Pearl Jam covered David Bowie‘s “Rebel Rebel” for the first time during the band’s concert Saturday at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, a gig that also featured a cameo by Dennis Rodman.
Vedder, a diehard Chicago Cubs fan, prefaced the Bowie rendition with a long remembrance about attending the team’s World Series drought-ending win in 2016.
The band then welcomed Cubs co-owner Tom Ricketts and the World Series trophy onstage before the video screens segued to the recent heroics of Cubs rookie infielder David Bote, who hit a historic, game-winning grand slam for the team. “David Bote” rhymes with “David Bowie,” inspiring the surprise and faithful cover. (Cubs manager Joe Maddon joked in spring training, “If you say ‘David Bote’ really quickly, it sounds like David Bowie. So I’m really encouraging him to utilize ‘Rebel Rebel’ as his [at-bat] walk-up music.” Bote has so far shrugged off the suggestion, opting instead for a song by Needtobreathe.)
Pearl Jam’s Wrigley concert, the first of two nights at the baseball stadium, also featured another performance of the Chris Cornell solo cut “Missing,” which the band debuted during their Home Shows in Seattle, as well as a cameo by former Chicago Bulls star and longtime friend of the band Dennis Rodman.
The basketball player and North Korea booster was tasked with bringing out Vedder’s ukulele prior to “Sleeping by Myself.” Rodman then hijacked the microphone and started talking about his love of both Chicago and North Korea. “I know one thing: On the day that I die, I’ll make sure I’m buried in Chicago,” Rodman told the crowd before his exit.
Vedder quipped back, “Let’s put that day off for as long as possible, do me a favor, alright?”
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