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See Johnny Marr guest with Pearl Jam in London for Neil Young cover

You wait for a Johnny Marr guest appearance with Pearl Jam… and then two come along in the same night. The Manchester guitar legend and his solo band had already supported the Seattle band on day two of their British Summer Time festival headline visit, airing classics from his former band The Smiths, before joining in for a righteous version of Neil Young's Throw Your Hatred Down, followed by a Who classic.

Young fans will know that the 1995 Mirrorball album that track comes from had Pearl Jam as collaborators and backing band on. And it was a worthy choice of cover to follow Eddie Vedder's impassioned speech on gun violence.

Earlier in the day, Marr fans had already been treated to Smiths classics This Charming Man with the latest version of his signature Fender Jaguar, alongside How Soon Is Now and There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (thanks to YouTuber GotsomePearlJam for shooting the footage). 

But Marr also reappeared at the end of Pearl Jam's triumphant set for a cover of The Who's Baba O' Reilly that also saw Eddie Vedder solo band and producer (and reportedly future Pearl Jam album producer) Andrew Watt join Stone Gossard and Mike McCready on guitar duties too. Using Eddie Vedder's Telecaster, no less. 

It capped a long-awaited return by Pearl Jam to the UK, that was delayed significantly by COVID. As ever, no two setlists from the band are alike these days and the two nights saw classics like Alive, Better Man and Even Flow aired alongside lesser aired gems including Breath, Leash, Faithfull and Ten cut Garden.

The previous night's finale had seen them revisit another Neil Young favourite, one they've played many times before, but this time with a new twist; former Tennis ace John McEnroe joined on guitar for Rockin' In The Free World. 

5 key songs guitarists need to hear by… Pearl Jam

Rob Laing
Rob Laing

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.