Pearl Jam Delivers Powerful Performance in Missoula September 5, 2018 14:49

Words and Photos by Kinsey Blake Haynes

Pearl Jam performed their first “Away” show to a [sold-out] crowd of 25,000+ on Monday August 13th, in Missoula, MT - the hometown of bassist Jeff Ament.

This particular concert was a charity even for the band’s Rock2Vote Initiative which strives to help Montana residents register to vote. It was also a campaign rally for Senator Jon Tester, who is running for again for office in November.

Washington-Grizzly Stadium was packed to the top with fans screaming as the band walked out the 1994 Vitalogy track “Aye Davanita.”

Ed Vedder graced the stage wearing a white leather “Evel Knievel” jacket, (which appears to be an homage to the legendary stuntman who is buried down the road in Butte, Montana.)

The band started off slow with tracks “Pendulum” and “Low Light” before launching into raucous, fan favorites “Go” and “Do The Evolution” followed by Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros’ “Arms Aloft” and “Mind Your Manners.”

“Music brings people together and we are glad that everyone came out for a very important reason,” said Vedder. “Jeff, thank you for organizing this and inviting us. It is nice to be back.”

The crowd started cheering “Jeff! Jeff! Jeff!” which was a beautiful sound echoing across the Montana mountains.  

Vedder told a story about Paul McCartney playing in the same stadium a few years prior and started playing a few seconds of The Beatles’ “Blackbird.”

He mentions The Rolling Stones have played there as well, which inspires lead guitarist, Mike McCready, to play a note from “Jumping Jack Flash,” to which Vedder had the idea of all members of the band playing a different Stones song - at the same time.  

Ed makes a comment about being the first band to play this stadium twice.

“A person who brags about crowd size isn’t really a good guy,” said Vedder. Without naming anyone, it was obvious who Ed was referring to, since he made a comment about this person breaking Elton John’s records. Ed said he would only brag if Montana had its largest voter turnout in the election. “That I would brag about all day,” he said.

“Corduroy”, “Pilate”, and “Even Flow” followed his ramblings and he proceeded to tell an appreciation story about drummer Matt Cameron.

“How about a little history,” asked Vedder. “We were on campus 21 years ago today. It  was the first real show we played with Matt Cameron was right here on this stage.” The band played the Cameron drum favorite “In My Tree.”

The show progressed with “Down”, “Lightning Bolt”, “Not For You/Modern Girl(tag)”, “Daughter/It's OK(tag)”, “Setting Forth”, and “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town”

Ed points out a couple in the front row wearing matching t shirts that say “I <3 Sex & Beer.”

“I am glad you found each other,” said Vedder. “Now, I am gonna give these to you and I want to watch you enjoy them.” The couple, Keith and Angie Torgerud from Wisconsin, drove in two days before the show to wait in the 10 Club general admission line with several family members and  friends to ensure they were front and center. Keith and Angie were high school sweethearts and were 17 and 15 when they met.

Pearl Jam recently released their first single in five years, the politically charged “Can’t Deny Me” and Vedder had some intriguing thoughts on its content: “I want to say before the next song that election day should be a national holiday,” he said. “The best thing is on that day we are all equal. It is a right and a responsibility. “We need to vote in big numbers because there are complications like big money, corruption and Russians. Voting is the Antidote. It is your vote they can’t deny.”

They played the new politically charged anthem with a raw energy that was remnant of their early days playing in small clubs (See Vancouver, 1991) and closed out their first set with “Porch.”

The second set began with two songs Vedder said were “ones for the serious collector.” The songs were “Bee Girl” and “Fatal” which has only been played eight times total!

After the initial excitement of rare songs, Pearl Jam continued with a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, then played fan favorite “Given To Fly”, followed by the Neil Young song “Throw Your Hatred Down.”

“Better Man” was tagged with U2’s “With Or Without You”, The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”, and the classic “Save It For Later” tag which is now a staple in the song.

Their popular hit “Jeremy”, a cover of Joe Strummer’s “Know Your Rights, “Alive”, “Rockin’ In The Free World”, and “Indifference” closed out the evening and left fans satisfied with the performance.

Ed’s final words were thank yous to Evel Knievel, the band, and Jon Tester “for being someone we can believe in and trust.”

For two hours and 46 minutes, fans were singing, crying, laughing, chanting, and existing together for a common reason: music.

Setlist: Pearl Jam - Missoula, MT - 08.13.18

Low Light
Do the Evolution
Arms Aloft (Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros cover)
Mind Your Manners
Even Flow
In My Tree
Lightning Bolt
Not for You (with 'Modern Girl' tag)
Daughter (with "It's Ok" tag)
Setting Forth (Eddie Vedder song)
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
Can't Deny Me

Bee Girl
Imagine (John Lennon cover)
Given to Fly
Throw Your Hatred Down (Neil Young cover)
Better Man
Know Your Rights (The Clash cover)
Rockin' in the Free World (Neil Young cover)

*"Green Disease" and "Got Some" were on the setlist, but not played.

Temple of the Dog Announces First-Ever Tour for 25th Anniversary July 20, 2016 15:19

When thinking back on memories of 90's rock, it would be difficult not to bring Temple of the Dog into the conversation.  The 90's supergroup, best known for their hit "Hunger Strike," featured Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) and Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), as well as Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament, Matt Cameron, Mike McCready and Stone Gossard.  Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder was also featured on "Hunger Strike."  Earlier today, Temple of the Dog announced it's first ever "tour," in honor of the band's 25th anniversary. 

The supergroup originally came together after the passing Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood, who was a close friend and roommate of Cornell.  Gossard, Ament, and McCready were also members of Mother Love Bone and simultaneously forming a new band which would be known as Pearl Jam just six months later.

Temple of the Dog has only performed live a handful of times, mostly when Cornell has appeared live with Pearl Jam.  They most recently performed at Pearl Jam's show at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall in 2015.

Watch Temple of the Dog's tour announcement video here:

Temple of the Dog Tour

November 4: Philadelphia, PA--Tower Theater
November 7: New York, NY--Madison Square Garden
November 11: San Francisco, CA--Bill Graham Civic Center
November 14: Los Angeles, CA--The Forum
November 20: Seattle, WA--Paramount Theatre

Watch Temple of the Dog's music video for "Hunger Strike" here:

Pearl Jam Cancels Wednesday Night's Concert in Raleigh April 18, 2016 18:35

Rock band Pearl Jam has officially canceled their upcoming concert at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC on Wednesday night.  The iconic rock band has decided to join a growing list of musicians in protest of the controversial HB2 - Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, also known as the "bathroom law".  Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr recently pulled out of scheduled dates in North Carolina, while Gregg Allman recently issued a statement explaining his decision to play his previously scheduled show in Greensboro.  Pearl Jam will perform at Hampton Coliseum (Hampton, VA) tonight and Colonial Life Arena (Columbia, SC) on Thursday night.

Pearl Jam's official statement regarding the cancellation of Wednesday's show:

It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20th.

This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation.

The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.

It is for this reason that we must take a stand against prejudice, along with other artists and businesses, and join those in North Carolina who are working to oppose HB2 and repair what is currently unacceptable.

We have communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue.

In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return.

Perhaps even celebrate.

With immense gratitude for your understanding,

Pearl Jam