Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder made a surprise appearance during Roger Waters’ concert this past Sunday night in Chicago. The two performed a poignant cover of the Pink Floyd classic, “Comfortably Numb.” The song has been performed multiple times by Pearl Jam in recent years, but this rendition was particularly powerful.
Waters began the performance without any announcement or indication of Eddie Vedder’s presence. It wasn’t until the chorus arrived that Vedder quietly snuck out from backstage, taking his place in front of the microphone.
Vedder gave vocals for both choruses while simultaneously assisting on on acoustic guitar during the song’s climactic outro. Vedder also stayed on stage for the curtain call with Waters and his band. This wasn’t the first time the two performed “Comfortably Numb” together. The two had previously performed the track at the 12:12:12 Hurricane Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Garden.
An emotionally charged performance, the combination of Vedder and Waters transports the listener to “rock heaven,” Vedder’s iconically raspy sound fitting perfectly with the song. Their performance provided a breathtakingly powerful rendition of the classic song. Fans attending the show were visibly moved by the performance. The performance showed Vedder’s appreciation for Pink Floyd and the influence they had on his own music.
The recent loss of both Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington made the performance especially emotional and heart rendering. Both artists were friends with Vedder and, although not specifically stated, it appears as though Vedder was also paying tribute to them.
In recent years, Vedder has continually assisted whenever a classic rock act is in Seattle or his birthplace of Chicago. He appeared during U2’s Seattle gig to sing “Mothers of the Disappeared, ” and when the Sting/Peter Gabriel co-headlining tour rolled through Seattle in 2016, Vedder performed with both singers.
WATCH: “COMFORTABLY NUMB”