Eddie Vedder's Best Covers at Seattle Benefit Shows

Eddie Vedder performed a pair of benefit shows in Seattle last week to raise awareness and funds to a non-profit he and his wife started that identifies treatments and cures for epidermolysis bullosa, a rare and debilitating skin disease that can lead to cancer in children.

Jill and Eddie launched the organization in 2010 and shared the spotlight at the 2,500 seat Benaroya Hall with several kids fighting EB.

In the middle of the set of the first night the Pearl Jam singer introduced Eli, a young boy with EB he identified as “my friend, my teacher, my hero."

On 10/23/23 Vedder played 18 songs, 6 of which were covers by others.

The following day he performed 22 tunes, 10 were covers by others from the likes of Pink Floyd to Cat Power.

Here's a few we loved.

"I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty

Eddie Vedder seems to love this Petty cover from Full Moon Fever, the smash hit that gave us "Free Fallin'."

He's played it 25 times solo, which ranks him #10 of others who have covered the tune - just behind Imagine Dragons. Pearl Jam has done it 20 times, so technically Vedder has done it more than even Bon Jovi.

In 2006 PJ opened for Tom Petty and a couple of nights Eddie would get on stage with Tom and the Heartbreakers and sing along. On July 3, 2006 he sang "The Waiting" and "American Girl" with them.

"Brain Damage" by Pink Floyd

This is an unusual song to cover which only makes it more special. The dreamy and creepy track from Dark Side of the Moon has been covered by the singer 47 times (starting way back in 2008) and twice by Pearl Jam.

What's interesting is fellow Seattle grunge-era guitarist Jerry Cantrell has covered it 49 times. Who can blame early Gen Xers for loving this track, it was probably playing on the 8 track of their school bus by an excellent bus driver.

But you know who doesn't play this song live? Floyd guitarist David Gilmour who took over the vocal duties when Roger Waters split from the group, but after 1994 he never played it again.

Waters, however, who wrote it, rocked it as recently as Saturday in Brazil.

"Open All Night" by Bruce Springsteen

It's no secret Eddie is a giant fan of Bruce Springsteen. He sang another Nebraska tune, "Atlantic City," in 2012 with the Boss. He also did "My Hometown" with him at Wrigley Field in 2012. And let's not forget when they covered "Highway to Hell" along with Tom Morello in 2014.

And recently Bruce interviewed Eddie about his most recent solo album, Earthling.

Despite being a fantastic song about a man doing whatever he can to drive back to his true love across the lonesome New Jersey highway, perhaps because it's a wordy diddy with no chorus, Eddie is the only well-known artist who has covered it.

At 30 performances the only person who tops him is Bruce himself at a modest 108 times.

"Rockin' in the Free World" by Neil Young

Now here's one that doesn't look right at first glance.

Topping the list of artists who have played the 1989 tune from Neil Young's dynamic Freedom - which came out at the dawn of Grunge and fit right in - is none other than Pearl Jam at 329 performances.

But then you have Neil with Crazy Horse at 225 followed by Neil solo at 166 and even CSN&Y did it 117 times.

So even though Eddie has done it solo 87 times, technically Neil has rocked it more on stage, but that lead is in danger when one sees how much Mr. Pearl Jam loves it. Just watch how he stomp when he plays it. The Seattle Times did.

"A floor board inside a Seattle venue hasn’t taken a beating like that since Shawn Kemp used to come crashing down on the KeyArena court after his high-flying dunks," Michael Rietmulder wrote last week.

"Imagine" by John Lennon

Befitting the theme of the benefit, when an audience member requested the 1980 John Lennon classic, Vedder accepted the idea and said, "let's imagine a cure," and broke into the tune that is typically played on piano not guitar.

Vedder has played the song 10 times now solo and Pearl Jam has done at 22 shows.

"They may say we are dreamers, we aren't the only ones..." Vedder improvised to the applause of the attendees.

There are no dates scheduled for either Vedder or Pearl Jam this year. But if you'd like more info on the EB nonprofit the show was benefiting, you can find that on their website.

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Last updated: 28 Feb 2024, 02:22 Etc/UTC