After his vocal issues forced Pearl Jam to cancel its last three shows, Eddie Vedder returned to the stage tonight (July 25) in Amsterdam just in time for the final concert on the band’s summer European itinerary.
Vedder completely lost his voice after he performed in hot, dusty and smoky conditions on July 17 at Lollapalooza Paris. He revealed early in tonight’s show that doctors told him he’d need two weeks to recover, but Vedder was having none of it. “I said, ‘I’m not gonna fuckin’ leave this part of the world without playing one more show,'” he replied. The frontman also thanked Dr. Marco Frankenfurt, the doctor who treated him in recent days, and showed pictures of them on the video screens.
Pearl Jam eased into the proceedings with four straight acoustic songs: “Nothing As It Seems” (which hadn’t been played since 2018 and only six prior times in the past six years), “Off He Goes,” “Footsteps” and “Alright.” From there, they rocked out on “W.M.A.,” “Why Go” and “Even Flow” and dusted off the Jeff Ament-penned rarity “Pilate,” which had also been on the shelf since 2018.
Guitarist Stone Gossard then gave Vedder a break by taking the mic for his fan-favorite “Mankind,” from 1996’s No Code, and drummer Matt Cameron later sang lead on a cover of Kiss’ “Black Diamond,” only its fourth time ever played by Pearl Jam.
With Vedder back in action, Pearl Jam avoided a similar end to its spring North American tour, when the final two shows were canceled after several band and crew members came down with COVID-19. The Oct. 8-9 “Encore Weekend” of Vedder’s southern California-based Ohana festival was also canceled last week.
Pearl Jam is scheduled to begin a fall North American run on Sept. 1 in Quebec City, Quebec. The itinerary includes an intimate Sept. 10 show at New York’s fabled Apollo Theatre that will be broadcast live by SiriusXM, and a return to Madison Square Garden the following night.