Op 22 april 1969 werd “Tommy” voor het eerst live opgevoerd. Dat gebeurde een maand voordat de plaat in de winkels lag. Ultimate Classic Rock kijkt terug op dit concert, in Dolton (Engeland).
“Given the unfamiliarity of the material — to say nothing of the concept — Townshend gave the small crowd a brief synopsis of the story before performing ‘Tommy’ in its entirety, at maximum volume, to a somewhat confused audience. In Dave Marsh’s book, ‘Before I Get Old,’ Welch recounted that “scores of people” were left “literally deaf,” adding that his own ears were ringing for the next 24 hours straight, but happily so. “There were moments during ‘Tommy’ when I had to clutch the table for support, I felt my stomach contracting and my head spinning,” then adding, “But we wanted more!”“