The Who returned to Cincinnati, Ohio Sunday night for their first show there since December 3, 1979 when 11 fans were trampled to death rushing the gate at their show at Riverfront Coliseum.
While performing at TQL Stadiumi, Pete Townshend talked with the crowd following a few songs.
He said, "You know, I've been trying to think of what to say, what would be cool to say, what would be uncool to say, and really, there's no words that we can say that can meet with the fact that you guys have come out tonight and supported this event. Thank you so much."
Sunday night's concert was a benefit for the P.E.M. Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was founded in memory of the three seniors from the city’s Finneytown High School killed that fateful evening – Stephan Preston, Jackie Eckerle and Karen Morrison. The scholarship goes to high school seniors who pursue degrees in the arts or music.
Pete talked about the charitable aspect of the concert, saying, "As you probably know, we're not being paid for this so I'm not gonna work very hard. But, you are paying, and your money is going to great causes -- many of which are related to what happened back here in Cincinnati in 1979, which is probably time for us to both remember and try to forget. Anyway, it's so lovely to be here in this brand new place. We're gonna go back and try to play the way we used to play in 1979 -- loud, messy...here we go."
Members of nine of the 11 families impacted by the tragedy were there, and photos of the 11 victims were shown on the screen during "Love, Reign O'er Me."
During the final song of the show, "Baba O'Riley," The Who were then joined by seven members of the Finneytown Children's Choir, which is part of the scholarship program while one of the P.E.M. scholarship awardees, as well as three current student musicians sat in with the orchestra that backed the band.
Fans described the show as not only emotional and historical, but also one that brought some closure to the events of that tragic day 43 years ago.
[Source: Classic Hits Today]