The Who plans first Cincinnati area concert since 79 tragedy that killed 11 fans  12/04/2019 12:34:00 

CINCINNATI  The rock band The Who announced Tuesday night it will play its first Cincinnati area concert since 11 fans died 40 years ago in a pre-show stampede.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band will play April 23 at Northern Kentucky Universitys BB&T Arena, across the Ohio River 7 miles south of the Dec. 3, 1979, concert site, where another two dozen people were injured Dec. 3, 1979, amid confusion and lack of preparation for thousands of fans lined up for hours for first-come seats.

The announcement came after WCPO-TV in Cincinnati aired a Tuesday night documentary featuring interviews with lead singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend, the remaining original members of the British band that emerged in the 1960s featuring songs of youthful rebellion such as My Generation and its Summertime Blues cover.

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Both have said theyve been haunted by the tragedy. Townshend recently told The Associated Press he was looking forward to discussing it in Cincinnati.

A security guard and a man look at an area where several people were killed during a crowd surge at Cincinnati's riverfront coliseum during a concert by The Who on Dec. 3, 1979.Brian Horton / AP file

Now we can have a conversation about it when we go back, Townshend said.

We will meet people and well be there. Well be there. Thats whats important, he said. Im so glad that weve got this opportunity to go back.

The band is adding the concert to its Moving On! tour 2020 dates.

The Who said it will donate a portion of proceeds from the Cincinnati area concert to a memorial scholarship fund benefiting students in the Cincinnati suburb of Finneytown. Daltrey visited a Finneytown High School memorial site in 2018 and the band has for years supported the scholarship effort there. Three of the 11 killed, including two 15-year-old girls who were the youngest victims, had attended Finneytown High.

The band didnt know about the tragedy until the concert was ending. Longtime manager Bill Curbishley had made the decision to have the show go on, warning Cincinnati authorities that they wouldnt be able to control the crowd if the concert was called off.

Despite everything, I still feel inadequate, he told WCPO. I dont know about the guys, but for me, I left a little bit of my soul in Cincinnati.

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