Watch Fans Fill In As Pearl Jam Drummer Misses First Shows In 24 Years Due To COVID

Watch Fans Fill In As Pearl Jam Drummer Misses First Shows In 24 Years Due To COVID

Until last night, drummer Matt Cameron had not ever missed a Pearl Jam concert since joining the band 24 years ago. But Cameron had to skip Thursday’s PJ show in Oakland after testing positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by a rotating cast of substitutes. As Blabbermouth points out, the show at Oakland Arena began with touring PJ member and former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer behind the kit for a few songs. Bassist Jeff Ament’s longtime collaborator Richard Stuverud held down drumming duties for most of the show. And for their final song, the band turned over the sticks to a fan.

Wearing a T-shirt with the names of Pearl Jam’s members, a guy named Josh Arroyo got the chance to keep the beat for PJ as they wrapped up their encore with their Hendrix-y power ballad “Yellow Ledbetter.” Eddie Vedder even gassed him up beforehand by telling him he’d need to add Arroyo to the list of names on his shirt. (Notably, Josh is not the first Arroyo to sit in with the band; pro baseball player Bronson Arroyo once performed “Black” with them at Fenway Park in Boston.)

“Matt Cameron is a true artist and he’s a force of nature,” Eddie Vedder reportedly told the crowd. “However, even his superhero status could not prevent him from testing positive. This damn COVID thing yesterday. We’ve been scrambling for 24 hours because after 25 months of… We were supposed to be here 25 months ago. We’ve been waiting and we’ve been waiting. Postponing wasn’t an option and for us neither was canceling. We didn’t want to pull the plug and we couldn’t pull the plug. We’ve got our group here, we’ve got our equipment here and, most importantly, you’re here. So, lucky for us, we have some friends, and one of our friends has already been on our team this tour — the multi-talented, multi-faceted, multi-instrumentalist playing behind the drum kit right now, Mr. Josh Klinghoffer. Like the Shohei Ohtani of rock ‘n’ roll. Let’s let the shit hit the fan and hopefully it’s good shit.”

Below, check out the footage of Arroyo playing “Yellow Ledbetter” with Pearl Jam plus a few other tunes from the show, including the requisite covers of “Rockin’ In The Free World” and “Baba O’Riley.”

SETLIST:
“The Needle And The Damage Done” (Neil Young cover) (Eddie Vedder solo)
“I Won’t Back Down” (Tom Petty cover) (Eddie Vedder solo)
“Rockin’ In The Free World” (Neil Young cover)
“Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town”
“Why Go”
“Corduroy”
“Quick Escape”
“Superblood Wolfmoon”
“Nothingman”
“Evenflow”
“Given To Fly”
“Wishlist”
“Black”
“Do The Evolution”
“Daughter”
“Not For You” (with Sleater-Kinney’s “Modern Girl” as outro)
“Seven O’Clock”
“Jeremy”
“Porch”

Encore:
“You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” (The Beatles cover)
“Better Man”
“Lukin”
“Animal”
“Alive”
“Baba O’Riley” (The Who cover)
“Yellow Ledbetter”

UPDATE: At Friday’s show in Oakland, local teenager Kai Neukermans — who drums in the Alive — was brought up to drum on “Mind Your Manners.”

more from News

Hi. It looks like you're using an ad blocker.

As an independent website, we rely on our measly advertising income to keep the lights on. Our ads are not too obtrusive, promise. Would you please disable adblock?