The Who + Eddie Vedder at Wembley Stadium, London, UK – 6th July 2019

Posted by Bianca on Saturday Jul 6, 2019 Under Rock

Review by Cain Suleyman with Photography by Andy Watson

The greatest bands and musicians are slowly fading away and, being 20 years old, I’ll never be able to say I’ve seen many of the legendary rock bands to have ever lived because they’re either too old or dead by now. But after a trip to Wembley stadium one Saturday night in July, all of that changed with two legendary acts of the rock world taking over the stage.

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Up first, Eddie Vedder. He strolled onto the stage to an intro by a string quartet playing some classic versions of some of our favourite Pearl Jam songs. A cheeky smile came across his face as he gave a little greeting to the packed out stadium. He opens with ‘Wishlist’, a perfectly soothing opening filling the bright day with even more sunshine. You can really hear the delicacy in his voice in this song. The bonus feature of this being a solo set really felt like I was seeing something special with the guitar solo standing out, almost, as an extra voice.

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We then move on to the rockier ‘I am Mine’ which is a bizarre transition without the rest of the band behind Vedder. Instead, a string quartet fills in most of the blanks and it works extremely well. A deviously talkative Wembley Stadium is silenced by Vedder’s voice. It’s a groove that’s extremely easy to fit into with the master musician conducting a synchronicity of head bobbing and cheers.

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It’s at this point in his set where I genuinely considered this – Is Eddie Vedder one of the greatest rock singers of all time? ‘Black’ confirms this to be true. He puts down the guitar and focuses on the vocals. I know it’s cheesy but I had goose bumps throughout the song. It’s a song I hold close to my heart as it’s one my father raised me on. Sitting next to me was that very person who I’d been waiting all my life to share this moment with and it was totally worth the wait. I had tears in my eyes, overfilling with emotions and this has all come from one man’s voice. Everyone in the world has songs and bands that mean a lot to them. For me, Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder hold a very special place in my heart and this was a perfect moment to experience him for the first time. Eddie, I thank you for a memory that I will cherish forever.

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A quick emptying of the crowd after this set is short lived as the time came for one of the greatest rock bands in the world. THE WHO! They enter with a whole orchestra behind them with the incredible Zak Starkey bossing it on the drums. Pete Townshend opens with his famous windmill guitar playing and Rodger Daltrey, well, are there any words to describe his voice?

They play a song that you can’t stand still too. A song that everyone knows. A song that everyone’s mother knows. ‘Pinball Wizard’. Not even a second into this song and everyone knows what’s about to go down. Everyone plays a MEAN pinball dancing around and screaming every word at the top of their lungs. It’s an infections vibe. I can only hold a massive grin on my face as no other expression suits my feelings better.

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We’re then spoiled to the perfect road trip song in ‘The Seeker’. This is just an unapologetic rock song that’ll make you want to play air guitar and just have a good time. The true Who fans know all the words, the younger generation simply watched in awe. But one thing is certain, everyone is transfixed by the performance in front of our eyes.

A little later in their set, the screens across Wembley fill with blue as the tone is brought down for ‘Behind Blue Eyes’. It really slows down the set but not in an uncontrolled manner. The whole of tonight’s set has been perfect compiled with the dynamics playing with everyones emotions extremely well in a fantastic performance of the band’s best work.

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Unfortunately the night had to come to an end at some point but the ending couldn’t have been more perfect. ‘Baba O’Riley’. Now. A lot of singer lose touch with their voice the older they get. I can safely say the Daltrey is not part of this trend. His voice may actually have sounded better tonight than when the band were in their prime. He was incredible. There isn’t enough time for me to detail this but as a singer myself, I could only dream of singing half as good as he sang tonight. Any fellow singers wanting inspiration in the world of rock. Look no further than Rodger.

The Who are such an iconic band and I am extremely privileged to have seen them live.

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