Flashback: Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder sing “Bobby Jean” in 2016
Pearl Jam returns from a three-year live hiatus on Saturday night when they headline the Sea.Hear.Now festival on the Asbury Park waterfront in New Jersey. They had planned to tour the world last year to support Gigaton, but they were forced to postpone everything because of the pandemic. This means they haven’t faced a live audience since their September 4, 2018 show at Fenway Park. It’s the longest break in their 30-year career.
The two-day festival will also feature sets from Patti Smith, the Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Idol, Lord Huron, Ani DiFranco and many more. Patti Scialfa was on the original invoice, but she dropped out last month due to “unforeseen circumstances”.
The news makes it significantly less likely that Bruce Springsteen will sit down with Pearl Jam for a few songs, but far from impossible. The festival is hosted by photographer Danny Clinch, a longtime Springsteen associate. It’s also a short drive from Springsteen’s house, and it’s been making unannounced appearances in Asbury Park for decades. In 2018, he went through Sea.Hear.Now from Social Distortion.
He has also performed with Eddie Vedder on several occasions over the years, dating back to 2002, when the frontman of Pearl Jam took the stage at a Chicago E Street Band concert for “My Hometown”. Their most recent duet was on March 24, 2016 at Seattle’s Key Arena when Vedder sang “Bobby Jean” during a stop on the River to visit. Watch the video right here.
Surprisingly, Springsteen never returned the favor by taking the stage at a Pearl Jam concert. It would be amazing if that finally changed on Saturday night, but it will be an unforgettable night for Pearl Jam fans no matter what. They have a whole new album of songs that have never been played live. If Springsteen decides to play a few songs, all the better.