‘Ottawa’ Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder Pays Tribute to Gord Downie at Chicago Concert
KINGSTON, Ont. — Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder took a moment to honour Gord Downie at his band’s concert on Saturday night.
Vedder paused the show at Chicago’s Wrigley Field to give support to the Tragically Hip singer and his battle with terminal brain cancer.
“There’s something going on north of the border tonight and it involves somebody that we consider a family member just cause they’re part of a group of touring musicians we’ve met over the years,” he told the audience in videos captured by fans and posted to social media sites.
“There’s a guy who’s got a band called Tragically Hip,” he added to cheers.
Vedder continued explaining that he met the band when they were both recording in Seattle. He said he’s since heard about Downie’s glioblastoma diagnosis and the subsequent “Man Machine Poem” tour.
“He was very courageous and decided to take his group out on one last tour and tonight’s the last night of that run,” he said as the stadium’s big screen cut to someone in the audience wearing a Hip t-shirt.
“So they’re up there, going through the emotions up there. I just want to send them our energy from our gathering up to their gathering up there, and wish the best to Mr. Gord Downie.
“We love you,” he said before launching into the song “Light Years,” about the death of a friend.
Downie and his bandmates played what many fans believe was their final show to a sold-out crowd at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston. The high-energy performance aired live across the country on CBC to countless viewing parties from longtime and casual fans alike.