Eddie Vedder Debuts New Material & Reunites With Ex-Pearl Jam Drummer

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Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, Elvis Costello, Band of Horses, Mudhoney, X, Jack Irons, White Reaper, Lily Meola, and Polynesian Dancers performed at Day 1 of the Ohana Festival last night in Dana Point, CA. The setting of the concert was picturesque, right on the water at Doheny State Beach. Early on in the day, Vedder reunited with former Pearl Jam drummer Jack Irons on the Tiki Stage to perform “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” He also joined Elvis Costello for a rendition of “Peace, Love, and Understanding.”

Vedder’s own set kicked off promptly at 7:55PM, with his live staple “Can’t Keep,” off of Pearl Jam’s 2002 album Riot Act. During his set, Vedder made a couple mistakes, but quickly laughed it off, especially during a cover of The Beatles’ “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.” Vedder mentioned he was on a tight schedule due to a strict curfew so he didn’t want to talk too much, but he did speak to the crowd a bit. He dedicated “Soon Forgot” to Donald Trump, again mocking his ‘small hands.’

Vedder got nostalgic as well, discussing coming up to Dana Point on weekends to visit a friend when he was a kid. He mentioned that he learned to surf there, getting a shitty $12 board that made his early days of surfing quite challenging. He said he will never forget his first wave, and the immediate reaction he had of pounding his chest, which just about left a tattoo. He said yesterday was his first day back at Doheny State Beach since his youth, and it hadn’t changed a bit. Vedder also debuted a new song titled “Out of Sand,” fitting the beachy theme of the concert due to its setting. Click here to listen to a soundcheck of the song from earlier in the day. Surfer Kelly Slater joined Vedder for “Indifference.” Slater said he had surfed in crowds bigger than this one (around 20,000 appeared to be in attendance), but he said this was quite possibly the most nervous he’d ever been.

Vedder sang many Pearl Jam songs differently than he usually does with the band. “Sometimes” though stayed very true to the studio version, and was a highlight of the evening, especially with the show marking the 20th anniversary of No Code. The 25th anniversary of Ten was also marked with a performance of “Porch.”

The crowd was packed full of Pearl Jam and Grunge fans. I saw several Alice In Chains and Nirvana shirts, and it seemed like every other person had a Pearl Jam shirt on at some points. There was a Lollapalooza 1992 shirt that made me quite jealous, if only I hadn’t been 8 months old when it was taking place.

As I entered the photo pit for Eddie Vedder’s set, I saw Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm, who had performed earlier, attempting to get backstage. He appeared to get denied by the security woman for a few minutes before eventually being let backstage. Myself and other photographers were bewildered, as we all knew that he was in Mudhoney.

I brought my Dad along as my plus one, and he stood just outside the photo pit during the early part of Eddie’s set. Just as Eddie was about to go on, a woman in the crowd passed out and a security guard wasn’t properly getting to her, so my Dad hopped the barricade and helped her get out of the crowd. Can’t find a better man for a Dad.