90s rock legend details ‘near-death experience’ after axing shows

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Pearl Jam frontman, Eddie Vedder revealed on stage that he had a ‘near-death experience’ as he described a health ordeal that led to the cancellation of tour dates.

Pearl Jam cancelled several shows in recent months in Berlin and London. The band expressed apologies at the time and suggested that illness was the cause.

In a statement shared on Instagram, the band said: ‘The Pearl Jam concert scheduled for Saturday, June 29th at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London has regrettably been cancelled due to illness in the band.’

Although the illness wasn’t further explained, Eddie, 59, spoke on stage in Barcelona about having a ‘frightening’ chest issue that left him unable to breathe.

In a video posted by a concertgoer, Sebthobald, on X the Alive singer told the audience: ‘Can I just say that the last week, it almost felt like a near-death experience.

‘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.

Frontman Eddie has been open about his health struggles (Picture: Kike Rincon/Europa Press via Getty Images)
Pearl Jam first formed in 1990 (Picture: Gie Knaeps/Getty Images)

‘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. And we won’t be forgetting tonight anytime soon,’ he said as he then launched into a song.

It had previously been rumoured that the concerts were cancelled because of poor ticket sales. 

The band’s current tour kicked off in May and ends in November (Picture: Kike Rincon/Europa Press via Getty Images)

This has been firmly rejected by fans who attended the concerts, many of whom also suggested on X that the frontman had clearly been struggling with illness.

‘I was at Manchester, life lifelong fan since they formed, Ed’s voice was clearly struggling but they got through an amazing set and it was a privilege to be there, he has clearly been very ill.

‘Will always be grateful they didn’t cancel that show. So good to see that he’s recovering,’ said IanHigh1 on X.

‘They are always genuine and care about their fans. That is what sets them apart. Glad they are better!’ said Fsu2626. 

In June, the band’s lead guitarist, Mike McCready fell over on stage at a recent gig – but in true rockstar style, carried on with his guitar solo from the floor.

The band is still continuing its tour in Europe, heading to Madrid, and Lisbon then back to the US in August, finishing in New Zealand and Australia in November.

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