Over the past couple years, Eddie Vedder had gone from being a mere fan of the Who (albeit a high-profile one) to being comfortably in league with the legendary rock band.| After having played a handful shows with Who guitarist Pete Townshend, Vedder is now scheduled to open for the newly reunited band at their Nov. 13 benefit show at Chicago's House of Blues.
For the past two years, Townshend has staged solo concerts at the House of Blues to raise money for Chicago's Maryville Academy, which provides housing and support to neglected and abused children. Vedder joined Townshend for 1997's Maryville benefit, and their duets can be heard on the recently released Pete Townshend Live album.
This year's benefit will mark the Who's second public appearance since their last reunion back in '96. (The Maryville show will be preceded by an appearance at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit on Oct. 30-31, where the Who will play acoustic sets.)
"We had a very successful tour with Quadrophenia [in 1997] and it just seemed really stupid not to do anything," says Roger Daltrey. "I think our music, as far as the British end of rock & roll goes, is a very important slice of the pie and it should be celebrated. And no one plays it better than us. Whether Pete jumps as high in the air or I leap about so much and all of those things are irrelevant to the music. We still generate an energy that is only common to the Who, and that should be celebrated in some way or another in a millennium year."
For his set, Vedder will be backed by Olympia, Washington's C-Average, who have played with the Pearl Jam frontman on several past occasions. Tickets to the show will be sold at the House of Blues box office via lottery on Saturday, Oct. 2. The tickets will go for $300 each, and there is a limit of two per customer.