"It felt like maybe you couldn't breathe, and maybe you wouldn’t make it through the night": Eddie Vedder opens up on alarming illness that led to the cancellation of three Pearl Jam shows

Eddie Vedder onstage in June 2024
Eddie Vedder onstage last month (Image credit: Kieran Frost via Getty Images)

Eddie Vedder has spoken of the alarming illness that led to the cancellation of three recent Pearl Jam shows. 

The band initially cancelled their show their show at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London due to "illness in the band", and two shows at the Waldbühne in Berlin were subsequently shelved. The band eventually returned to the road at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain at the weekend, where a clearly emotional Vedder spoke to the audience about what had happened. 

“It almost felt like a near-death experience,” Vedder told the crowd, without giving away any specific details. “It was very uncomfortable, and it got frightening. It felt like chest bronchitis. It felt like maybe you couldn’t breathe, and maybe you wouldn’t make it through the night, and maybe you’d have to go to the hospital.

“A few of us had it. You just realise how precious this life is. How lucky we are to have been living on a planet where we can go around and play to incredible people like the people in this room here tonight. So, it was a poignant experience. I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon."

Pearl Jam's next show is at the Mad Cool Festival in Madrid, Spain, tomorrow tonight (July 11). Full dates below.

Pearl Jam: Dark Matter World Tour dates 2024

Jul 11: Madrid Mad Cool Festival, Spain*              
Jul 13: Lisbon NOS Alive Festival, Portugal*              

Aug 22: Missoula Washington-Grizzly Stadium, MT       
Aug 26: Indianapolis Ruoff Music Center, IN^    
Aug 29: Chicago Wrigley Field, IL           
Aug 31: Chicago Wrigley Field, IL            
Sep 03: New York Madison Square Garden, NY        
Sep 04: New York Madison Square Garden, NY        
Sep 07: Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center, PA    
Sep 09: Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center, PA    
Sep 12: Baltimore CFG Bank Arena, MD       
Sep 15: Boston Fennway Park, MA            
Sep 17: Boston Fenway Park, MA     
Sep 27: Dana Point Ohana Festival, CA
Sep 29: Dana Point Ohana Festival, CA       

Nov 08: Auckland Mt Smart Stadium, New Zealand        
Nov 13: Gold Coast Heritage Bank Stadium, Australia      
Nov 16: Melbourne Marvel Stadium, Australia        
Nov 21: Sydney Giants Stadium, Australia 
Nov 23: Sydney Giants Stadium, Australia 

* festival date
^ rescheduled show

Tickets are on sale now

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.