Sometimes a statement simply doesn't do justice, so instead Eddie Vedder found a song to best express his sentiments.
Accompanied by only an acoustic guitar, Vedder addressed the audience prior to his performance, telling the crowd, "I think it is the most powerful song ever written, which is why I have never played it. It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it."
Earlier this month, the 49-year-old musician found himself on the receiving end of criticism after he unleashed an anti-war rant during a Pearl Jam concert in Milton Keynes, England. While Vedder did not mention any specific countries in his expletive-filled speech, a number of Israeli media outlets pointed fingers at the performer, accusing Vedder of taking sides in the country's current conflict with the Palestinians in Gaza.
Vedder later responded to the accusations in a statement on the band's website and denied that his remarks were anti-Israel while citing Lennon's peaceful tune. "I'd rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution," he wrote. "The majority of humans on this planet are more consumed by the pursuit of love, health, family, food and shelter than any kind of war. War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on."
During his cover of the famous single, the musician also explained that being "anti-war" doesn't mean that you are taking sides, and he emphasized his "pro-solder" stance.
"If you're anti-war it doesn't mean you are pro one side or the other in a conflict. However, it does make you pro many things...Pro-peace, pro-human, pro-evolution, [it] makes you pro-communication, pro-diplomacy, pro-love, pro-understanding, pro-forgiveness." he said, according to Consequence of Sound.
"If you are anti-war, you're pro-soldier because you don't want the soldier to be put in harms way," he added, noting that the band has many fans and friends who have served in the armed forces.
Vedder concluded by reiterating the importance of expressing one's opinion, regardless of the potential backlash.
"Sometimes if you speak out, people are going to misunderstand and they take things a certain way or another," he told concertgoers. "If you don't speak out, you don't know. If someone doesn't like it, that probably means it has some kind of meaning. It's not just bullsh--t. It's not just nothing."