There I was, standing in the cavernous United Center in Chicago, drifting into hour three of Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters’ brain-melting audio-visual spectacle that he calls the Us + Them tour. I’d seen the flying pigs, I’d seen the floating Battersea Power Station, I’d seen the anti-Donald Trump memes, and I’d heard all-time classics like “Money,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “Another Brick In The Wall.” As the show was coming to a close, I didn’t think Roger had much else left in his bag of tricks. How wrong I was.
As the singer and his incredible band slipped into the set-closer “Comfortably Numb,” I noticed a slight figure drift out of the shadows toward the front of the stage. There was no introduction in any way shape or form, not that he needed on in the first place. As soon as he opened his mouth and began to warble, “There is no pain, you are receding / A distant ship, smoke on the horizon,” I shouted out to absolutely no one and everyone at the same time, “That’s Eddie Vedder!” And so it was.
For the next six or seven minutes, Vedder and Waters traded vocals back and forth on the centerpiece track from the Pink Floyd opus The Wall. Waters sang his deeper, original lines of course, while Vedder assumed the role of guitarist David Gilmour. As the song approached its iconic guitar solo, Waters descended from the stage, leaving Vedder and his band by their lonesome while he glad-handed the fans in the front row. Re-emerging from the opposite side, he signaled for the end, and wrapped Vedder in a big hug. He still didn’t acknowledge who he was to the crowd, they simply took a bow, and left.
It was one of the best concert cameos I’d ever seen. You can check it out for yourself above.