Backed by a band that included former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitiarist Josh Klinghoffer, Vedder powered through a harder, accelerated version of the Vitalogy classic.
“I Am a Patriot” was similarly louder and quicker than the often-acoustic version that Pearl Jam has performed throughout the past few decades. Vedder’s latest cover also caught the attention of its songwriter, Steven Van Zandt:
I am hearing amazing things about it. https://t.co/osKeALYmFE
— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) May 9, 2021
“This is a feeling we haven’t had in quite some time, and it feels pretty good,” Vedder told the Covid-compliant audience at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium for the Vax Live concert, which both encouraged Covid-19 vaccinations around the world as well as called for philanthropists to donate enough “dollars-for-doses” to vaccinate more than 27 million international healthcare workers.
Vedder also spoke about the need for vaccine equality, “If you’re a government, if you’re a world leader, and you have excess vaccine, please don’t stockpile. Please make it available to the countries that need it. Please distribute it ASAP.”
The singer added, “And if you’re a drug company, we thank you for your inventions. If you really wanted to be heroes, if you want history to look back and smile upon you as heroes, it would be great if you could distribute this vaccine at cost and then you’d have a fair and equitable distribution system throughout the planet, and that’s how we will survive and conquer this pandemic.”