In the wake of Chris Cornell’s shocking death on May 19, Eddie Vedder has continued his solo tour through Europe, which kicked off on May 29 in Amsterdam. As Consequence Of Sound’s Randall Colburn (also an A.V. Club contributor) reports, Vedder has been tweaking his lyrics and set lists at various show points to indicate his grief, like adding covers of Neil Young’s “The Needle And The Damage Done” and Cat Stevens’ “Trouble.” But last night’s show at London’s Hammersmith Apollo “found Vedder directly addressing Cornell’s passing for the first time.” The singer told the crowd:
So I haven’t really been talking about some things and… now it feels like it’s conspicuous because I lost a really close friend of mine… he wasn’t just a friend, he was someone I looked up to like my older brother.
About two days after the news, I think it was the second night, we were sleeping in this little cabin near the water, a place he would’ve loved. And all these memories started coming in about 1:30 a.m., like woke me up. Like big memories, memories I would think about all the time. Like the memories were big muscles.
And then I couldn’t stop the memories. And trying to sleep, it was like if the neighbors had the music playing and you couldn’t stop it. But then it was fine, because then it got into little memories. It just kept going and going and going. And I realized how lucky I was to have hours worth of… you know, if each of these memories was quick, and I had hours of them. How fortunate was I? And I didn’t want to be sad, I wanted to be grateful, not sad. I’m still thinking about those memories, and I will live with those memories in my heart and I will love him forever.
Unsurprisingly, Vedder received a compassionate standing ovation in response. He next visits Ireland and Belgium before wrapping his tour up in Italy on June 26.