Key Points:

In what is shaping up as the biggest single-headliner concert of the summer, The Who has confirmed a gig in Auckland in March.

The band, led by founding - and only two surviving - members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, last played on these shores in 1968, when they were one of the English bands changing the future of rock music.

These days the band which sang "Hope I die before I get old" in My Generation are fronted by 64-year-old Daltrey and 63-year-old Townshend. Their original rhythm section of drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle having had drug-related deaths in 1978 and 2002 respectively.

But they remain one of the greatest bands in rock history, only pipped by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, having sold more than 100 million albums since forming in London in 1964.

In their time, led by Townshend as the band's creative force, they have pioneered everything from the rock opera - including Tommy and Quadrophenia which both inspired movies - to the tradition of trashing their instruments on stage.

After Moon's death, the remaining members of The Who effectively parted ways in 1983 with Townshend concentrating on solo projects, but reformed in 1985 for Live Aid before reforming in 1990 as a five-piece line-up which included Zak Starkey - the son of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr - on drums. While the profile of their music was raised in recent years when CSI and its spin-offs started using Who hits as theme tunes.

The band will play at North Shore Harbour Stadium on Saturday March 21.

Ticket on-sale dates and prices are still to be confirmed.

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One of the most influential songwriters of his generation, Leonard Cohen, is to play in New Zealand in the New Year. The 74-year-old Canadian with the deep, dark voice - whose CV extends to poet, novelist and, briefly, Buddhist monk - plays Auckland's Vector Arena on Thursday January 22 and Wellington's TSB Arena on Tuesday January 20.

Since releasing his debut The Songs of Leonard Cohen in 1967, he has released just 11 albums.

But Cohen's songs - which grapple with love, religion, politics and depression - have been covered by a multitude of artists.

Bird on a Wire and Hallelujah have been recorded many times by acts such as the Neville Brothers and the late Jeff Buckley, while other interpreters of his songs have included Bob Dylan, Tori Amos, and New Zealand's own Straitjacket Fits, who released So Long Marianne as a single.

This year Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Lou Reed.

Said Reed of Cohen's baritone voice: "Cohen's is the voice of the gravel crunching under your shoe. He's the voice of the rickety rocking chair creaking on the porch. There's nothing sweet about that voice. It socks you in the gut the way good noises should."

Tickets go on sale on Monday November 10.