Music

Robert Plant, Eddie Vedder and Roger Daltrey Team Up on Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ At Teenage Cancer Trust Benefit

The Who singer Roger Daltrey celebrated his final performance as the curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust concerts after 24 years on Sunday night, ending his nearly quarter-century run with an epic, all-star performance of one of his band’s most beloved songs.

The “Ovation” concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall ended with Daltrey singing the Who’s go-to show-closing 1971 epic “Baba O’Riley,” with the band’s frontman joined by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Robert Plant, Glen Hansard, the Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones and Who guitarist Pete Townshend’s brother Simon Townshend.

In fan-shot video, a spry Daltrey, 80, takes the lead, with Vedder, Plant, Jones, Hansard and Townshend leaning in to add group backing vocals; Pete Townshend performed with the Who earlier in the run and was slated to be on the “Ovation” lineup but had to miss Sunday’s show to be in New York for the opening of the revamped Tommy on Broadway.

Though Daltrey is stepping down from his post, after the encore, he told the crowd, “I’m not going away from the Teenage Cancer Trust. I’ve completed the job I set out to do. We’re going to get curators to do a year rather than doing 20 years. Talk about nerve-racking. But I’ve got other work to do for the charity that is kind of more important because we live in a day where our NHS [National Health Service] everyone knows is very questionable even surviving. We are part of that service, though we are a charity… If the NHS goes down, I want to make sure this charity doesn’t go down with it.”

The final show also featured Weller inviting Daltrey out for a run through the Who’s 1966 song “So Sad About Us,” as well as Vedder performing PJ’s “Porch” and “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” and the Swell Season’s “Falling Slowly” with Hansard. In a poignant moment, Vedder also brought out his daughter, Olivia, to sing their song “My Father’s Daughter.”

In addition to his band Saving Grace’s traditional folk songs “Gospel Plow,” “And We Bid You Tonight” and “As I Roved Out,” Plant busted out one Led Zeppelin song, the Led Zeppelin III track “Friends.” Last week’s run of Cancer Trust shows also featured gigs by Noel Gallagher, Young Fathers and the Chemical Brothers.

Daltrey has hosted and curated the fundraising shows since 2000, raising more than $40 million to date, which the organization said has paid for more than a million hours of specialist care from TCT nurses, or 13 TCT hospital care units. The TCT said that it plans to work with a series of guest curators beginning next year. Over the years, the TCT shows have included sets from Paul McCartney, Wet Leg, Underworld, Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher, Kasabian, Def Leppard, Pet Shop Boys, Olly Murs, Suede, Arctic Monkeys, New Order, Primal Scream, Noel Gallagher, Florence Welch, Joan Armatrading, Kaiser Chiefs, The Cure and many more.

See photos from Sunday night’s show below.

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