Pearl Jam paid tribute to rock legends Chris Cornell and Tom Petty on Friday night, covering a song from each recently deceased artist during a concert at Seattle’s Safeco Field.
Friday's performance marked night two of the Home Shows, Pearl Jam's first string of concerts in their home city since the unexpected 2017 death of Cornell, a fellow Seattle native. The band paid tribute to Cornell early on in the set with a rendition of Cornell's “Missing” (above), a deep cut off both his EP “Poncier” and a reissue of the critically acclaimed “Singles” soundtrack. Later in the evening, during the band’s first encore, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers broke out another cover: the classic Petty tune “I Won’t Back Down” (below).
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder’s connection with Cornell—a repeat Stern Show guest and frontman for the likes of Soundgarden and Audioslave—is well documented. Not only have the musicians shared the stage numerous times in the past, they've also shared a presence on the aforementioned “Singles” soundtrack, which boasts “Seasons”—the Cornell song Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine covered for the Stern Show during a tribute of his own.
While Pearl Jam rocked out during Cornell’s “Missing,” their Petty cover proved to be an even more emotionally wrought affair. Before beginning the song, Vedder asked the audience to not only sing along with him but also to shine their cellphone lights during the performance, so that the cover could be better seen “from the sky.”
Check out Pearl Jam’s cover of Chris Cornell’s “Missing” (above) and watch the band perform Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” (below).