With Matt Cameron Sidelined from COVID-19, Pearl Jam Fan Steps Up to Play with Band

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

One never knows what buying a ticket might lead to.

For one Pearl Jam fan, it meant hopping on stage to literally perform with the band, thanks, in part, to a positive COVID-19 test by current Pearl Jam drummer and grunge legend Matt Cameron.

20-year-old Josh Arroyo had the night of his life, performing with the band on Pearl Jam’s show-closing song “Yellow Ledbetter.”

Cameron was unable to perform with the Seattle-born band when the group played in Oakland, California on Thursday night (May 12) due to a positive COVID-19 test. But the show had to go on and Pearl Jam recruited a few friends—and a fan, Arroyo—to keep things going.

Along with Arroyo, touring Pearl Jam member Josh Klinghoffer performed on the drum kit, playing percussion on tracks like a cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World.” Klinghoffer, who fronts his own group, Pluralone, also performed on “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town,” “Why Go” and “Corduroy.”

Drummer Richard Stuverud played on “Quick Escape” and “Superblood Wolfmoon.”

That’s when Arroyo stepped up to play on “Yellow Ledbetter.”

In the video below, which was uploaded by a fan in Oakland, Arroyo can be seen talking with frontman Eddie Vedder before the group gets the song going. Arroyo does a great job, impressing everyone in attendance.

According to a fan in the comment section, “Eddie asked if there were any drummers in the crowd that wanted to play,” said the YouTube user Joe Booth. “Josh jumped up and ran to the front isle [sic]. Eddie saw his shirt, which listed all of the PJ drummers. Then Eddie said, ‘Get him tested for COVID and bring him out for the encore!’ The place went NUTS! Epic PJ concert moment. Congrats, Josh. Get set!”

Pearl Jam (Photo: Danny Clinch

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