Pearl Jam and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler have come together to bring the house down on Australia’s 2014 Big Day Out tour with a performance of “Rockin’ in the Free World”.
Vedder, Butler and co. on Sunday gave a fitting rendition of Neil Young’s rock standard for what is likely to be the last time the BDO rolls into the Western Australian capital.
Members of the two bands have been getting-on famously during the BDO trek, and they’ve reportedly kept themselves in peak-shape with a particularly physical brand of pick-up basketball.
Pearl Jam isn’t shy to bring out “Rockin’” for the big occasion. The veteran rockers have long included the song in their setlist, and they share a deep history with its creator. Pearl Jam joined Neil Young on stage to perform the track at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards, and two years later Eddie Vedder inducted the Canadian legend into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Pearl Jam and Young also performed at the ceremony).
The BDO’s 2014 tour, however, wasn’t quite so rockin'. This year’s event wrapped on the weekend amid reports of behind-the-scenes turmoil and slack ticket sales, which no-doubt took a hit by headliner Blur’s late withdrawal last year. The Perth leg of the long-running fest will be axed.
Vedder stays on in Australia for a national tour starting Friday. He’s been using his downtime wisely. Vedder recently caught up with his good friend Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House) onstage at the New Zealander’s Max Sessions gig in Sydney.