Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder was emotional Saturday during the opening stop on a European solo tour, his first gig since longtime friend and former collaborator Chris Cornell died on May 18.
Vedder made no direct mention of Cornell, the lead vocalist for Soundgarden and Audioslave, during his Amsterdam show in the Netherlands, according to Consequence of Sound, but he altered lyrics and addressed substance abuse, an issue that plagued Cornell prior to his suicide. During the set’s first song, “Long Road,” Vedder amended the words to say, “Without you, something is missing.”
Vedder also performed a cover of Neil Young’s “The Needle and the Damage Done,” a song about heroin addiction.
Later during the gig, when a fan shouted “I love you,” Vedder reportedly responded, “Thank you. I need it ― we all need it. I’m thinking of a lot of people tonight, and some in particular and their families. And I just know that healing takes time, if it ever happens. It takes time, and that means you have to start somewhere. So let it be music. Let it be love and togetherness. And let it be Amsterdam.”
Vedder and Cornell worked together when Cornell was the lead singer of the rock band Temple of the Dog, which united the founding members of Pearl Jam.
Guns N’ Roses also paid tribute to Cornell on Saturday, during a show in Ireland. The band performed “Black Hole Sun,” Soundgarden’s defining hit.
Duff McKagan, Guns N’ Roses’ bass guitarist, collaborated with Cornell when they performed with the supergroup Mad Season, which featured members of Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age and The Walkabouts. At a 2015 reunion show, Cornel filled in as the band’s lead singer, and McKagan played bass.
Guns N’ Roses are among many acts that have covered “Black Hole Sun” in recent days, including Ryan Adams, Ann Wilson and Norah Jones.