Pearl Jam closed the North American portion of their Lightning Bolt tour last Friday in their native territory of Seattle, with a three hour marathon set featuring 37 hits, deep cuts, deeper cuts, the deepest cuts, and a few covers thrown in for good measure.
Before Friday, it had been over four years since the grunge-pioneering five piece played a show in their hometown, and they kicked off the sold out Key Arena show with “Pendulum”, from the band’s latest record, followed by Vitalogy songs “Nothingman” and “Corduroy.” Weirdly enough, the night of the show fell on the nineteenth anniversary of that record’s release, though the band made no mention of this on the night.
Somewhat predictably, plenty of Lightning Bolt material was played, with “Mind Your Manners,” “Sirens,” and the title track garnering some of the night’s biggest responses. Some more obscure choices to make their way onto the set list included ”Breath,” which originally had been recorded for the soundtrack to the Cameron Crowe film “Singles” and a solo Vedder cover of the Velvet Underground’s “After Hours” (played in tribute to that group’s recently departed frontman, Lou Reed) as well as an OMG-so-obvious-but-also-not performance of the band’s little-known Christmas single “Let Me Sleep.”
The internet tells me (because I don’t know, I wasn’t actually there, obviously) that other highlights of the show included lead guitarist Mike McCready playing the solo to “Even Flow” behind his back, and Steve Turner and Mark Arm of Mudhoney, as well as Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil being invited onstage for a collaborative performance of the MC5 classic “Kick Out The Jams.”
Apparently, McCready, the lovable show-off, also put his own spin on Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption.” The band wrapped up with “Yellow Ledbetter,” and, I imagine, some mega cheers. In short, a good night was had by all.
With the announcement of next year’s Big Day Out lineup, we finally have the first word that Arcade Fire will be hitting the road again following the announcement of an upcoming new album. The group will be playing the Australian traveling festival along with Pearl Jam, Blur, the Lumineers and many, many more.
Big Day Out 2014 will take place between January 19, 2014 and February 2, 2014, starting in Gold Coast, Australia. The festival will then travel to Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide before finishing out the final date in Perth. Though more performers will be announced before the festival, other artists that will be on the tour include Steve Angello, GroupLove, Mac Miller, Tame Impala, Flume, Major Lazer, Portugal. The Man and “Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion.” I put the last listing in quotes because that’s how it appears on the poster, not me making fun of Snoop for changing his name even though no one knows who he is without putting Snoop Dogg in there somewhere.
Arcade Fire announced recently that it will release a fourth studio album on October 29. Details have been sketchy so far, but we do know that the record is produced by James Murphy, formerly the man behind LCD Soundsystem. The group has not announced if more tour dates will be revealed in the future, but I think it’d be a safe bet to say they will.
Blur is returning to playing festivals in Australia for the first time since 1997, and bassist Alex James told Fairfax Media he’s ready to play to, essentially, a completely new audience.
“It’s really wonderful the shows we’ve been doing, it’s a new audience and a lot of them can’t have been born when Blur first started … splitting up was the best thing we ever did, probably,” he said.
For the past week, a mysterious clock has been counting down on the official Pearl Jam website. The countdown reached zero at 1 p.m. Eastern today, when it was revealed that the band will undertake a headlining North American tour later this year. Here are the details for that tour:
It will kick off October 11 with a show at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, and will run through a December 6 show at the Key Arena in Seattle. Other cities on the lineup include Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Vancouver.
These new dates join a handful of other previously announced dates the band will perform this year. The first two take place this summer, one on July 16 in London, Ontario, and the second on July 19 in Chicago. That Chicago date takes place at Wrigley Field, the famed home of the Chicago Cubs, and reportedly was the fastest sellout of any concert held at the stadium. Additionally, during the headlining tour, the group will perform at the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in New Orleans. That festival takes place November 1-3, though the exact date the band is playing has yet to be released.
Many fans thought the timer would also lead to the announcement of a new album from Pearl Jam, though no official word of new music came with the tour announcement. However, the aforementioned timer was reset, and will now end on Thursday, July 11 at 4 p.m. Eastern. A betting man might do well to wager that the end of that time will result in the announcement of new music.
The group hasn’t released a new album since 2009’s Backspacer, and guitarist Stone Gossard told Billboard in May that a new album was “almost done,” and that the band was “crossing our T’s and dotting our I’s.”
Pearl Jam will perform at Chicago’s Wrigley Field this summer.
“IT’S OFFICIAL: Pearl Jam will be playing at Wrigley Field. Will you be there?” The band tweeted yesterday, January 23. The announcement came after the group tweeted a photo of a large stage set up in the outfield of the ballpark. The event will be held July 19 and is being billed as “An Evening With Pearl Jam” and will not include an opening act.
Frontman Eddie Vedder is a Chicago native and longtime Cubs fan, and has been invited to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Wrigley five times. He’s also thrown out the first pitch at a previous Cubs game. The Cubs got in on the Twitter action as well, yesterday, tweeting a photo of a jersey with the number 10 before the announcement, honoring the band’s first album, Ten.
Vedder’s no stranger to performing at the ballpark, either. During Bruce Springsteen’s concert there last September, Vedder appeared as a special guest.
Arguably one of the most famous ballparks still in use in Major League Baseball (along with Boston’s Fenway Park), Wrigley only occasionally hosts music performances. Past performers have included Paul McCartney and Dave Matthews Band.
Pearl Jam also revealed a second show in 2013 yesterday, and will appear at London, Ontario’s Budweiser Gardens on July 16. The group’s official website notes that “fall tour dates in the U.S. will be announced in the coming months.”
Vedder spoke to Rolling Stone earlier this year and said the band currently is working on a new album.
“It sounds like it sounds like,” he helpfully told the magazine. “We really work together as a unit these days… We’ve figured out after all these years that if everybody just puts their stamp on it, then it sounds how we want it to. Then it sounds new, ‘cause everyone is growing, you know.”
The Lollapalooza Brazil event will once again be held at the Sao Paulo Jocky Club, this time on March 29-31, 2013. Lollapalooza Chile will come the following weekend, April 6-7, at the Parque O’Higgins in Santiago.
Many acts will appear at both festivals, including the headliners as well as other notables like the Killers, Queens of the Stone Age, A Perfect Circle, Nas, Franz Ferdinand, the Hives, Hot Chip, Gary Clark, Jr., Alabama Shakes, Puscifer, Two Door Cinema Club, Passion Pit, Kaiser Chiefs, Crystal Castles, Kaskade, Toro Y Moi, Porter Robinson and Steve Aoki.
There are a few acts, however, that will only appear at one of the two festivals. The Chile version of the event will be the exclusive host of Keane, Bad Brains, Manuel Garcia and Los Tres. Those attending the Brazil festival will see the Flaming Lips, Cake, Criolo + Emicida, Madeon and others.
In addition to these festivals, Lollapalooza also will play its annual Chicago show August 2-4, and will for the first time be held in Tel Aviv, Israel, as well. The latter festival will be held August 20-22 next year in Yarkon Park, which is the largest park in the country. Lineups for both of those festivals will be announced at a later time.
Lollapalooza was founded by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell as a traveling music festival that was first held in 1991. It was held in this manner every year until 1997, when the Lollapalooza name went on hiatus. Though it returned as a tour in 2003, a planned outing the following year was canceled due to low ticket sales.
Lollapalooza then returned in 2005 as a two- (later three-) day event held in Chicago. The Chile incarnation was first held in 2011, followed by the Brazil version the following year.
We have come to the final night of Atlanta’s 2-day music festival Music Midtown. Saturday, we rolled back the clock to revisit Garbage, had a bizarre visit from swashbuckling Adam Ant, saw one-hit-wonder Neon Trees and was blown away by the vocal acrobatics of Florence + the Machine. There was no rest for weary ears though as headliners Pearl Jam prepared to take the stage.
The band has kept a relatively low profile on the touring front this year. The group assembled to help friend Jay-Z launch his Made in America festival a few weeks back, and recently completed a month-long swing through Europe in June. Most of the touring of late has been left to frontman Eddie Vedder. He completed a solo stint in the spring and has another leg launching from Las Vegas on Halloween. The band has a few songs cobbled together for the follow-up album to Backspacer according to McCready in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, but studio work has been put on hold until Vedder wraps his upcoming road work in December.
As Pearl Jam took the stage, my high school self was oozing with jealousy. Pearl Jam was one of the first bands I sank my teeth into when I first truly discovered music. I wore out that poor cassette tape of their debut Ten and still declare it one of the greatest albums ever made. It has been 20 years since the band formed in Seattle and while the wrinkles were more prominent and the hairlines not quite as full, they were here to show they could still drop the hammer on some of rock’s best known anthems.
They wasted no time with introductions as they plowed right into Ten’s “Why Go.” The sweaty crowd 52 thousand deep lent new meaning to the term sardine can as they packed ever closer to see this rock enigma that is Eddie Vedder. Pearl Jam certainly weren’t there to disappoint. Their live shows have become a thing of legend over the years and have built a rabid fanbase even though the endless parade of hits has noticeably dimmed.
The band sparked an incredible energy from the stage. As anyone who has heard a Pearl Jam recording can attest, Vedder can pull notes out of the furthest reaches of his lungs. Seeing that intensity and passion manifest itself first hand is quite a sight. While Eddie is clearly the star attraction, the talent that surrounds him is constantly bubbling up to grab the spotlight’s affection. Mike McCready was hamming it up, playing the guitar behind his head. Matt Cameron was abusing the drums like they were a rock critic. Stone Gossard had that focused energy, channeling the rhythm. The only guy who appeared a little shy was Jeff Ament. Come up to the front and soak up the praise every once in a while Jeff.
The song setlist was pretty varied. They bounced around their expansive catalog, giving you a nice sampler platter of sonic goodies. Ten definitely got more than its fair share of loving with hits like “Alive,” “Jeremy,” “Even Flow,” “Black” and “Porch.” It’s no coincidence that the crowd erupted as the guitar signature from each track bled out. I think the band long ago came to terms with the fact that they will never eclipse the success of Ten. There’s no need to race on that hamster wheel.
The Victoria Williams cover “Crazy Mary” was a nice touch. You could tell from the fan’s response that this wasn’t a gem they pulled out every day. It was one of three covers featured during the evening with the Clash’s “Know Your Rights” and Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” The later was introduced by Vedder stepping up on his soapbox to tell people of the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election as well as bringing up the controversial voter ID issue that is in effect in Georgia. “Evidently a gun license will get you in the booth in Florida,” he remarked which got a hardy laugh from the audience.
You’d think after closing DeLuna Festival in Pensacola, Florida last night, PJ would be ready to wrap things early at Midtown. Nothing could be further from the truth. They wrung every minute out of their two-hour set. They closed “Alive” and found out they only had two minute left. The band was scrambling around saying they had one more song to get in and to bear with them. Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” never sounded sweeter on borrowed time.
In all, Pearl Jam played an amazing set. They are unquestionably one of the premiere live bands touring in rock today. They just have such a genuine love for the music and would be hitting that stage if they weren’t getting paid a dime. They are extremely thankful that their devoted fan base has afforded them the chance to keep playing all these years. At one point in the evening, Vedder stared out from the Midtown stage over the glowing Atlanta skyline and commented how beautiful the city looked from here. Eddie, Atlanta welcomes you and the boys of Pearl Jam with open arms whenever you want to stop in and play a few. It has been nothing short of a privilege.
Pearl Jam Music Midtown Setlist : September 22, 2012
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
Amongst the Waves
Do the Evolution
Know Your Rights (Clash)
Crazy Mary (Victoria Williams)
Given to Fly
Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young)
Could Pearl Jam and Soundgarden be planning on co-headlining road trip next year in what would be one of the biggest tour packages of the year? The Internet certainly is buzzing about the possibility, and the Internet may be right.
The rumors are focused on the fact that both groups are expected to release new albums in the near future. Soundgarden’s long awaited comeback album King Animal is slated for release in November, and Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament said earlier this month that his band’s forthcoming album currently is about halfway done.
But Pearl Jam/Soundgarden double bill rumors run a bit deeper, and are fueled by the fact that Matt Cameron serves as drummers for both bands. He has said that he “is not leaving Pearl Jam and that he is committed to Soundgarden.” So, if he’s not leaving either band, and both have albums coming out that need tour support, the conclusion would be that a joint tour is very possible.
The argument was first made by a post on RadarMusic.com by a “guy in our office [that] is OBSESSED with Soundgarden.”
“Then it all made since,” the obsessed fellow writes. “Soundgarden, weren’t just fine-tuning King Animal, they were waiting on their brother band Pearl Jam to finish things up. It’s a domino effect. Soundgarden, release their album, fans go ballistic, rock and roll reigns again. A few months later, Pearl Jam’s new album comes out, riding the sediment of the return of ‘Grunge.’ And while at the height, the tour WILL be announced, for mid-2013.”
Of course, as might be evidenced by the above misuse of commas and some questionable word choice, this is not an official announcement, and time will tell if the epitome of grunge tours (for 2013, anyway) will come to pass.
If it does happen, the bands could really save some money by having Temple of the Dog open the shows on the tour. Just saying.
Recently, Jay-Z announced that he would be curating the lineup at Budweiser’s Made in America Festival this year, and now his extremely eclectic lineup has been announced. Among the headliners are Pearl Jam, D’Angelo and Skrillex – along with Jay-Z himself, of course.
The Philadelphia festival will be held on September 1 and 2 this year at the city’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The event will be one of Pearl Jam’s only American concert dates this year.
Other notable artists include Odd Future, Passion Pit, Santigold, Miike Snow, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, Dirty Projectors, X, Janelle Monae, Rita Ora and Prince Royce.
The first slew of artists announced to the lineup is being called “Phase One,” so we can likely assume that more artists will be announced before the Labor Day Weekend Festival.
At a press conference announcing the event, Jay-Z said he has a few questions he asks himself when he gets involved with a project like this.
“Whenever I enter into a project, I try to hit on some touch points. The first thing is: Is it great?” he said at the press conference, which was held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “The second one is: Is it gonna push the culture forward.”
Some artists also wanted to make their own announcements about their appearances at the festival.
“We are pleased to announce that Pearl Jam is headlining Made in America Festival curated by Jay-Z,” read a post on Pearl Jam’s website. “Made in America takes place Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, September 1st – Sunday, September 2nd) at Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.”
Prince Royce took to Twitter to announce his excitement.
“Proud to announce that I’ll be performing at #MADEINAMERICA Fest Sept 1-2 Thanks to Jay-Z for having me & for curating this great festival!” he tweeted.
After spending all year celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Ten, Pearl Jam have announced their first shows of 2012, which will take place next summer in Europe. The nine-date trek will include three festivals and six headlining dates on their own. The three festivals are Isle of Wight in England, Rock Werchter in Belgium and the Main Square Festival in France. Additionally, they will tackle arena shows in Manchester, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen. Los Angeles rock band X will open all of the arena shows. The first show, in Manchester, will take place on June 20, and the tour will culminate in Copenhagen on July 10.
Pearl Jam started the 20-year anniversary celebration for Ten back in 2009 by releasing a deluxe edition of the album that had been remastered and included a DVD. In September, Pearl Jam Twenty was released, which is a rockumentary about the band directed by Cameron Crowe. The movie documents the history of the band from its formation until April 2011. Crowe edited over 12,000 hours of video for the documentary. The film was screened at the Toronto Film Festival and other U.S. theaters throughout September, and was released on DVD and Blu-Ray the following month.
Pearl Jam formed in Seattle in 1990 and helped bring grunge rock into the mainstream, along with other bands mainly from the northwest like Nirvana and Soundgarden. Ten is the band’s most commercially successful album and has sold over 10 million copies. Sales were slow when the album was released in August of 1991, almost exactly a month before Nevermind by Nirvana was released. It took nearly a year to break into the top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart, and peaked at number two in May 1992, kept out of the top spot only by the Billy Ray Cyrus album containing the hit “Achy Breaky Heart.”
Pearl Jam, following months of breathless anticipation, has announced details for their upcoming 20th anniversary concert. The band will be headlining and hosting a festival over Labor Day weekend in East Troy, Wisconsin at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre. Special guests include John Doe from X, Glen Hansard, Liam Finn, Joseph Arthur, Mudhoney, Queens of the Stone Age and The Strokes. Fan club members will be able to purchase tickets starting May 23, and the general public on June 4. Pearl Jam is donating $2 per ticket sold to the band’s Vitalogy Foundation. The organizations provide grants to nonprofit organizations that are selected by band members.
The band, following their anniversary festival, will be hitting the road to tour Canada. The outing will consist of arena gigs and visit most of Canada’s major cities. The trek will kick off on September 7 in Montreal at Bell Centre and wrap up on September 25 at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.
The anniversary celebration of Pearl Jam’s, as was previously announced will include “Pearl Jam Twenty,” the retrospective documentary by Cameron Crowe. It is scheduled to arrive along with a Simon & Schuster published book as well as soundtrack album that will feature music from the film selected by Crowe. The movie “Pearl Jam Twenty” will air on October 21 on PBS stations as part of their American Masters series.