Watch Eddie Vedder Cover Tom Petty for the Oscars’ “In Memoriam”

Matt Inman on March 5, 2018

The Academy Awards annual ceremony isn’t necessarily known for its musical performances. Though the spectacle is often there—it is about the movies, after all—the Best Original Song renditions are generally truncated in favor of other segments. Last night didn’t change course on that, but it did feature a couple musical surprises, including Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder offering a touching cover of Tom Petty’s “Room at the Top” during the Oscars’ “In Memoriam” segment. 

Vedder began the song alone with sparse electric guitar strums, backed by the images and clips of members of the film world who had passed away in the last year. Along with vocal harmonies from his piano accompanist and swells from the house orchestra, Vedder’s unique timbre lent an appropriate gravitas to the touching tribute. 

Watch a video of the performance below, along with a bonus clip of Sufjan Stevens’ own performance of his Best Original Song nominee “Mystery Of Love” from Call Me By Your Name, backed by a band featuring St. Vincent, Chris Thile, Moses Sumney, Casey Foubert and James McAlister.