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Eddie Vedder calls Pearl Jam’s “frightening” recent illness a “near-death experience”

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Eddie Vedder described Pearl Jam’s recent health scare as a “near-death experience” when speaking to fans over the weekend.

The grunge icons had to cancel tour dates in London and Berlin over the last couple of weeks, something Vedder discussed during the band’s encore in Barcelona on Saturday (July 6).

In between performing ‘Just Breathe’ and ‘Wasted Reprise’, the Pearl Jam frontman said: “Can I just say that the last week, it almost felt like a near-death experience. It was very uncomfortable, and it got frightening. It felt like chest bronchitis. It felt like maybe you couldn’t breathe, and maybe you wouldn’t make it through the night, and maybe you’d have to go to the hospital.”

He explained that the illness affected “a few” of the travelling party, and added: “You just realize how precious this life is. How lucky we are to have been living on a planet where we can go around and play to incredible people like the people in this room here tonight. So, it was a poignant experience. I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. And we won’t be forgetting tonight anytime soon.”

Pearl Jam first cancelled a show at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on June 29, citing illness, before then cancelling two shows in Berlin on July 2 and 3. Explaining that they hadn’t yet recovered, they told fans: “The impacts of this decision are not lost on us. We feel deeply that so many people spend their time, money, and emotional energy to get tickets and then to come see the band and it is heart wrenching to have to disappoint you.”

The shows were set to have been part of the European leg of the band’s world tour. They’d played Manchester’s Co-op Live Arena on June 25, and according to The Guardian, Vedder was struggling with his voice due to illness then.

The tour is in support of their latest album, ‘Dark Matter’, which was released on April 19. In a four-star review, NME said: “For those longing for the charismatic songwriting that first put the band on the map over three decades ago, ‘Dark Matter’ will come as a pleasant surprise.

“Not only does it showcase Pearl Jam reclaiming the charm that first made them a force to be reckoned with back in 1991, it comes alongside some of their most impressive musicianship yet, as well as a determination to take risks after years of playing it safe.”

Speaking to NME in June, guitarist Stone Gossard was asked about headlining Glastonbury, too, saying: “I don’t know the answer to that question. I know that we’ve never played before. I think maybe there was an offer a long time ago, but I don’t know that for sure. My impression of it is it’s been a very impactful festival for England in particular. I know that there’s been some amazing breakout performances there. But I haven’t kept up with it that much. Dua Lipa, right?”

Beginning on August 22, Pearl Jam will be playing a series of US shows, before hitting Australia and New Zealand in November. You can find tickets to their US shows here and their Australia shows here.

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NME Original Article

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