Pearl Jam brought in local drummers after stickman Matt Cameron contracted COVID-19.
The musician was unable to perform with the band for the first time in over 24 years on Thursday (12.05.22) and Friday (13.05.22) but rather than cancel the concerts in Oakland, California – which had already been postponed – the ‘Jeremy hitmakers approached local drummers and asked them to fill in.
While pros Josh Klinghoffer and Richard Stuverud played most of the shows, on Thursday local music teacher Josh Arroyo stepped in to play the band’s latest song “Yellow Ledbetter”, and the next night teenager Kai Neukermans – who plays in a band called The Alive – was brought on stage to perform “Mind Your Manners”.
According to TMZ, the pair had been carefully scouted and selected before the shows and would have had time to rehearse with the band, rather than their onstage introduction being spontaneous.
Before falling ill, Matt helped his band honor late drummer Taylor Hawkins by taking lead vocals on a cover of “Cold Day In The Sun,” the 2005 Foo Fighters song that featured the stickman – who died in march – at the microphone. during a concert at the Forum in Los Angeles.
The musicians previously worked together in the group Nighttime Boogie Association.
And as they kicked off their San Diego tour earlier this month, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder paid tribute to Taylor while sharing his appreciation for his own drummer.
He said: “[Hawkins] released something very incredible and very special.
“We all miss him, and so, Matt, I’m sorry again for your loss. But this just gives us another chance to say how much we appreciate you, too.