Eddie Vedder has set off on tour in support of forthcoming solo album Earthling with an all-star band that includes Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction members – and the setlists so far have played host to a wealth of classic covers and the occasional Pearl Jam deep cut.
The Earthlings band includes Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith alongside his former bandmate (and new PJ touring member) Josh Klinghoffer – who handles guitar, vocals and keys – as well as super-producer Andrew Watt on lead guitar, Jane’s Addiction bassist Chris Chaney and singer-songwriter Glen Hansard on guitar and backing vocals.
It’s a supergroup of a lineup by all accounts, and accordingly, the band weren’t afraid to tackle some of rock’s greatest hits during their debut shows, which kicked off on February 1 at New York’s Capitol Theater.
Setlists so far have included Vedderized versions of Tom Petty’s Room at the Top and the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun, as well as Jimi Hendrix’s take on Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower.
Perhaps the highlight of the sets so far, however, has been the band’s performance of Prince’s Purple Rain at the Beacon Theater on February 4, which not only finds Klinghoffer taking lead vocals, but also showcases Pearl Jam super-fan Andrew Watt’s blistering Strat chops.
A number of Pearl Jam standards – Wishlist, Porch, Better Man – have also cropped up on the setlist, as well as Dirty Frank, a Ten-era deep cut musically inspired by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who the group were touring with at the time. Vedder’s Earthlings even break into the Chili Peppers’ Freaky Styley during the track’s breakdown.
Much of the remainder of the sets was made up of new material taken from Vedder’s forthcoming solo effort, Earthling, which was produced by Watt and also features Klinghoffer and Smith. Other special guests set to appear on the record include Ringo Starr, Elton John and Stevie Wonder.
Earthling is out this Friday (February 11).