The Who paid tribute to the victims of the 1979 tragedy during their first show back in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The ‘Pinball Wizard’ band returned to the city for the first time since the infamous event, which saw gig-goers crushed as they entered the Riverfront Coliseum during a stampede which left 11 fans dead and more injured.
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend were back over the weekend for a show at the TQL Stadium as part of the group’s North American tour.
On Sunday (15.05.22), guitarist Pete told the audience: “I’ve been trying to think of what to say, what would be cool to say, [and] what would be uncool to say.
“Really, there are no words that we can say that can mean [as much as] the fact that you guys have come out tonight and supported this event. Thank you so much.”
As reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, the group paid direct tribute to those who died with black and white photos of the 11 victims projected onto the screen during ‘Love, Reign O’er Me’, and a full list of names followed the performance.
The band had also waived their free for the gig, and donated all ticket proceeds to local charities.
Meanwhile, the families of nine of the 11 victims were in attendance, and they were given VIP front row tickets for the event.
At the end of the night, the band played ‘Baba O’Riley’ and were joined by students from Finneytown High School, which is where three of the victims of the tragedy studied.
Following the incident in 1979, the school set up its P.E.M. Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Before the band left the stage, Daltrey – who visited the school’s memorial site in 2018 – said: “You never get over it, but you gotta live.”