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What Song Should Stephen Colbert Sing With Pearl Jam When the Band Plays The Late Snow on September 23?

Posted on the 14 September 2015 by Weminoredinfilm.com @WeMinoredInFilm

On September 23rd, the guys in Pearl Jam will do something they’ve done many times before: Walk into the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, and perform a song for CBS’s The Late Show.  For many years, that was the exclusive home of any Pearl Jam appearance across all late night talk shows.  It was a courtesy they extended to David Letterman out of mutual respect and fandom, although was anyone else really trying to book them during the Binaural/Riot Act portion of their career?  Maybe. Probably not. I don’t now.  Heck, I actually like those albums.  In fact, I unabashedly love Pearl Jam.  That’s why I am taking this time to promote their upcoming appearance on The Late Show even though music is so far outside of what I usually discuss on this site.

According to the band’s latest newsletter:

Pearl Jam will be the musical guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, September 23. Also appearing that night are actor Hugh Jackman and founder of the Global Poverty Project Hugh Evans, plus Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Hugh Jackman (a Broadway song and dance man with a great Wolverine scream), Hugh Evans (a philanthropist devoted to a noble cause) and Elizabeth Warren (a Democratic Senator with a past life as a Harvard Law professor and public policy expert)…and Pearl Jam.  Actually, given the band’s passion for social causes and liberal leanings they should feel right at home.  Plus, we know Eddie Vedder has a soft spot for at least one Frozen showtune.

Vedder’s relationship with David Letterman was so solid that the retiring late night host picked him to be one of the final musical guests of The Late Show With David Letterman, although the resulting performance of “Betterman” backed by Paul Schaffer and his bad was not exactly a career highlight for any of the involved parties (really bad time and really bad song to have the bottom string break on Vedder’s guitar).  And now Vedder gets to evaluate Letterman’s replacement, Stephen Colbert.

There is one possibility here that was never on the table during Letterman’s tenure: Colbert likes to sings with his musical guests, going back to the Colbert Report and already carrying over into The Late Show where he’s already sung with Paul Simon, Mavis Staples, Aloe Blacc, etc.  Then again, he didn’t rap with Kendrick Lamar or sing with Toby Keith, and chances are he probably won’t do anything with Pearl Jam either.  However, just for the heck of it, I ask you Colbert Nation: what song should Stephen sing with Pearl Jam?  It doesn’t even have to be a Pearl Jam song.  What if they did “Hunger Strike”, a Temple of the Dog song?  Could Stephen be Eddie’s new Chris Cornell?

Eh.  Probably not.

Here’s a video of Eddie making a surprise appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman near the height of Pearl Jam’s popularity:

And now, for somewhat related reasons, here’s a video explaining how an American expat used Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow” (i.e., one of the band’s most indecipherable songs, lyric wise) to teach Ethiopians kids English.  Now they all love Pearl Jam.  I have seen the band in concert multiple times, and watching this video might be the first time I’ve ever understood every line of “Even Flow”:

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