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Watch Pearl Jam & Stephen Colbert Cover Neil Young

PJ and the ‘Late Show’ host went off-script for the surprise duet

Pearl Jam was only scheduled for one tune on Wednesday night on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but when the cheering, dancing crowd filled with PJ fans began chanting “one more song!” the host and the band decided to launch into an impromptu cover of the Neil Young classic “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

During the six-minute rock out, Colbert shared a mic with frontman Eddie Vedder on the choruses, and spent much of the rest of the song dancing and even headbanging as the audience went wild.

By the end, Vedder had climbed several rows into the seats to shake hands with fans, and the normally freezing-cold Ed Sullivan Theater had been transformed into a steamy, intimate rock club.

“Does my hair look anything like it’s supposed to?” Colbert quipped once he was back at his desk after the surprise jam was over. Nope, not at all.

Pearl Jam, who performed 2013’s “Mind Your Manners” during the regularly scheduled part of the show, sat down earlier in the evening for a quick desk-side interview about their gig headlining the 2015 Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park on Saturday. The event, which also features BeyoncéEd SheeranColdplay and many others raises, is part of the Global Citizen organization’s goal of helping end extreme poverty by 2030. 

The Colbert appearance was Vedder’s second trip to the Ed Sullivan Theater this year. The Pearl Jam singer was also a musical guest during the last week of the Late Show with Dave Letterman back in May.


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