Manchester’s Evening News Arena is packed to the rafters and Matt Cameron is powering Pearl Jam through two hours of wall-to-wall hits, thousands of fans bouncing to every two and four - this is the scene when Rhythm meet up with the legendary grunge player during his recent UK tour.
His playing is quietly confident and full of perfectly-judged dynamics yet crushingly powerful all at once as he snaps through the 120 minutes of hard and heavy rock drumming looking every inch the master at ease.
Just a couple of weeks earlier Rhythm saw Matt again at the kit and in front of thousands of fans - but this time with fellow Seattle grunge scene alumni Soundgarden. The reunited band stopped off at the spectacularly mud-splattered Download festival for their first UK show in 15 years.
That night saw a very different display from Cameron. While Pearl Jam finds him hard-hitting but methodical and ice cool, Soundgarden is an entirely separate animal, demanding a playing style that is every bit as exhausting mentally as it is physically as he contends with time signature switches, delicate ghost notes and wave after wave of absolutely deafening noise.
After enjoying successful yet separate careers with the two bands, those careers now find themselves entwined, with criss-crossing schedules and recording sessions.
Rhythm Magazine headed backstage in Manchester to chat with the man charged with providing the beats for grunge’s two biggest survivors. Here we bring you pictures of Matt’s Pearl Jam drum setup along with snippets of that interview, which you can read in full in Rhythm Issue 206.
Next: The kit...