"I'm thinking of a lot of people tonight. And some in particular and their families," he told the crowd, according to Rolling Stone. "And I just know that healing takes time, if it ever happens, it takes time, and that means you have to start somewhere so let it be music. Let it be love and togetherness, and let it be Amsterdam."
Vedder opened the show with Pearl Jam's "Long Road," reportedly changing the lyrics to "Without you, something is missing" in reference to Cornell.
Throughout the evening, he also performed covers of Neil Young's "The Needle and the Damage Done" and "Rockin' in the Free World," Cat Power's "Good Woman," Fugazi's "I'm So Tired," David Bowie's "Heroes" and John Lennon's "Imagine." Glen Hansard even joined Vedder on stage for renditions of his "Song of Good Hope" and the Swell Season's "Falling Slowly."
According to one fan in attendance, Cornell's death loomed over the entire performance, though Vedder never directly mentioned the late Soundgarden singer. A PearlJam.com member by the username Electro_UK shared their account of the show, which reads [via Consequence of Sound]:
The show was pretty much entirely about Chris without directly mentioning him. It was clear Eddie couldn't bring himself to talk about it head on. He spoke a little how the healing process can start with music and made numerous references to how sad he was and how much he and his friends were struggling.
Frankly it is the bravest performance I have ever seen. At times it seemed like he was a word or two away from breaking into tears. He mumbled more than usual, he violently stamped into the floor on Immortality and others and after 'The End' I thought he was ready to just walk off and not play anymore. There were funny moments and he picked up in the second half. You could hear the crowd emotionally gasp when Light Years started. On the outro to 'Sometimes' he cried out 'Where were you, dear God?' It was heart breaking.
Despite the strict no-photo policy, clips from the show have emerged online. Watch some fan-shot footage below, and see the full setlist here.
From Eddie Vedder's solo kickoff show tonight in Amsterdam, video thanks to @sebrht. It's probably not unresonable to say that his late friend #chriscornell was also on his mind. I'm so proud of you #eddievedder @eddie_vedder @pearljam #pearljam. Our hearts go out to you ✊🎸🎤🎵🎶🎼✨🙏💔❤🔥 . #rip everyone 🙏 I love you all ❤ #repost- Eddie Vedder's tribute to the Manchester victims #eddievedder #imagine #johnlennon #tributetomanchester #amsterdam #concert #imagineallthepeople