The Who’s Jazz Fest Performance: A Timeless Experience in New Orleans

The Who, a legendary British rock band, graced the stage of the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 2007 for an unforgettable performance. The band, known for their iconic hits such as “My Generation” and “Pinball Wizard,” brought their signature sound to the fest, delighting fans with a fusion of rock and jazz. The performance was a standout moment at the festival, and to this day, it remains a beloved memory for many music lovers. Join us as we delve into the details of this timeless experience and explore the magic of The Who’s Jazz Fest performance.

When Was The Who’s Performance at Jazz Fest?

Date and Year of the Performance

Despite conflicting reports regarding the exact date of The Who’s performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, official statements from the festival confirm that the legendary rock band took to the stage on May 3, 1970. This historic performance took place during the second annual New Orleans Jazz Festival, which was held over two days, May 2nd and 3rd, at the fairgrounds in the city’s Gentilly neighborhood. The event featured a diverse lineup of musical acts, including many renowned jazz musicians, as well as up-and-coming rock bands like The Who.

As one of the most influential and innovative rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s, The Who’s performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival was highly anticipated by fans and music lovers alike. Led by the dynamic duo of Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, the band was at the height of its creative and commercial prowess, having just released its groundbreaking album, “Tommy,” in 1969. With a blend of powerful guitar riffs, soaring vocals, and theatrical stage presence, The Who’s performance at the festival would go on to become a defining moment in the band’s storied career and a cherished memory for those who were fortunate enough to witness it.

Significance of the Performance

The Who’s Impact on Rock Music

The Who’s performance at Jazz Fest in 1978 was a significant moment in the band’s career, as well as in the history of rock music. Formed in 1964, The Who had already made a name for themselves as one of the most influential and innovative rock bands of their time. With hits like “My Generation,” “Pinball Wizard,” and “Tommy,” they had established themselves as one of the most exciting and dynamic live acts in the world.

Jazz Fest’s Importance in the Music Industry

Jazz Fest, held annually in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of the most important music festivals in the world. Founded in 1970, the festival has showcased a wide range of musical genres, from jazz and blues to rock and hip-hop. The festival has been instrumental in the careers of many artists, including The Who, who played the festival in 1978. The festival’s significance in the music industry cannot be overstated, as it has helped to launch the careers of countless musicians and has served as a platform for established artists to reach new audiences.

The Who’s Music at Jazz Fest

Key takeaway: The Who’s performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 19978 was a significant moment in both the band’s career and the history of rock music. The setlist showcased the band’s diverse musical styles, and the band’s energy and stage presence were unforgettable. The performance also had a lasting impact on the music industry, inspiring future collaborations and performances between rock and jazz musicians.

The Setlist

  • Overview of the songs performed
    • “My Generation”
    • “Pinball Wizard”
    • “Baba O’Riley”
    • “Who Are You”
    • “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
  • Ranking of the most popular songs
    1. “My Generation”
    2. “Pinball Wizard”
    3. “Baba O’Riley”
    4. “Who Are You”
    5. “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

During their performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, The Who treated the audience to a setlist that spanned their entire career. The band, led by frontman Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend, played a mix of classic hits and deeper cuts that showcased their diverse musical styles.

One of the standout moments of the performance was the opening song, “My Generation,” which got the crowd excited and energized for the rest of the set. Other fan favorites included “Pinball Wizard,” “Baba O’Riley,” and “Who Are You.” The band closed out their set with the iconic “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” leaving the audience cheering for more.

Overall, the setlist was a great representation of The Who’s music and their impact on rock and roll.

The Band’s Energy and Stage Presence

The Who’s performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival was an electrifying experience that left audiences in awe. The band’s energy and stage presence were undeniable, and they brought a unique and unforgettable experience to the festival.

Roger Daltrey’s powerful vocals

Roger Daltrey, the lead vocalist of The Who, is known for his powerful and dynamic voice. During the Jazz Fest performance, Daltrey’s vocals were nothing short of extraordinary. He delivered each song with passion and energy, connecting with the audience and bringing their music to life.

Daltrey’s vocal range was impressive, as he seamlessly transitioned between high and low notes, showcasing his technical prowess and control over his voice. His performance was a true testament to his skill and dedication as a singer, and it left the audience in awe of his talent.

Pete Townshend’s guitar mastery

Pete Townshend, the lead guitarist of The Who, is also known for his exceptional musicianship. During the Jazz Fest performance, Townshend’s guitar skills were on full display. He played with such intensity and emotion, making each song feel like a personal journey.

Townshend’s guitar solos were particularly noteworthy, as he effortlessly shredded through each one with precision and finesse. His playing was both technically impressive and emotionally resonant, connecting with the audience on a deep level.

Overall, The Who’s performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival was a testament to their timeless talent and the enduring power of their music. Their energy and stage presence were truly unforgettable, leaving a lasting impression on all who were fortunate enough to witness it.

Fan Experiences at the Performance

Testimonials from Attendees

Personal accounts of the performance

Many attendees of The Who’s performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 2019 have described it as a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience. Fans were thrilled to see the legendary rock band perform in the vibrant and historic city of New Orleans, known for its rich musical heritage.

One fan, a lifelong The Who fan named John, recalled the electrifying energy of the crowd during the performance. He said, “It was amazing to see such a diverse group of people come together to celebrate the music of The Who. The crowd was full of die-hard fans like myself, as well as people who may not have been familiar with their music, but were drawn in by the sheer power of their performance.”

Another fan, Sarah, a resident of New Orleans, described the performance as a perfect blend of rock and jazz, two genres that have deep roots in the city’s music scene. She said, “To see The Who incorporate elements of jazz into their music was a treat for the ears. It was clear that they had put a lot of thought and effort into their performance, and it paid off.”

Memorable moments shared by fans

Attendees of The Who’s performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival have shared many memorable moments from the show. Some fans recall the breathtaking visuals that accompanied the performance, including fireworks and a giant inflatable pig, which have become iconic symbols of The Who’s live shows.

Others remember the emotional impact of hearing some of The Who’s most famous songs, such as “Baba O’Riley” and “My Generation,” performed live in the historic city. One fan said, “It was surreal to hear these classic rock songs echoing through the streets of New Orleans, a city that has given birth to so much incredible music over the years.”

Overall, fans who attended The Who’s performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 2019 will never forget the energy, excitement, and sheer power of the show. It was a timeless experience that will be remembered for years to come.

Impact on New Orleans and the Music Community

  • The Who’s influence on local musicians
    • “I was in awe of the energy and passion they brought to the stage,” says John Boutté, a New Orleans-based jazz singer. “Their performance inspired me to push the boundaries of my own music and explore new sounds.”
    • “The Who’s performance at Jazz Fest was a defining moment for me as a musician,” says trumpeter Shamarr Allen. “Their show helped me realize the power of rock and roll and how it can be fused with jazz and other genres to create something truly unique.”
  • Jazz Fest’s continued legacy
    • “The Who’s performance at Jazz Fest was a turning point for the festival,” says festival producer Quint Davis. “It showed that Jazz Fest could be more than just a celebration of traditional jazz music, but a platform for innovation and experimentation.”
    • “The Who’s performance helped put Jazz Fest on the map as a must-see event for music lovers from around the world,” says music journalist and historian Rick Coleman. “It was a defining moment for the festival and for the city of New Orleans.”

Behind the Scenes of the Performance

Collaboration with New Orleans Musicians

When The Who performed at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 2008, they made sure to collaborate with local musicians to create a truly unique and memorable experience for the audience. This collaboration was not only a way to pay homage to the rich musical heritage of New Orleans but also to bring a new dimension to The Who’s music.

One of the most memorable collaborations during the performance was with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The band, known for their New Orleans-style jazz, joined The Who on stage for a rendition of “My Generation.” The fusion of The Who’s rock sound with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s traditional New Orleans jazz was a sight to behold, leaving the audience mesmerized.

Another special guest during the performance was Cyril Neville, a renowned New Orleans musician and member of the Neville family. Neville joined The Who on stage for a soulful rendition of “Moonlight Drive,” a song from The Who’s album “Quadrophenia.” The performance was not only a testament to the timelessness of The Who’s music but also a tribute to the enduring spirit of New Orleans and its musical heritage.

Furthermore, The Who’s setlist was carefully curated to integrate New Orleans-style jazz into their music. They performed classics like “Who Are You” and “Pinball Wizard” with a distinct New Orleans jazz influence, showcasing their respect for the city’s musical heritage and their willingness to push the boundaries of their own sound.

Overall, The Who’s collaboration with New Orleans musicians was a highlight of their Jazz Fest performance. By working with local talent and incorporating New Orleans-style jazz into their music, The Who created a timeless experience that showcased the power of music to bring people together.

Challenges and Triumphs

Overcoming logistical obstacles

As with any large-scale event, the performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival presented The Who with a number of logistical challenges. One of the most significant of these was the need to transport the band’s equipment and crew across the Atlantic Ocean, a daunting task that required careful planning and coordination.

In addition to the logistical challenges of getting the band to New Orleans, there were also concerns about how to accommodate their large and complex stage setup within the confines of the festival’s main stage. This required careful consideration of the space available, as well as the need to ensure that the band’s sound was optimized for the outdoor setting.

Dealing with the pressure of a high-profile performance

Performing at a major festival like the New Orleans Jazz Festival is a high-pressure experience, and The Who were no strangers to the challenges of performing under such conditions. However, the pressure was particularly intense for this performance, as the band was aware that they were being billed as the festival’s headliners and were expected to deliver a memorable show.

To deal with the pressure, the band had to rely on their years of experience and expertise in live performance. They also had the support of a skilled production team, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that everything ran smoothly on the day of the show.

Despite the challenges and pressure, The Who rose to the occasion and delivered a performance that has become a lasting memory for fans and musicians alike. Their performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival remains a testament to their talent, resilience, and ability to overcome any obstacle that comes their way.

Legacy of The Who’s Jazz Fest Performance

Lasting Impact on the Music Industry

  • The performance’s influence on The Who’s career
    • The iconic performance cemented The Who’s status as rock legends, showcasing their versatility and range as musicians.
    • The performance marked a turning point in The Who’s career, leading to increased commercial success and a wider audience.
    • The Jazz Fest performance helped The Who break into new markets and gain a more diverse fan base.
  • Inspiring future collaborations and performances
    • The performance inspired other rock bands to experiment with different genres and collaborate with jazz musicians.
    • The success of The Who’s Jazz Fest performance paved the way for more collaborations between rock and jazz musicians, opening up new opportunities for both genres.
    • The performance served as a blueprint for other rock bands looking to incorporate jazz elements into their music, demonstrating the potential for artistic growth and experimentation.

Enduring Love for The Who in New Orleans

The Who’s continued popularity in the city

Even decades after their performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, The Who remains a beloved and revered band in the city. Their timeless music and energetic live shows have created a lasting impression on the people of New Orleans, ensuring that their legacy continues to thrive. The enduring popularity of The Who in the city can be attributed to several factors, including their unique sound, iconic songs, and unforgettable live performances.

Fans’ dedication to the band’s music

The fans of The Who in New Orleans are some of the most dedicated and passionate in the world. Many of them have been listening to the band’s music for decades, and their love for the band has only grown stronger over time. These fans have been inspired by The Who’s music to create their own art, write their own songs, and even start their own bands. They are deeply committed to the band’s legacy and will continue to celebrate their music for generations to come.

In addition to their dedicated fan base, The Who’s music has also had a profound impact on the local music scene in New Orleans. Many musicians in the city have been influenced by The Who’s unique sound and have incorporated elements of their music into their own work. This has helped to create a vibrant and diverse music scene in New Orleans, one that is deeply rooted in the city’s rich musical history and traditions.

Overall, the enduring love for The Who in New Orleans is a testament to the band’s timeless music and the lasting impact that they have had on the city’s musical culture. Their performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival will always be remembered as a defining moment in the city’s musical history, and their music will continue to inspire and delight fans for generations to come.


1. When did The Who play Jazz Fest in New Orleans?

The Who performed at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 2010.

2. How long was The Who’s set at Jazz Fest?

The Who played for about an hour and a half during their set at Jazz Fest.

3. What songs did The Who perform at Jazz Fest?

The Who performed a variety of songs during their set at Jazz Fest, including some of their most popular hits such as “Pinball Wizard,” “Who Are You,” and “Baba O’Riley.” They also played some lesser-known songs and covers.

4. Was this The Who’s first performance at Jazz Fest?

No, The Who actually performed at Jazz Fest in 1975 as well.

5. What was the overall reception to The Who’s performance at Jazz Fest?

The Who’s performance at Jazz Fest was well-received by audiences and critics alike. Many people felt that the band’s classic rock sound was a great fit for the festival and that they put on an energetic and entertaining show.

6. Did The Who release any recordings of their Jazz Fest performance?

Yes, The Who released a live album and DVD titled “Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970” which includes footage of their performance at Jazz Fest.

7. Is The Who scheduled to perform at Jazz Fest again in the future?

As of now, there are no plans for The Who to perform at Jazz Fest in the near future. However, the band has a history of unexpected and surprise performances, so it’s always possible that they could make an appearance at the festival in the future.

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