Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2016, #8 & #7

8. Raleigh, North Carolina

In March, the General Assembly and Governor of North Carolina passed a controversial law that limited counties and cities within the state from enacting protections for gay, lesbian, and transgendered individuals; forced individuals to use the bathroom associated with the gender on their birth certificate; and capped all  minimum wages in the state at the state's level of $7.25 per hour.

That didn't seem to have much to do with Pearl Jam, but then conscientious artists began to announced that they no longer felt comfortable performing in a state that was so hostile toward the under-priviledged members of their fan base.  Once Bruce Springsteen cancelled his show in Greensboro, the writing was on the wall.

About a week later, and a few days before the show, Pearl Jam announced that they would be cancelling their Raleigh, North Carolina show scheduled for April 20th.  Pearl Jam fans lit up with a combination of celebration and outrage.  Was Pearl Jam punishing their fans for the actions of state law makers?  Did they cost fans money out their own pockets in lost airline tickets and hotel rooms?  We're they hurting the very people who they hoped to protect by leaving wait staff, hotel staff, and venue employees without much needed work and money?

They jury remains out, but much of the entertainment world has followed suit.  North Carolina has lost many concerts, shows, and sporting events in 2016, and despite fierce debate with the state's new Governor-Elect, Roy Cooper, law makers have decided that they will stand by their law until it is taken apart by the courts.

7. Vault #6: The L.A. Forum

In June, Pearl Jam announced the continuation of their Vault Series with a previously unreleased 1998 show in the Great Western Forum or L.A. Forum.  The date also coincided nicely with this year's reissue of Yield.  Featuring blistering versions of Hail, Hail, Spin the Black Circle, and Not For You by a band who was performing live at their peak, despite this being one of Matt Cameron's first Pearl Jam shows, this show was praised by fans for months.

This marked the first time that a vinyl Vault release was available to anyone regardless of whether or not they belonged to the Ten Club.  Although orders for the vinyl are no longer available, you can still pick up a CD or a digital copy at the Ten Club.