The last of the great grungers
“Protect Eddie Vedder at all costs.” That’s been the cry since May 18th, when Chris Cornell took his leave of this mortal coil, placing the Pearl Jam frontman as one the grunge music’s last surviving icons.
When alternative rock’s definitive history is written on scroll and committed to tombs for future generations, the pair’s stories will be etched on the same parchment. Having both emerged from the Seattle scene, they’ve been friends, occasional collaborators, and spiritual kin.
Now, Cornell’s image has been fossilised in time forever – his raw dynamism leaving a shockwave that will echo as long as this planet continues to rotate. Vedder, though, forges on, continuing to add new ripples to the legacy.
We don’t need to protect Vedder, but we do need to celebrate him. And Irish fans will get the opportunity to treasure the baritone-voiced behemoth as he plays solo shows at Dublin’s 3Arena on Friday and Live at the Marquee, Cork on Sunday.
Expect an emotional night – the memory of Cornell looming over the stage like a dark cloud. These recent clutch of European dates have seen reports of Vedder emotively speaking to the crowd about the painful loss without bringing himself to directly mention his brethren by name.
“I didn’t want to be sad, wanted to be grateful not sad,” he told a crowd in London on Tuesday, according to Rolling Stone. “I’m still thinking about those memories and I will live with those memories in my heart and I will love him forever.”
If recent setlists are adhered to, Vedder will mix old Pearl Jam classics, a few songs from his solo catalogue, and some interestingly chosen covers. He’s been sliding a version of Fugazi’s moving ballad I’m So Tired into his repertoire, a song that deals with isolation and suicide.
Irish crowds might here Neil Young’s quaking acoustic number The Needle and the Damage Done, which covers heroin addiction, and even a version of David Bowie’s stellar classic Heroes.
Glen Hansard has been touring alongside Vedder. Expect the duo to be on stage together at some point during the set. But with Cornell not far from everyone’s mind, this, even more so than usual, will be a show where everyone is present.
Expect an emotional night with the memory of Chris Cornell looming over the stage like a dark cloud