Legendary American rock band Pearl Jam returned to the stage on Saturday night for their first concert in three years and a familiar face joined them. Playing at Asbury Park, NJ’s Sea.Hear.Now Festival, the band unveiled a new lineup that includes former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. The multi-talented musician played guitar, percussion and provided backing vocals for the band’s entire 20-song set.
After this electric performance, fans wondered if this was just a one-time occurrence or if this was a preview of a new touring lineup. Yesterday, representatives for the band confirmed that the latter is indeed true and that Klinghoffer will be joining Pearl Jam as a touring musician.
During their headline set, Pearl Jam played several songs from their latest album, Gigaton, live for the first time. The band paid tribute to drummer Charlie Watts, who passed away last month, by interpolating The Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on a Friend” into “Wishlist.” Pearl Jam also treated fans to a couple of cover songs. The band covered Bruce Springsteen’s “My City Ruins” and enlisted the help of guitarist Lenny Kaye for their closing performance of “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
Earlier this year, the band issued a cease or desist letter to the UK Pearl Jam tribute band, called Pearl Jamm. The cover band has since changed their name to LEGAL JAM. In May, Pearl Jam released a trove of live tracks on their official site. Representing two decades worth of performances, the release features 5,404 live tracks from 186 live shows. In July, Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard’s side project Painted Shield released a new single titled “4th of July.” This atmospheric song features organ-like instrumentation and overdriven guitar chords.
Klinghoffer will join Pearl Jam for a pair of performances at lead singer Eddie Vedder’s Ohana Music Festival in Dana Point, California next week. Back in 2019, Klinghoffer was dismissed from the Red Hot Chili Peppers after 10 years with the band. According to the guitarist, the band fired him one hour before they announced former guitarist John Frusciante’s return.
Earlier this year, Dot Hacker, the band that features Klinghoffer, guitarist Clint Walsh, bassist Jonathan Hischke and drummer Eric Gardner, released their first new music since 2017’s N°3. “Divination,” is a layered art rock track that features echoing drum patterns and softly played guitars.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried