Pearl Jam’s Busy Weekend In NYC

Pearl Jam introduced Venus and Serena Williams, gave a shoutout to retiring Seattle Storm WNBA great Sue Bird and were joined by Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith during Sunday’s show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The first two came nine songs into their set, just before they launched into “Even Flow.” Eddie Vedder first acknowledged Bird, who had teamed with them in 2018 for their Home Show benefit concerts in Seattle to help fight homelessness there. Then he introduced the tennis legends, telling the crowd that they “are also great at karaoke.”

Two songs later, the band added a tag of Wet Leg’s “Chaise Longue” to “Daughter.” They later covered the Mother Love Bone songs “Chloe Dancer,” (with a snippet of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer thrown in) and “Crown of Thorns.”

They then covered the Dead Boys punk classic “Sonic Reducer,” and would eventually play versions of Prince’s “Purple Rain” and, with Chad Smith on percussion, Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” They also thanked September 11th first responders on 21st anniversary of that dark day, and ended the show with “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Pearl Jam touring musician Josh Klinghoffer – under his Pluralone alias – was joined by the band’s drummer, Matt Cameron, during his opening set at Madison Square Garden on Sunday for a cover of “Thirteen” by Big Star. At Pearl Jam’s Toronto show last Thursday, the former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist covered “Limelight” by local heroes Rush and “Sometimes” by another Canadian artist, singer-songwriter and producer Daniel Lanois.

The evening before (Saturday), Pearl Jam played a much smaller show at the 1500 capacity Apollo Theater in Harlem as part of as a part of SiriusXM’s Small Stage Series. The set was interrupted when a lingering sound problem turned out to be solvable only by rebooting the venue’s PA system. The fill the gap while that was taking place, Eddie Vedder performed a solo acoustic version of the late Warren Zevon’s “Keep Me in Your Heart.”

Pearl Jam resume their tour Wednesday in Camden, New Jersey.