and a few of mine.)



It’s a Boy
Amazing Journey
Eyesight to the Blind
Cousin Kevin
The Acid Queen
Do You Think It’s Alright?
Fiddle About
Pinball Wizard
There’s a Doctor
Go to the Mirror!
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
Smash the Mirror
I’m Free
Miracle Cure
Sally Simpson
Tommy’s Holiday Camp
We’re Not Gonna Take It
See Me, Feel Me

Who Are You
Baba O’Riley
Always Heading Home