Pearl Jam felt like they had a 'near-death experience'

Eddie Van Halen has spoken out about the band's group illness credit:Bang Showbiz
Eddie Van Halen has spoken out about the band's group illness credit:Bang Showbiz

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder says the group's recent health scare felt like a "near-death experience".

The 'Alive' rockers were forced to shelve a series of shows in Berlin and London due to band illness, and whilst performing in Barcelona, Spain over the weekend, the 59-year-old singer opened up on the "frightening" ordeal that left himself and other members of the crew feeling breathless and fearing they wouldn't make it out alive.

He told the audience: “Can I just say that the last week, it almost felt like a near-death experience. It was very uncomfortable, and it got frightening. It felt like chest bronchitis. It felt like maybe you couldn’t breathe, and maybe you wouldn’t make it through the night, and maybe you’d have to go to the hospital.”

He continued: “You just realise how precious this life is. How lucky we are to have been living on a planet where we can go around and play to incredible people like the people in this room here tonight. So, it was a poignant experience. I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. And we won’t be forgetting tonight anytime soon.”

There has been chatter on the internet suggesting the Grunge legends cancelled the shows due to poor ticket sales, but fans have defended them after hearing his speech.

One X user wrote: "I just listened to the audio from Ed’s speech talking about his illness. Haven’t seen it pop up on YouTube yet, but I’ll share when I do. If you listen to this and are still convinced that they canceled due to tickets sales, then I have absolutely nothing to say to you. (sic)"

In a typed-out statement apologising for the Berlin concert cancellations last week, they said: “The impacts of this decision are not lost on us. We feel deeply that so many people spend their time, money, and emotional energy to get tickets and then to come see the band and it is heart-wrenching to have to disappoint you.”

The band had already axed their London Tottenham Hotspur Stadium gig on June 29 due to band sickness.

Eddie has previously been forced to cancel shows due to vocal and throat damage.

The group still have their North America and Australia and New Zealand legs ahead of them.