Pearl Jam = Classic Rock Cover Band?

The Pearl Jam show Sunday night was the 15th time I have seen the band and in that time I have seen them cover many artists.

It started when I got to see them play Sheraton Gibson by The Who’s Pete Townsend and Neil Young’s Rocking In The Free World at Cleveland State University in 1994. 

Sunday night in Chicago we heard 3 more cover songs, Love, Reign O’er Me and The Real Me by The Who and Needle And The Damage Done by Neil Young.  All 3 of these songs are over 30 years old.  Why did they play them last night, well because those were the songs that Eddie “listened to while riding the L Train skateboarding through Chicago as a youngster…in fact we all did,” Vedder explained. 

I realized after Sunday’s show that it’s Pearl Jam’s love for these artists that has driven me to seek out and listen to older band’s that I may have missed.  They’ve opened my musical tastes to many others as I’ve witnessed them perform the following cover songs in concert…

Another Brick In The Wall (Pink Floyd)

So You Want To Be A Rock n Roll Star (The Byrds)

I Believe In Miracles (The Ramones)

Fortunate Son (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

Know Your Rights (The Clash)

Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix)

Forever Young (Bruce Springsteen)

I’m curious, what well known bands regularly cover Pearl Jam?  I know Aaron Lewis of Staind has covered Black, Seether did Immortality at Summerfest, The Gaslight Anthem recently covered State of Love and Trust, but why don’t more bands attempt to cover them?

Another 16 years from now Eddie Vedder will be 60 years old.  Springsteen turns 60 in September and is still going strong.  Bruce is also one of the most common artists that Eddie Vedder covers.  Pearl Jam has played with Bruce, The Who, Rolling Stones and Tom Petty.  All of these bands played their first gigs when the members of Pearl Jam were in grade school.  If everything goes right, we have a lot of live music to look forward to from Pearl Jam. 

Classic Rock?  Yes, and they are classic in every way.  They are an example that many bands of today should try to follow and in many ways Pearl Jam’s career has mirrored some of the afore mentioned artists.  Cover band?  No, but I don’t mind hearing them play songs from their idols once and a while.  They’ve turned me on to many artists that I may have otherwise missed, and for that I say once again say thank you Pearl Jam!

Brian Kramp

Kramp and Adler Mornings On FM 102.1

WLUM – Milwaukee

    • K
    • September 7th, 2009

    Great shows!

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