Eddie Vedder, accompanied only by an organ, performed a solo version of Pearl Jam’s “River Cross” during Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home special, which raised over $127 million for COVID-19 relief.
“All this talk of rapture / Look around at the promise now / Here and now,” Vedder sings on the track. “Can’t hold me down / Won’t hold us down.”
While “River Cross” closes out Pearl Jam’s recently released new album Gigaton, Vedder – a longtime supporter of Global Citizen – has played the track a handful of times while performing solo, including the song’s debut at the Vedder-curated Ohana Festival in September 2017.
Pearl Jam’s monthlong North American tour in support of Gigaton was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic; the band at the time was stationed in their native Seattle, site of the first coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
“We’ve worked hard with all our management and business associates to find other solutions or options but the levels of risk to our audience and their communities is simply too high for our comfort level,” they wrote in a statement. “Add to that we also have a unique group of passionate fans who travel far and wide. We’ve always been humbled by this and respect their energies and devotion. However in this case, travel is something to avoid.”
Pearl Jam continued, “It certainly hasn’t helped that there’s been no clear messages from our government regarding people’s safety and our ability to go to work. Having no examples of our national health department’s ability to get ahead of this, we have no reason to believe that it will be under control in the coming weeks ahead… Again, here in Seattle what we are witnessing we would not wish for anyone.”
The Together at Home special — hosted by late-night TV’s Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon — also featured Paul McCartney (who performed the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna”), Kacey Musgraves, the Rolling Stones (“You Can’t Always Get You Want“), Taylor Swift (“Soon You’ll Get Better“), Kacey Musgraves (“Rainbow“), Lizzo (“A Change Is Gonna Come”), Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Usher, Chris Martin, J Balvin, John Legend, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Pharrell Williams, Sam Smith, Billie Joe Armstrong, LL Cool J and many more.