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Live Review: Roger Daltrey @ Wolf Trap — 6/12/24

Roger Daltrey, the legendary frontman of The Who, recently delivered a mesmerizing performance at Wolf Trap, marking the second stop of his 12-stop summer tour, Roger Daltrey and His Electric/Acoustic Band. The 80-year-old rock icon, with his charismatic presence and powerful voice, took the audience on a journey through a semi-acoustic set, interweaving The Who’s greatest hits with select covers, engaging stories, and a unique Q&A session.

In an interview with the Associated Press before the tour launched, Roger expressed his enthusiasm for the project: “I’m bringing a band over from the UK of eight people, a very different sounding band with different instrumentation. No synthesizers. It’s just about having a lot of fun playing different songs, and obviously some Who classics. But we do them differently. So, it’s just something I love to do. And people seem to like it when I take it out there.”

At Wolf Trap on June 12, Roger’s ensemble of hand-picked musicians added depth and richness to the performance. Simon Townshend, the younger brother of The Who’s lead guitarist Pete Townshend, provided guitar and vocals, continuing his long-standing collaboration with Daltrey. The band also featured Billy Nicholls on mandolin and backing vocals, Jody Linscott on percussion, Doug Boyle on guitar, John Hogg on bass and backing vocals, Katie Jacoby on violin and backing vocals, Steve Weston on harmonica, Geraint Watkins on keyboards and accordion, and Scott Devours on drums. Each musician brought their own flair and expertise, creating a seamless and dynamic sound.

The concert began with a rousing rendition of Pete Townshend’s “Let My Love Open the Door,” followed by Taj Mahal’s “Freedom Ride” and The Who’s classic “Who Are You.” A touching highlight was when Roger read an audience question from a mother that said, “It’s my daughter’s 16th birthday today. Her name is Mallory.” After a short pause, he looked up and led the house in singing “Happy Birthday” to Mallory.

The set list was a blend of deep cuts and fan favorites, including “Waiting for a Friend,” “Days of Light,” and Leo Sayer’s “Giving It All Away.” The Who’s timeless hits like “The Kids Are Alright,” “Squeeze Box,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” had the crowd singing along. Simon Townshend shone with his vocals on “Going Mobile,” adding his own unique touch.

Stream Roger Daltrey’s 2018 solo album, As Long As I Have You, on Spotify:

One particularly poignant moment was Roger’s introduction to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” He shared a story about his friend John Fogerty, who had regained his song rights after 50 years: “I’ve been a fan ever since he started his band, a guy called John Fogerty. So right now, [we’ll] do a John Fogerty song, just to give him some PRS!” This dedication added an emotional layer to the performance.

The main set concluded with a powerful rendition of “Baba O’Riley,” leaving the audience electrified. The encore featured a dynamic cover of Mose Allison’s “Young Man Blues,” ending the night on a high note. Throughout the show, Roger’s anecdotes and interactions with the audience created an intimate and engaging atmosphere, making the performance feel personal and unique.

Reflecting on Roger’s enduring career, the Associated Press interviewer asked Roger if getting out in front of a live audience is what keeps his voice intact.  Roger responded, “That’s always been the impetus for me ever since I had my voice problems out. You’ve got to keep using it. Just like anything else in the body. You stop walking, you lose the muscles in your legs. The voice is a similar thing. If you stop using those muscles in the voice box and the vocal cords, they’ll go soft on you, and you’ll lose your voice. [Thankfully] mine is remarkable for my age.”

Roger Daltrey’s concert at Wolf Trap was more than a performance; it was a celebration of his storied career and an affirmation of his undiminished talent. As he continues his tour, fans can look forward to a night filled with classic hits, masterful musicianship, and the timeless energy that only a rock legend like Roger can deliver.

Set List
Let My Love Open the Door (Pete Townshend cover)
Freedom Ride (Taj Mahal cover)
Who Are You (The Who song)
Happy Birthday to You (song to Mallory for 16th birthday)
Waiting for a Friend
After the Fire
Days of Light
Giving It All Away (Leo Sayer cover)
Days (The Kinks cover)
The Kids Are Alright (The Who song)
Squeeze Box (The Who song)
Another Tricky Day (The Who song)
Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who song)
Going Mobile (The Who cover) (Simon Townshend vocals)
I Keep It to Myself (Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey cover)
As Long as I Have You
Have You Ever Seen the Rain? (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
Without Your Love (Billy Nichols cover)
Baba O’Riley (The Who song)

Encore
Young Man Blues (Mose Allison cover)

Enjoy additional photos from the performance of Roger Daltrey and His Electric/Acoustic Band at Wolf Trap on June 12, 2024. All images are courtesy of and copyrighted by Ari Strauss.