Pearl Jam observed fallen rock icons Eddie Van Halen and Taylor Hawkins at their May 9 show in Glendale, Arizona. During their set, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready paid tribute to EVH with a cover of Van Halen‘s unmistakable guitar instrumental “Eruption,” as Guitar World reported.
See a fan-captured video of the Pearl Jam performance near the bottom of this post.
“We were talking about our friend Taylor Hawkins the other night,” Vedder said ahead of McCready’s “Eruption” rendition, as the footage shows. “I see some Foo Fighters shirts out there. [Hawkins’ death] affected the whole music community.”
The vocalist continued, “I got to know him closely in just the last few years; I’m just so grateful that I had that time. [Pearl Jam drummer] Matt Cameron was closest to Taylor, and they got to work together a lot.”
Switching gears, Vedder noted Pearl Jam hadn’t toured fully since Van Halen died in 2020, saying the late guitarist was “another legend that we missed. So we wanted to play one for him.”
Cameron, who played with Hawkins in Nighttime Boogie Association, recently missed Pearl Jam’s shows for the first time due to COVID-19. The band’s made do with a series of fill-in drummers, including Josh Klinghoffer, the current Pearl Jam touring guitarist who used to be a Red Hot Chili Pepper.
Vedder himself previously tested positive for the virus. Pearl Jam are currently on tour in North America as part of a trek plotted for 2020 before the pandemic delayed the deal. The trip promotes the band’s latest album, that year’s Gigaton. Get tickets here.
After McCready played “Eruption” at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, Pearl Jam did a spirited take on their 1998 Yield single “Do the Evolution.”