Eddie Vedder is likely in hot water with his wife today, after splitting his attention between her birthday and taking part in The Who 50th anniversary celebration kickoff in London on Tuesday. The star-studded tribute concert saw Vedder performing Who classics alongside Liam Gallagher and Geddy Lee, among others paying homage.
Held at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in West London the show was organized to benefit frontman Roger Daltrey’s favored Teenage Cancer Trust charity, which helps provide specialist treatment for young people with cancer. Daltrey played host for the evening, though his counterpart and Who guitarist Pete Townshend was “at home looking after the dogs,” according to Daltrey.
“He’d rather do anything than hear his songs played back to him,” the singer chuckled, though he’s undoubtedly right. However, the legendary guitarist did take part in the star-studded rehearsal sessions, fantastic photos of which can be seen here.
The Who’s touring band provided the instrumental backbone by which Vedder stretched out his well-used Who-tribute muscles on “Naked Eye” and a wailing “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.
Vedder was joined by various artists for a run through “Listening To You” as well. Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, making his first live appearance since the end of his lackluster band Beady Eye, sneered his way through an aggressive take on the 1965 classic “My Generation”.
Rush frontman Geddy Lee, however, took a casual approach to his performance on “The Seeker.” He also played bass and later said he was “thrilled to support the Teenage Cancer Trust while celebrating the music of the Who, a band that changed my life.”
Other performers included Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott (“Love, Reign O’er Me”), Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson (“5.15” and “Bell Boy”), and comedian Rich Hall (“You Better You Bet”). Daltrey closed the show with “Substitute” and “Young Man Blues”.
“I Can’t Explain” – Andy Burrows
“The Kids Are Alright” – Wilko Johnson and the Strypes
“Getting in Tune” – Tom Odell
“Behind Blue Eyes” – Amy Macdonald
“Who Are You” – Rizzle Kicks
“You Better You Bet” – Rich Hall
“5.15” – Ricky Wilson
“Bell Boy” – Ricky Wilson and Phil Daniels
“Love, Reign O’er Me” – Joe Elliott
“The Acid Queen” – Sheila Ferguson
“The Seeker” – Geddy Lee
“Baba O’Riley” – Leslie Mendelson
“My Generation” – Liam Gallagher
“Naked Eye” – Eddie Vedder
“Won’t Get Fooled Again” – Eddie Vedder
“Listening to You” – Eddie Vedder and various others
“Substitute” – Roger Daltrey
“Young Man Blues” – Roger Daltrey
Photo: Mick Hutson/Getty Images