Flashback: Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder Sing 'Bobby Jean' in 2016 - Rolling Stone
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Flashback: Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder Perform ‘Bobby Jean’ in 2016

Pearl Jam return from a three-year live hiatus in Asbury Park on Saturday, and a surprise Springsteen appearance is far from impossible

Pearl Jam are returning from a three-year live hiatus on Saturday night when they headline the Sea.Hear.Now Festival on the Asbury Park, New Jersey, beachfront. They had plans to tour the world last year in support of Gigaton, but they were forced to postpone everything due to the pandemic. That means they haven’t faced a live audience since their September 4th, 2018, show at Fenway Park. It’s the longest break of their 30-year career.

The two-day festival will also feature sets by Patti Smith, the Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Idol, Lord Huron, Ani DiFranco, and many others. Patti Scialfa was on the original bill, but she dropped off last month due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

The news makes it significantly less likely that Bruce Springsteen will sit in with Pearl Jam for a couple of songs, but far from impossible. The festival is organized by photographer Danny Clinch, a longtime Springsteen associate. It also takes place a short drive from Springsteen’s home, and he’s been making unannounced Asbury Park appearances for decades. In 2018, he dropped in during Social Distortion’s Sea.Hear.Now set.

He’s also played with Eddie Vedder many times over the years, going all the way back to 2002 when the Pearl Jam frontman came onstage at a Chicago E Street Band show for “My Hometown.” Their most recent duet took place on March 24th, 2016, at Seattle’s Key Arena when Vedder sang “Bobby Jean” during a stop on the River tour. Check out video right here.

Surprisingly, Springsteen has never returned the favor by coming onstage at a Pearl Jam concert. It would be amazing if that finally changes on Saturday night, but it’ll be an unforgettable evening for Pearl Jam fans no matter what happens. They have an entire new album’s worth of songs that have never been played live. If Springsteen decides to drop by for a few songs, all the better.


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