Pearl Jam Celebrates 20th Anniversary With Two-Day Festival (Video)
by Paula Zulian
9/6/2011 6:18pm PDT
Pearl Jam celebrated its 20th anniversary during a two-day festival this weekend featuring The Strokes, Mudhoney, and Queens of the Stone Age, and three-hour closing sets from the band each night. Dubbed PJ20, the event took place at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin and touted identical bills on both days.
Among the special guests who rocked Pearl Jam songs during their sets: The Strokes' Julian Casablancas sang "Not for You," Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme played "In the Moonlight," and thenewno2's Dhani Harrison gave his own twist to the Singles soundtrack standout, "State of Love and Trust."
Chris Cornell joined Pearl Jam on both nights for a mini Temple of the Dog reunion in the middle of the band's set, singing "Say Hello 2 Heaven," "Call Me a Dog" and "Reach Down."
After singing the 1994 hit "Better Man" to an enraptured crowd Saturday, Eddie Vedder said of the 20th anniversary, "[People said] this ain't gonna happen, that it's a dream, against the odds. I'm glad we didn't listen."
Vedder was ever-present throughout the event, playing drums with Liam Finn, dueting with Glen Hansard on the Once hit "Falling Slowly," and sharing the spotlight with Cornell on "Hunger Strike." Hansard told the audience that he and Vedder became comrades after the death of a fan at a Swell Season concert. He said Vedder reached out to him, sharing how he felt when several concertgoers were crushed to death during a Pearl Jam set at the Roskilde Festival in 2000.
Vedder, who championed the release of the West Memphis Three for years and was present when they were freed last month, told the crowd on Sunday, "Thanks for trusting us," adding, "And if you didn't trust us on that, f**k you. You should have known better." With that, he invited John Doe on stage for a rowdy cover of X's "The New World."
Watch Cornell -- rocking his '90s long hair -- and Pearl Jam perform "Hunger Strike" below:
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