Pearl Jam unveiled a one-night-only supergroup during their Saturday performance at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Two members of Red Hot Chili Peppers (drummer Chad Smith, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer) and Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill joined the rock legends for a dynamic encore performance of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
With Smith manning the drum kit, Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron strapped on an electric guitar. Followill handled tambourine duties (“He’s overqualified, I know,” frontman Eddie Vedder told the crowd) and Klinghoffer hit the stage, guitar-ready, midway through the performance.
Pearl Jam made headlines last week by canceling a Raleigh, North Carolina concert in protest of the state’s recently passed HB2, also known as the “bathroom bill.” Hours later, onstage in Virginia, Vedder delivered a poignant speech about the boycott and dedicated the first song of their encore, a cover of Steven Van Zandt’s “I Am a Patriot,” to the “soldiers of the LGBT community.”
The band honored the cultural legacy – and instrumental prowess – of late music icon Prince during their April 21st show in South Carolina. “People know him from the ways he looked, and the different ways he looked, and different things he said – a lot of incredible things to remember him by,” Vedder said. “But I gotta tell you, and you just saw some great guitar playing. Prince was probably the greatest guitar player we’ve ever seen.”