18-year-old drums for Pearl Jam as Matt Cameron continues COVID recovery

Kai Neukermans skipped school to send a video to the band offering his services

Pearl Jam were joined on drums by an 18-year-old at their Oakland, California show this weekend – see footage below.

The Seattle legends’ drummer Matt Cameron is out of action on the band’s current tour after testing positive for COVID, so they’ve been enlisting stand-in drummers.

Pearl Jam were joined by a fan on drums at their Oakland show on Thursday (May 12), with touring member and former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer also stepping in on drumming duties for a series of tracks including Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’, ‘Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town’, ‘Why Go’ and ‘Corduroy’.

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With Cameron still isolating, Saturday’s (May 14) show also saw the band recruit another stand-in drummer for a song.

Kai Neukermans joined the band for 2013 song ‘Mind Your Manners’, and told the San Fransisco Chronicle that, after hearing that Cameron was unavailable to play the show, he texted Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder‘s daughter Olivia, who he had met on a previous occasion.

He was then invited to send a video of him drumming along to a Pearl Jam track, which he skipped school to do, and ended up on stage at the Oakland Arena.

Fan-shot footage sees Vedder telling the crowd during the show: “Everybody this is Kai; Kai this is everybody! You’re leading the band, brother.”

See footage below.

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Last week, Pearl Jam honoured Foo Fighters’ late drummer Taylor Hawkins during their LA concert at The Forum by performing 2005 song ‘Cold Day In The Sun’.

The original version of the track featured Hawkins on lead vocals and, for the Seattle band’s performance of it, Cameron took on singing duties.

Cameron and Hawkins previously worked together in the band Nighttime Boogie Association, releasing two songs together – ‘Long In The Tooth’ and ‘The Path We’re On’ – in 2020.

Earlier this month, the band took another moment to remember Hawkins as they kicked off their ‘Gigaton’ tour in San Diego. “[Hawkins] emitted something very incredible and very special,” Vedder told the crowd at that show. “We’re all missing him, and so, Matt, I’m sorry again for your loss. But it just gives us another chance to say how much we appreciate you as well.”

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