Eddie Vedder appeared to be close to tears in his first live performance since the death of Chris Cornell, with the Pearl Jam frontman kicking off his solo tour by offering several songs in tribute to the late rocker.
According to website Consequence of Sound, Vedder opened his Amsterdam show on Saturday with Pearl Jam’s Long Road, changing the lyrics to “Without you / something is missing.”
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Next, Vedder covered Cat Stevens’ Trouble, which he followed with the Pearl Jam track Sometimes, crying out at one point, “Where were you, dear God?”
Other songs included Neil Young’s haunting heroin warning The Needle and the Damage Done and Pearl Jam’s Immortality, and opened his first encore with a cover of Fugazi’s I’m So Tired.
A member of PearlJam.com who attended the show wrote an online account of the performance, reports the site. “The show was pretty much entirely about Chris without directly mentioning him. It was clear Eddie couldn’t bring himself to talk about it head on. He spoke a little how the healing process can start with music and made numerous references to how sad he was and how much he and his friends were struggling.”
The account adds: “At times it seemed like he was a word or two away from breaking into tears.”
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As Consequence of Sound reports, at one point in the show a fan in the audience yelled, “I love you!”
Vedder replied: “Thank you. I need it — we all need it. I’m thinking of a lot of people tonight. And some in particular and their families. And I just know that healing takes time, if it ever happens. It takes time, and that means you have to start somewhere. So let it be music. Let it be love and togetherness. And let it be Amsterdam.”
Check out this fan-shot video from the emotional performance.