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According to Rolling Stone, Smith joined the band on stage halfway through the set, playing next to his former Chili Peppers’ bandmate Josh Klinghoffer, who has been playing with Pearl Jam for the past year. At the end of the song, Smith hugged drummer Matt Cameron who happened to be wearing a Taylor Hawkins t-shirt.
Elsewhere in the set, the band paid tribute to the victims of 9/11, noting that the show took place on the anniversary of the terrorist attack.
Between songs, Vedder told the story of a man named Mike who told him that he leaves the city on 9/11 due to traumatic memories of the event but that this year he “thought it would be a good idea to be here tonight with you”.
Discussing how 9/11 led to greater unity in the United States, Vedder added: “There was a time we supported each other. That’s the part we cannot forget. Let those lessons be remembered as our solidarity to come together and keep this country straight.”
Later in the show, the singer and guitarist for the Seattle-formed band said: “This is the 37th time this band has played in New York City. I think we’ve only played Seattle 50. Here’s the thing – I don’t remember half of those fucking Seattle shows. I just don’t. But I feel like we remember ever Manhattan show.
“This potentially has the chance to be the most memorable of them all. We are quite honoured to be spending this important date with you.”
The band returned to the stage in July after cancelling three recent shows due to Vedder suffering from vocal issues. Earlier that month, the group scrapped a scheduled performance in Vienna after the frontman’s throat was damaged by the “heat, dust, and smoke from the fires” at Lollapalooza Paris on July 17.