Eddie Vedder’s annual Ohana Festival took place this September 29th to October 1st for its eighth year at the Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, CA. Friday’s lineup included Japanese Breakfast, Father John Misty and closing acts HAIM (Este Haim), and The Killers (Jake Blanton). HAIM is made up of sisters Danielle (Guitar/Drums/Vocals), Este (Bass/Vocals), and Alana (Guitar/Vocals). In the beginning of August they opened up for all six of Taylor Swift’s SoFi Stadium shows and on their own headline major festivals and venues such as the Hollywood Bowl. They opened their set up with a major hit “Now I’m In It” with a slow start and had a set full of more hits like “Want You Back,” “Summer Girl,” and “The Wire.” As always Este had her signature bass faces. The set ended with “The Steps.”
As always Vedder closes out Saturday Night and usually was him giving an acoustic set but now it takes place with his band the Earthlings made up of producer/guitarist Andrew Watt (Ozzy Osbourne/ Rolling Stones), guitarist/keyboardist Josh Klinghoffer (ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers/Pearl Jam), Glen Hansard (guitar/keyboards), bassist Chris Chaney (ex-Jane’s Addiction), and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers). The Earthlings’ debut took place at Ohana Fest 2021. Since RHCP were out playing the Sound on Sound Festival, there was a big spot to fill and Paul McCartney’s drummer of the last 20+ years Abe Laboriel Jr. took over for this show. The Earthlings set began with “I’ll Be Waiting” and followed with Petty and the Heartbreakers “Room at the Top.” Twice the show had to be stopped in the beginning for an incident in the crowd and Vedder joked about not being able to get through one whole song. The 20 song included Earthlings, Pearl Jam, and six covers. Hansard being of Irish descent Vedder joked about calling the festival Oh-hana with an Irish sounding twist. Also Irish Rock-band U2 was mentioned and their historic opening shows at the Sphere in Vegas which took place at the same time. The last two songs before the encore were Pearl Jam’s “Better Man,” which had the audience singing the chorus and false start and then George Harrison was honored with “Isn’t It a Pity” combined with “Hey Jude.” Vocal duo Lucius who performed earlier at 3:50 P.M. joined in. Lucius were Roger Waters’ backing singers on his US+Them tour 2017-18.
Sunday closed out with sets from The Pretenders and the Foo Fighters. The Pretenders had been scheduled for Ohana 2020 and finally got to perform three years after the canceled festival.
This was the Foo Fighters Ohana debut, however Taylor Hawkins performed at the 2021 double weekend festival as part of Navarro Hawkins Chaney and also came out along with Chad Smith during Pearl Jam’s set October 2nd. The Foo Fighters closed out the final day with a set of classic FF songs. This was their second SoCal show of the year with the first being three days earlier at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Taylor Hawkins was the FF second drummer and was there from 1997 until his untimely passing March 25th, 2022. Hawkins was honored with “Aurora,” the first song him and Grohl wrote together from their third album “Nothing Left to Lose,” and Grohl said “We’re going to play this song every night for the rest of our lives.” On May 21st the announcement came out that Josh Freese whose most recent tour was with the Offspring would become their new drummer. Grohl joked about all the great singers and here he was out there screaming each song. FF played a set of 19-songs beginning with an extended version of “All My Life,” followed by “The Pretender,” and “No Son of Mine.” The set was full of more FF classics like “Learn to Fly,” “Walk,” and “Times Like These.” During the band introductions when it was time to introduce Freese, Grohl mentioned some of the artists he’s played with which led into playing a small part of Devo’s “Whip It,” and Nine Inch Nails “March of the Pigs.”