The band had not performed since playing four shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City the previous June, having spent much of 1974 working on the Tommy film and soundtrack. Following the recording of The Who By Numbers in the spring of 1975, the group embarked on a tour of the United Kingdom in October, followed by a series of European dates; a 20-date North American tour followed, with the band finishing the year with three Christmas concerts at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.
Although The Who By Numbers had just been released, group only played “Squeeze Box”, “Dreaming from the Waist”, and a few performances of “However Much I Booze” in 1975 (“Slip Kid” would also be played a few times in 1976). Despite being under the guise of a tour for their latest album, 1975–76 was more of a “Tommy revisited” period, with a mini-set of Tommy material featured in the middle of the set, thanks to the success of the film generating more interest in the rock opera; several Tommy pieces were played for the first time since either 1970 or 1971. Meanwhile, less and less Quadrophenia material appeared in the act as the ’75 shows wore on – by the North American tour, only “Drowned” was finding its way occasionally into the set, and even that was eventually dropped. The group would settle into a regular setlist by the end of the year, repeating it almost verbatim throughout 1976.