It was quite a night for Who fans on Thursday (May 14) at the Rosemont Theater in suburban Chicago.
While frontman Roger Daltrey enjoyed a night off on the first North American leg of the group's Who Hits 50! tour, guitarist Pete Townshend led the band and some special guests at a Celebrating The Who benefit to raise money for Teen Cancer America, an offshoot of the Teenage Cancer Trust that Daltrey has been active with in the U.K.
The 90-minute show included a short solo set by Townshend's brother Simon, who's part of the Who's touring band, and Townshend`s own performances of "I'm One" and "Drowned" from "Quadrophenia." Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder played some of his own songs plus the Who's "Blue, Red, and Grey," then teamed with Townshend for Bob Dylan's "Corrina, Corrina" and the Who's "You Stand By Me" and "Behind Blue Eyes." Joe Walsh joined the party for "The Kids Are Alright" and "Eminence Front," which Joan Jett -- who's opening for the Who's North American dates -- stepping in on "I Can't Explain" and "Summertime Blues." Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen then helped close the night with "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "My Generation."
The Who tour continues tonight (May 15) in Columbus, Ohio, and wraps May 30, with a European leg on tap for the summer before the group returns to North America for a second leg on September 14 in San Diego.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.