“Where were you?” Daltrey asked with faux exasperation. Even if they weren’t ready to serve as backup vocalists, the crowd still showered them with vociferous applause as they exited.
The Who’s surprise appearance coincided with the announcement of their first new album in 13 years, out Nov. 22 and entitled WHO (for those keeping track, this is the fifth Who studio album with 'who' in the title). "It's typical Townshend," Daltrey told Billboard of the album in July, when they were still finalizing it. "He's still got the bite and that knack of creating songs with the earworm that climbs into you. How it fits in the modern market I don't know, but I don't care. I know inside me it's good stuff."
The album news arrived with the studio version of "Ball and Chain," a classic Who rocker in the vein of Quadrophenia delivered in sonic CinemaScope that references the U.S.'s controversial detention camp in Cuba: "Down in Guantanamo / we still got the ball and chain," Daltrey growls. "There's a long road to travel for justice to make its claim / so let's bring down the gavel / let the prisoner say his name."
Daltrey and Townshend are joined on WHO by drummer Zak Starkey and bassist Pino Palladino; the album features contributions from Simon Townshend, Benmont Tench, Carla Azar, Joey Waronker and Gordon Giltrap. According to the band's Twitter, pre-orders of WHO by 4pm on Tuesday get you pre-sale access to The Who’s 2020 UK tour. Tickets go on general sale on Friday, 10am BST. Check out tour dates and track list below.
The Who/Pace connection wasn't entirely random -- within the new gallery was the cover art to the band's new LP, courtesy of Sir Peter Blake, the renowned U.K. artist best known for crafting the cover imagery for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with then-wife Jann Haworth.
Elsewhere, art from David Hockney, Fred Wilson and late pioneers Alexander Calder and Peter Hujar was on display -- although arguably the standout pieces came from comparative newcomer Loie Hollowell, whose dimensional paintings glowed with a dynamic intensity.
The Who's WHO Tracklist
All This Music Must Fade
Ball And Chain
I Don't Wanna Get Wise
On One String*
Hero Ground Zero
I’ll Be Back
Break The News**
Rockin’ In Rage
She Rocked My World
All songs written by Pete Townshend except *Pete Townshend/Josh Hunsacker **Simon Townshend Produced by Pete Townshend & D. Sardy
The Who's 2020 U.K. Tour Dates
March 16 2020 Manchester, U.K. Manchester Arena
March 18 2020 Dublin, U.K. 3 Arena
March 21 2020 Newcastle, U.K. Utilita Arena
March 232020 Glasgow, U.K. The SSE Hydro
March 25 2020 Leeds, U.K. First Direct Arena
March 30 2020 Cardiff, U.K. Motorpoint Arena
April 1 2020 Birmingham, U.K. Resorts World Arena
April 3 2020 Nottingham, U.K. Motorpoint Arena
April 6 2020 Liverpool, U.K. M&S Bank Arena
April 7 2020 London, U.K. The SSE Wembley Arena