Climate change is here, and as France goes up in flames, Eddie Vedder, who just finished a concert near Paris, has been left unable to sing after “dust and smoke” from the wildfires damaged his voice. Because of that, Pearl Jam have been forced to cancel a July 20th concert in Vienna, Austria. Update: Pearl Jam have also canceled their show in Prague scheduled for July 22nd.
“To all those who were anticipating a great Pearl Jam show tonight in Vienna, we were too,” the band wrote in a social media statement. “However, due to the extreme circumstances at the last outdoor site outside of Paris (heat, dust, and smoke from the fires) our singer Ed Vedder’s throat was left damaged. He has seen doctors and had treatment but as of yet, his vocal cords have not recovered.”
The statement continued, “This is brutal news and horrible timing… for everyone involved. Those who work so hard to put on the shows as well as those who give their precious time and energies to attend… As a band, we are deeply sorry and have tried to find options to still play. And Ed wants to play. There’s just no throat available at this time.”
In a statement announcing the Prague cancelation, the band wrote: “We were hopeful that Ed would make a recovery in time to perform tomorrow. He has seen a doctor in Prague and is continuing the treatments for his vocal cords, but unfortunately, there is still no voice available. The effects on his throat from the last outdoor show are still just too brutal.”
The band’s upcoming show in the Netherlands is expected to go on, pending Vedder’s recovery. The episode is a stark reminder that climate change’s impact goes far beyond hotter weather. Europe’s ongoing heatwave has caused record temperatures in the UK, more than 30 wildfires in Spain, and over a thousand heat-related deaths in Portugal.
Meanwhile, Pearl Jam can’t seem to catch a break on this tour, with drummer Matt Cameron and bassist Jeff Ament both missing time due to COVID-19. But there are plenty of dates left on the trek, and tickets are available here.