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Original Pearl Jam Drummer Dave Krusen Joins Band in Fresno for First Show in 31 Years

It was his first multi-song performance with the band since he left in May 1991
Pearl Jam in 1991.

Original Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen rejoined his former bandmates on stage Monday night (May 16) in Fresno, Calif., his first multi-song concert performance with the group since May 25, 1991. With Matt Cameron still sidelined with COVID-19, Krusen became the latest drummer to fill in by playing all but two songs from Pearl Jam’s debut album, Ten.

The drummer, whose seven-month stint in Pearl Jam encompassed the just-formed band’s first recording sessions and tours shortly before grunge exploded into the mainstream, performed on the Ten tracks “Once,” “Why Go,” “Even Flow,” “Garden” and “Black” in the middle of the set and returned later for “Porch” before the encore. From there, he was back for a four-song run of “Jeremy,” “Deep,” the Singles soundtrack favorite “State of Love and Trust” and “Alive.” The only songs not played from Ten were “Oceans” and “Release.”

Frontman Eddie Vedder told the crowd early on that he’d need a little extra help, as he was dealing with a serious stomach issue — possibly the worst he’d experienced since the infamous June 1995 show in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, when he had to leave the stage after just seven songs. Neil Young filled in with Pearl Jam for the rest of that performance.

Krusen’s only prior on-stage appearance with Pearl Jam since his departure was at the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where he was enshrined with his bandmates. He left Pearl Jam shortly after the recording of Ten due to struggles with alcohol and other personal problems, but always spoke fondly of his time in the band. “It was a great experience,” he said in a 2009 interview. “I felt from the beginning of that band that it was something special.”


As has been the case since last week in Oakland, Pearl Jam touring member Josh Klinghoffer and Richard Stuverud, a longtime collaborator of Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, also traded off on Cameron’s stool tonight at the Save Mart Center. Klinghoffer took the mic toward the end of the main set on a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” which he also performed on tour earlier this year as a member of  Vedder’s solo band The Earthlings.

Pearl Jam also trotted out the ultra-obscure outtake “Don’t Gimme No Lip,” sung by guitarist Stone Gossard and performed tonight for just the 14th time ever, and first since 2016. The band next plays Wednesday in Sacramento, Calif.