PEARL JAM has canceled tonight's (Wednesday, May 18) concert at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California and Friday's (May 20) show at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada after bassist Jeff Ament tested positive for COVID-19.
The latest concert cancelations come just days after drummer Matt Cameron contracted COVID-19, leading the other members of PEARL JAM to recruit new touring guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, longtime Ament collaborator Richard Stuveru, a fan plucked from the audience, a high school senior, and original PEARL JAM drummer Dave Krusen to sit behind the kit for their shows in Oakland and Fresno.
Earlier today, PEARL JAM released the following statement via social media: "While the band battled through Oakland after drummer Matt Cameron tested positive for Covid, and Fresno where Ed [Vedder, vocals] and the band got through it with the help of Dave Krusen as special guest drummer, they now have to present the heartbreaking news that this morning bassist Jeff Ament has tested positive for Covid.
"This is horrible for everybody involved and we are especially sorry to those out there who have made plans to attend these shows.
"Our attention to staying inside the bubble has been constant. We have truly done all that we could have to remain clear of infection.
"Regretfully, the Sacramento and Las Vegas shows are canceled. Ticket refunds will be automatically processed to ticket holders' method of purchase. We are so very sorry. Be safe out there."
PEARL JAM is scheduled to kick off its European tour on June 18 at the Pinkpop festival in the Netherlands. The second leg of PEARL JAM's North American trek will launch September 1 in Quebec City.
On March 9, 2020, PEARL JAM was the first major artist to pull the plug and postpone its spring 2020 tour dates due to COVID-19 concerns. A few weeks later, the band's new album, "Gigaton", was released to critical acclaim but empty venues. Nearly two years later, PEARL JAM finally announced that it would hit the road with their 2020 North American tour dates officially rescheduled for May and September 2022.
"Gigaton" was hailed as "superb", "fascinating and ambitious", "inspiring and engaging", "their finest studio hour" and "PEARL JAM's best in a generation." The critics and fans alike praised the band's latest release and it bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart. Additionally, it landed in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200. Internationally, the album debuted No. 1 in Italy and Austria, Top 5 in Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Canada, and Finland and Top 10 in the U.K., Ireland, and New Zealand.
At Metacritic, "Gigaton" registered the group's second highest cumulative critical score — only bested by their diamond-certified 1991 debut, "Ten". Among numerous positive reactions, Associated Press exclaimed, "PEARL JAM come roaring back with superb new album." In a four-out-of-five star review, Rolling Stone wrote, "The group has blended the miasmic angst of 'Jeremy' and 'Alive' with a sense of tenderness and even flashes of hope." UPROXX promised, "PEARL JAM is reliable on 'Gigaton' at a moment when nothing else is," and Spin christened it "Their best album since the late nineties."