As Pearl Jam Drummer Matt Cameron Battles COVID, More Step Up in His Place, including PJ’s First Drummer and a High School Student

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The show must go on.

That’s the mantra of the Seattle-born grunge band Pearl Jam as it continues its multi-stop tour this spring. Recently, the band played in the Bay Area and is continuing shows on the west coast.

But there’s been a problem… and a creative solution.

The band’s famous drummer Matt Cameron recently tested positive for COVID-19. But rather than the band stopping its run of shows, it’s recruited some folks to sit in for Cameron.

Pearl Jam, which released its latest LP in 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, was set to go on a number of big dates. All of that, of course, had to be dashed. So, now that the band is on the road, they’re trying to keep the train a-rolling.

To wit, Pearl Jam has brought back its first-ever drummer Dave Krusen to play some shows. While the band’s touring members Richard Stuverud and Josh Klinghoffer have sat in, they’ve now enlisted Krusen to help out, as well, given his familiarity.

Krusen famously played on the majority of Pearl Jam’s most famous album, Ten. He also joined Pearl Jam for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2017.

Krusen joined Pearl Jam for their show in Fresno, California on Sunday (May 16). See videos below.

But Krusen wasn’t the only person to help sit in.

Bay Area teen, Kai Neukermans, also helped out at two recent shows in Oakland over the past weekend (May 14 and 15).

Said Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, introducing the youngster, “He hasn’t graduated high school yet. This is the year, right? Everybody, this is Kai. Kai, this is everybody!”

Check out this tweet from a Pearl Jam fan account, which said, “That’s a High School senior named Kai sitting down to play drums on MYM with @PearlJam at Oakland2. Incredible presence. Like he was born to be there. #PJTour2022. #PearlJamtour#pearljam#PearlJamoakland

And even before that, on Thursday (May 12), another fan—20-year-old Josh Arroyo—came out of the audience at a Pearl Jam show to help out.

Check that out HERE.

See videos of Krusen here below.

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