Pearl Jam Covers Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” in Chicago

Chicago seemed wild last night, and it’s all thanks to Pearl Jam. The band covered iconic power pop song “Surrender,” originally done by Cheap Trick, at their September 5 show to close out their set.

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“We’re gonna send you home with a Chicago song,” Eddie Vedder said before the band launched into the song’s sparkly power chords. “And it ain’t [the group] Chicago.”

[RELATED: Pearl Jam Covers Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage” at Minnesota Concert]

As fan-captured footage uploaded to YouTube reveals, they played the cover with the house lights up as it was the final song of their set. The occasion marked the first time since 2016 that Pearl Jam had covered “Surrender” in concert.

Though most of the Pearl Jam members hail from Seattle — and indeed, the band was formed there in 1990 — Vedder himself grew up in Evanston, Illinois before relocating to San Diego and then, finally, the Pacific Northwest. In this way, the gig at Chicago’s United Center was something of a hometown show for the vocalist.

Cheap Trick formed in Rockford, Illinois, about 90 miles away from Chicago, so the band’s choice of song felt appropriate. “Surrender,” one of Cheap Trick’s most enduring tracks, first saw release in 1978 on the Heaven Tonight album. It remains a staple of the power pop genre.

[RELATED: Top 10 Pearl Jam Songs]

Pearl Jam are no strangers to covers — at my first PJ concert in 2003, they played songs by The Police, The Who, Patti Smith, Victoria Williams, Dead Boys, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. In fact, “Surrender” marks just a recent addition to this tour. In Minnesota earlier this week, they covered “Brain Damage” by Pink Floyd.

The concert in Chicago also found Vedder, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready, and Matt Cameron covering Hunters & Collectors’ “Throw Your Arms Around Me” and work bits of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and The Beat’s “Save It for Later” into their own tracks.

Pearl Jam are gearing up for a second night in Chicago on September 7 before rolling on to Indianapolis, Ft. Worth, and Austin to round out their fall 2023 tour.

Photo by Jason Kempin/FilmMagic

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