Stephen Colbert may have had his dreams come true this week as the Late Show host joined Pearl Jam onstage during a Wednesday night performance of Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World on his show. “You don’t get to do that every day,” said Colbert after harmonizing, jumping, and headbanging with the ‘90s rock legends. Colbert’s right: It was Pearl Jam’s first live performance this year as they gear up for Saturday’s appearance at the Global Citizen Festival in New York.
The collaboration occurred after the Late Show crowd chanted “One more song!” and Colbert whispered to frontman Eddie Vedder. While they haven’t played live in awhile, Vedder, drummer Matt Cameron, guitarists Mike McCready and Stone Gossard, and bass player Jeff Arment were in fine form and enthusiastic as ever. Vedder even got the chance to stagedive on national TV, a feat that the iconic lead singer can’t say he does very often.
Vedder and his band also performed Mind Your Manners, the lead single from their 2013 record Lightning Bolt, on the show. That hard-hitting track spotlighted Vedder’s distinctive vocals and the band’s grunge rock roots. As we previously noted, the group announced that it will record the follow-up to that album within the next year. The band also has a string of dates booked in South America this fall.
It hasn’t been so long since we saw Vedder on the Late Show stage, who previously performed on one of David Letterman’s final shows in May. It’s also not Colbert’s first time performing as part of a rock band. As Slate notes, the funny man has a past as the lead singer of a Rolling Stones cover band called A Shot in the Dark.