It just wouldn’t be Pearl Jam Week without Pearl Jam, and the rockers obliged last night by performing “Sirens” on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. The song is the latest single from their new album Lightning Bolt, which is what prompted Fallon to spend this week celebrating the band’s music with a string of performances from them – in their only TV appearances promoting the album – and others.
The band eased into the slow-burning tune, with Eddie Vedder singing the soulful melody over Mike McCready’s strumming on a 12-string acoustic and Stone Gossard’s subtle accompaniment on an electric guitar. Later, Vedder strapped on an acoustic and McCready traded his for an electric guitar and laid into a smoldering solo before the band brought the tune home.
Pearl Jam’s performance followed versions of their songs by friends and admirers, starting Monday when Chris Cornell and the Avett Brothers covered “Footsteps.” Fleet Foxes singer Robin Pecknold sang “Corduroy” Tuesday, and Dierks Bentley, McCready and the Roots played “Alive” Wednesday. Pearl Jam enjoyed the cover versions: Hearing other artists’ inpretations of their songs often inspired the rockers to see their material in a new light, bassist Jeff Ament told Rolling Stone.
“Each singer and player emphasizes different words and melodies and rhythms, and it changes how you hear the song,” Ament said. “Robin’s take on ‘Corduroy’ in particular took me to a different place than our version ever has. It was beautiful and chaotic.”
Pearl Jam will appear again tonight on Fallon in a taped performance as their Lightning Bolt tour resumes in Hartford, Connecticut.