(hennemusic) Pearl Jam performed with multiple backup drummers during a May 12 concert in Oakland, CA after drummer Matt Cameron tested positive for COVID-19.
Touring member Josh Klinghoffer and longtime Jeff Ament collaborator Richard Stuverud both took multiple shifts behind the kit during the event at the Oakland Arena, which marked the first time Cameron missed a Pearl Jam show since joining the band 24 years ago while doing double-duty with Soundgarden for many of those years.
"Matt Cameron is a true artist and he's a force of nature. However, even his super hero status could not prevent him from testing positive. This damn COVID thing yesterday," Eddie Vedder told the crowd after the show opener, a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World" with Klinghoffer on drums. "We've been scrambling for 24 hours because after 25 months of ... we were supposed to be here 25 months ago ... we've been waiting and we've been waiting. Postponing wasn't an option and for us neither was canceling. We didn't want to pull the plug and we couldn't pull the plug. We've got our group here, we've got our equipment here and most importantly you're here.
"So, lucky for us we have some friends and one of our friends has already been on our team this tour - the multi-talented, multi-faceted, multi-instrumentalist playing behind the drum kit right now, Mr. Josh Klinghoffer. Like the Shohei Ohtani of rock 'n' roll. Let's let the s**t hit the fan and hopefully it's good s**t."
At the end of the evening, Pearl Jam brought out fan Josh Arroyo to play drums on the night's final encore song, "Yellow Ledbetter."
Watch video of all three backup drummers performing with Pearl Jam here.