A teen drummer’s dream became a reality over the weekend when he sat in with Pearl Jam at Oakland Arena in front of 20,000 fans after drummer Matt Cameron tested positive for COVID.
Kai Neukermans, 18, led Pearl Jam in a rendition of “Mind Your Manners” from the group’s 2013 “Lightning Bolt” album.
“Everybody this is Kai; Kai this is everybody!” front man Eddie Vedder called out to the cheering crowd, per The San Francisco Chronicle.
So how did it happen?
During Pearl Jam’s first show in Oakland on Thursday, Neukermans – who is in a well-established band, Alive, with his brother and friend – heard the news and was encouraged to offer himself up as assistance for Friday night’s show.
Neukermans had met Vedder’s daughter Olivia Vedder in 2018 and so he reached out to her via text.
He sent Olivia Vedder a video of him playing over the track “Mind Your Manners.” Less than an hour later, he was him to come to the stadium.
Pearl Jam, per the report, had collaborators sit in for Cameron. However, Neukermans would play one song.
Neukermans told The Chronicle his heart skipped a beat when Vedder introduced him to the crowd.
“You’re leading the band, brother,” Vedder said, per the report.
Mark Heim is a reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.