Roger Daltrey, iconic frontman of The Who, has voiced his displeasure over a modern music phenomenon: researching setlists before going to a concert.

In a recent interview with Billboard, Daltrey expressed his frustration, arguing that the internet has stripped live performances of their element of surprise.

This sentiment emerged as he discussed his upcoming solo North American tour, where he plans to perform nine “semi-acoustic” shows this month. Despite the anticipation surrounding these performances, Daltrey has chosen to keep the setlist under wraps, a decision rooted in his longing to restore the unpredictability that once defined live music.

The issue, as Daltrey sees it, is that many concertgoers now come to shows with a predetermined list of songs they expect to hear, having scoured the internet for spoilers. This, he argues, diminishes the experience, transforming what should be a dynamic live event into a predictable checklist of performances.

“Too many people reveal songs. There’s no surprises left with concerts these days, ‘cause everybody wants to see the setlist. I’m f*cking sick of it. The Internet’s ruined the live shows for me. Who wants to know what’s coming next? People forget about surprises. I can’t stand it,” Daltrey lamented.

His frustration is understandable. Historically, part of the magic of live performances has been the uncertainty, the spontaneous moments that occur when an artist changes the setlist on a whim or plays an unexpected cover. These are the moments that often become the most memorable for those in attendance, the stories that fans share for years to come.

And Daltrey’s comments come in an era when setlist are dissected more than ever before. On her ‘Eras Tour’, Swifties have debated the inclusion and exclusion of Taylor Swift songs, with BBC noting fans were mixed on some recent changes to her setlist.

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