Pearl Jam producer Andrew Watt guests onstage with the band on Alive in Las Vegas – and Mike McCready lets him share the guitar solo

Andrew Watt joins Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam onstage during the 2021 Ohana Music Festival on September 26, 2021 in Dana Point, California
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

What a journey Andrew Watt has been on. He's gone from covering Pearl Jam's Alive in a small venue as a solo artist to producing the band's latest album, and now performing the song with them onstage in Las Vegas – with Mike McCready letting him duel on the iconic solo.

It all kicked off on the fifth date of Pearl Jam's Dark Matter US tour, which has seen them stick to their habit of unique setlists for each show. Alive usually features in every one though and in Las Vegas on 16 May fans got to see a different take with Watt and McCready on twin Les Paul Burst attack.

In case you didn't know, Watt isn't just a talented guitarist; by Pearl Jam's own reckoning, he knows how to play every one of their songs. He certainly looked at ease on this one.

Elsewhere in the setlist, the band aired new album Dark Matter highlight Waiting For Stevie – another cut with a huge McCready outro solo and a song vocalist Eddie Vedder introduced as being about "the power of music". 

The band played two nights in total at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, with the second following on 18 May. Both contained more surprises and rarities including Eddie Vedder's solo take on the Jason Isbell song Maybe It's Time, performed by the actor Bradley Cooper in the film A Star Is Born. 

During the second show, Pearl Jam aired infrequently performed Vitalogy album era b-side Out Of My Mind. The song was originally recorded as a live jam session at the band's Atlanta’s Fox Theater in April 1994 and included on the Not For You single. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.