Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron had to sit out the band’s set on Thursday in Oakland, California after he tested positive for Covid-19, but the show still went on with an assist from a fan, and pinch hitters Josh Klinghoffer and Richard Stuverud, as Blabbermouth reports. It was the first time he missed one of their shows in 24 years.
“Matt Cameron is a true artist and he’s a force of nature. However, even his superhero status could not prevent him from testing positive, and yeah, this damn COVID thing yesterday,” frontman Eddie Vedder said to the crowd. He added: “Postponing wasn’t an option and for us neither was canceling. So, we didn’t want to pull the plug and we couldn’t pull the plug. We’ve got our group here, we’ve got the equipment here and, most importantly, you’re here.”
Touring member Klinghoffer served on drums for their cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” which opened the set as well as performed during “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town,” “Why Go” and “Corduroy.” Longtime Jeff Ament collaborator Stuverud took to the kit for “Quick Escape” and “Superblood Wolfmoon.” They also invited a fan named Josh Arroyo to sit in on drums during the show’s finale of “Yellow Ledbetter.”
Earlier in the month, the band paid tribute to the late Taylor Hawkins with a performance of Foo Fighters’ “Cold Day in the Sun,” with a healthy Cameron taking lead. He and Hawkins collaborated on their Nighttime Boogie Association side project.
Pearl Jam is in the midst of their tour in support of Gigaton, after a two-year postponement due to the pandemic.