Tributes to Michael Jackson have come by the barrelful in recent weeks, but rarely from a source as unexpected as Pearl Jam.
Wrapping their five-date European mini-tour last night at London’s O2 Arena, the same venue where Jackson was to have performed his 50-date headlining run this summer, Eddie Vedder launched into a short but heartfelt ode to the King of Pop. The singer performed a quick version of “Ben,” Jackson’s chart-topping 1972 single from the soundtrack to Williard, a film about a killer rat, before launching into Pearl Jam’s own “Rats,” whose final verse pays homage to “Ben”: “Ben, the two of us need look no more.”
Vedder dedicated the cover “to a man who was supposed to take to this stage and do what he did,” according to the BBC.
The band also unveiled a new song from their forthcoming ninth album, Backspacer (out Sept. 20), for the first time: “Supersonic.” It’s a fast-paced romp with a dirty bridge in the middle featuring a spine-tingling riff from Mike McCready. Check out the video below.
The band also played already-released Backspacer single “The Fixer.”
Pearl Jam setlist: O2 Arena, London
(Courtesy of tenclub.net)
I Got Shit
Reign O’er Me
Do the Evolution
Better Man/(Save It For Later)
WATCH: Pearl Jam, “Supersonic”