Matt Cameron has been behind the drum kit for Pearl Jam since joining the band in 1998, but for the first time since then he was forced to miss a show after testing positive for COVID-19.
As Blabbermouth reports, for the band’s show in Oakland, Calif. on Thursday, May 12, Seattle drummer Richard Stuverud and Pearl Jam guitarist Josh Klinghoffe filled in on drums for most of the show.
“Matt Cameron is a true artist and he’s a force of nature,” frontman Eddie Vedder told the crowd before introducing the replacement drummers. “However, even his superhero status could not prevent him from testing positive. This damn COVID thing yesterday. We’ve been scrambling for 24 hours because after 25 months of… We were supposed to be here 25 months ago. We’ve been waiting and we’ve been waiting. Postponing wasn’t an option and for us neither was canceling. We didn’t want to pull the plug and we couldn’t pull the plug. We’ve got our group here, we’ve got our equipment here and, most importantly, you’re here.”
Vedder continued, “So, lucky for us, we have some friends, and one of our friends has already been on our team this tour — the multi-talented, multi-faceted, multi-instrumentalist playing behind the drum kit right now, Mr. Josh Klinghoffer. Like the Shohei Ohtani of rock ‘n’ roll. Let’s let the s**t hit the fan and hopefully it’s good s**.”
Klinghoffer reportedly handled drum duties on 11 songs while Stuverud played on 12, before the band served up a big surprise for the final song.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome one of your own: Mr. Josh Arroyo!” Vedder told the crowd, welcoming local drummer Arroyo to the stage to close out the show with “Yellow Ledbetter”.
Pearl Jam’s performance with Arroyo can be seen in the video above.