Watch Coldplay cover Pearl Jam’s Nothingman during Seattle gig

Eddie Vedder (left) and Chris Martin
(Image credit: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic via Getty)

Coldplay’s Chris Martin revealed his love for Pearl Jam and paid tribute to the iconic rock outfit during a live performance last Friday (October 22) by serving up a stripped-back rendition of Nothingman.

The concert – which formed part of the band’s pre-world tour promo show run following the release of their ninth studio album, Music Of The Spheres, earlier this month – took place at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, with Martin capitalizing on the gig’s location to perform the track.

Nothingman was released in 1994, and can be found on Pearl Jam’s third studio album, Vitalogy.

While nonchalantly strumming on his Martin acoustic guitar, the multi-instrumentalist casually introduced the rendition by saying, “Because we’re here in Seattle, we wanted to pay tribute to all of the bands we fell in love with when we were just young teenagers in the ‘90s.

“So this is a cover version, this [next] song,” he added, before humbly warning the crowd that they shouldn’t upload it to the internet “because it’s not going to be the best cover version, it’s really just a tribute."

His warning – which, after the cover commenced, turned out to be wholly unnecessary – continued: “This is not Adele singing Make You Feel My Love [by Bob Dylan]. That’s not what you’re about to see.

“This is a 44-year-old man remembering how much he fell in love with Pearl Jam back in 1991. And if you told that kid he would be here singing this song, that kid would’ve said, ‘Are you sure that’s a good idea?’ and I would’ve said, ‘Maybe not, but we’re doing it.’”

After welcoming the band’s “anchor of a drummer” and backing vocalist Will Champion to the B-Stage, who took up his position behind the keys, Martin launched into the track’s first verse, and those in attendance quickly realized that, despite the frontman’s warning, it had in fact been a very good idea.

Opting for a far more streamlined arrangement of the track, Martin and Champion dispensed of the drums and instead made their way through the song by way of some dreamy guitar strums, delicate keyboard progressions and goosebump-inducing vocals.

As the track came to a close, Martin made one last confession of his love for Pearl Jam, saying, “If Eddie [Vedder] ever hears this, I love you man, thank you for being so kind to our band” – a reference to the time he performed the song alongside Vedder in 2016.

Coldplay scored their ninth consecutive UK Number One album last week following the release of Music Of The Spheres – an album that will be toured extensively around the world next year.

The band’s mammoth seven-month world tour, which will see them be joined by H.E.R. as the support act, will kick off next March in San Jose, Costa Rica, and will conclude on September 10 at Brazil’s Rock In Rio Festival.

For a full list of tour dates, head over to Coldplay’s official website.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.