“I got the COVID right before we were supposed to start practicing, probably five, six weeks ago, and literally saw my life flash in front of my eyes,” Vedder said while addressing the audience at Los Angeles’ YouTube Theater on February 25, after his daughter Olivia performed her Flag Day track ‘My Father’s Daughter’.
“I’ve done some very good things for my body and I’ve also had a lot of fun and I’ve done some things that would be termed some kind of abuse,” he joked. “I won’t get into the details. Just use your imagination. But it felt pretty serious, and to get through that and then be back in a room like this facing this many people… It’s been a gift and an honour.”
See fan-shot footage from the concert below – Vedder discusses contracting COVID at around the three-and-a-half minute mark.
Vedder played shows in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles and Seattle last month as part of a tour behind ‘Earthlings’.
The Pearl Jam singer’s all-star backing band for the tour, The Earthlings, included both current Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and former guitarist Josh Klinghoffer; the latter is currently also a live member of Pearl Jam.
The touring party was rounded out by Jane’s Addiction bassist Chris Chaney, The Frames’ Glen Hansard and guitarist Andrew Watt, the latter of whom also produced ‘Earthling’.
There were a slew of memorable moments throughout the tour – in Seattle, for example, he performed a cover of Pretenders‘ ‘Precious’ alongside Guns N’ Roses‘ Duff McKagan. At the Los Angeles show, the band delivered a rendition of The Police‘s ‘Message In A Bottle’ with the band’s own Stewart Copeland.
‘Earthling’ arrived on February 11, featuring contributions from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Ringo Starr. In a three-star review, NME wrote of the album: “Traversing musical styles, the record’s through-line is its allegiance to fatherhood itself; most of these tunes sound less like classic Vedder, and more like the music that raised him.”