Photo via Twitter/@paveral
Over his two terms as POTUS, Barack Obama has earned the endearing if ironic nickname of the hipster President. Even on his way out of office, he still proudly claims ownership of that title, as he tapped Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder to perform ahead of his farewell address on Tuesday evening.
The PJ member has long been a vocal supporter of the politician, saying in 2009, “The night he was elected, I wanted to go out and dance in the street. The next day, Seattle had a rare day without rain, the sky was clear.” He also performed at a campaign fundraiser for Obama’s re-election in 2012.
Their relationship has been a bit more than just political, as well. In fact, the President once stopped in to visit (if only briefly) Vedder’s family while they were both on vacation in Hawaii. Vedder was also one of the rumored guests at the celebrity-packed White House party earlier this month.
Obama’s farewell address was given in Chicago, where he first entered politics and where Vedder spent a large portion of his youth. Vedder took the stage as the auditorium began to fill beginning around 7:30, playing covers of Patti Smith’s “People Have the Power”, Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World”, and Labi Siffre’s “Something Inside So Strong” in addition to “Rise” from his Into the Wild soundtrack. He was joined by the 24-member Voice of Chicago ensemble, which is actually a smaller portion of the Chicago Children’s Choir, who featured on Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book. Below, watch some crowd-shot footage of the performance.
BJ the Chicago Kid also performed at the event, singing the National Anthem. As for POTUS, he walked out to U2’s “City of Blinding Lights” and left to Bruce Springsteen’s “Land of Hope and Dreams”. What a hipster.