Win Butler Joins Pearl Jam for ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’
Lately, Pearl Jam‘s favorite song to have special guests join them on is Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” Last year, Portlandia star and Sleater-Kinney alumna Carrie Brownstein and Annie Clark of St. Vincent sat in with the group in Dallas to perform it and two weeks later, a reunited Sleater-Kinney took on the 1989 classic at Portland’s Moda Center, their first performance since 2006. And as Consequence of Sound points out, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler joined the group at Big Day Out in Perth, Australia over the weekend.
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As the video above shows, Butler surprises the crowd midway through the first verse before taking over lead vocals from Eddie Vedder for verse two. The two frontmen harmonize through another verse before Butler walks offstage. In a show of solidarity with his Big Day Out co-headliners, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament wore a T-shirt bearing the logo of Arcade Fire’s latest album Reflektor.
Pearl Jam’s 25-song set also featured covers of Australian rock band Hunters and Collectors’ “Throw Your Arms Around Me” and Victoria Williams’ “Crazy Mary” from the 1993 tribute album Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams.
Butler’s hardly a stranger to Neil Young himself. As he recently told former Office star Rainn Wilson, Young offered Arcade Fire some advice during the recording of Reflektor. “It was the end of the night and we were leaving,” Butler said. “And he’s like, ‘Well, guys, have fun making your album. Or it can not be fun at all, that’s fine too. Doesn’t matter if it’s fun.'”