Pearl Jam's drummer Matt Cameron tested positive for COVID while the band was prepping to play two shows in Oakland. While many bands would reschedule those dates, Eddie Vedder and company decided to soldier on and get creative with their percussion situation.
Touring member Josh Klinghoffer and Richard Stuverud (Jeff Ament collaborator) switched off filling in on drums throughout both sets, and during the first show, a fan named Josh Arroyo got behind the kit during "Yellow Ledbetter." On the second night, Pearl Jam enlisted a high schooler named Kai Neukermans to drum on "Mind Your Manners" off the 2013 album Lightning Bolt.
The 18-year-old recalled how the opportunity came to be in an interview with The San Francisco Chronicle, explaining that he texted Vedder’s daughter, Olivia, whom he met at her dad's Ohana Fest. He was asked to record video of himself drumming along to a Pearl Jam song, so he skipped school (and missed a statistics test) and headed to a practice space. Though he may not be used to playing in front of 20,000 fans, Neukermans does have experience performing with his band Alive.
Watch Neukermans play "Mind Your Manners" with Pearl Jam above and see a full list of tour dates here.