There was a moment near the beginning of Friday night’s Pearl Jam concert at the Moda Center in Portland where Eddie Vedder paused, smiled at the crowd and mentioned that the last time Pearl Jam performed in the Rose City it was way back in 2006 and their good friends in Sleater-Kinney served as the opening act.
It turns out this was a bit of playful foreshadowing by Vedder, as the trio of Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss — along with former R.E.M. members Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey — joined Pearl Jam onstage for a cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World’ at the end of the three-hour concert. The performance marks the first time the band members have performed onstage together since going on an indefinite hiatus in 2006.
Despite Vedder’s coy banter earlier during the show, the reunion was unexpected. But it does explain why Weiss was seen onstage during Pearl Jam’s set when the band paused to sing “Happy Birthday” to drummer Matt Cameron who turned 51 on Thanksgiving. Watch video of the show-closing performance of “Rockin’ in the Free World” below.