Original Pearl Jam Drummer Dave Krusen Sits in at Concert

Pearl Jam gave fans a blast from the past last night at their concert in Fresno, Calif., when they brought up a guest musician: the band’s original drummer, Dave Krusen.

With Pearl Jam’s current drummer, Matt Cameron, off the road after testing positive for COVID-19, Krusen appeared behind the kit for several songs.

“When this all went down with Matt the other day, we started thinking about all the other people that — you know, we’ve been through some great drummers … some of the best,” Eddie Vedder said when introducing Krusen. “You know, that first record [Ten] seems to be a record that affected so many people … but our friend that was playing drums at that time, the amount of shows that he got to play with us was fairly limited. Well, it looks like this week we’re going to get to make up for that.”

Krusen, fittingly, played drums on 10 songs, eight of which came from the band’s debut album. This was Krusen’s first time performing a concert with Pearl Jam since May 25, 1991. He left the group that year due to personal issues and struggles with alcohol. (His only other performance with the group was in 2017 at Pearl Jam’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction.)

You can watch fan-filmed footage from the show below.

Pearl Jam have been playing with other drummers until Cameron recovers. Last week at two shows, two fans – Josh Arroyo on May 12 and Kai Neukermans on May 13 – sat in on drums for a song. Touring member Josh Klinghoffer and Oakland-based drummer Richard Stuverud have also been taking turns on drums.

“It was a last-minute thing, and I didn’t think it was going to work out,” Neukermans told the San Francisco Chronicle. “My heart started racing when everyone started screaming and my heart skipped a beat.”

Other highlights from last night’s show included a rare performance of the deep cut “Don’t Gimme No Lip,” sung by guitarist Stone Gossard, and Klinghoffer taking lead vocals for a cover of Prince‘s “Purple Rain.”

Pearl Jam Opening Night 2022

Pearl Jam’s long-awaited return to the road took place May 3, 2022.

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