Originally, I’d intended to add the remaining tour posters and song links for PJ’s South American tour to the end of the previous post, but on reflection they merit a shiny new post all of their own, so here you go. Two for the price of one, which, when it’s all free anyway, is even more of a bargain.
So, where was I? Or, rather, where were Pearl Jam?* Oh yes, Brasilia, so next up was Belo Horizonte …
The tour finished in Mexico City,** where doubtless the band and crew were assailed by all those terrible human beings Donald Trump bangs on about when he’s not frothing at the mouth about Muslims.*** Someone at Ames Bros has excelled themselves with this poster.
The Mexico City gig was glowingly reviewed by the chap from Consequence of Sound – you can read the review here. It sounds like all the stuff you’d expect from a PJ gig: heartfelt, life-affirming, a celebration of music’s ability to bring joy and togetherness and all that hippy nonsense.****
Spread the grunge love. On three of the above dates, including Mexico City, the band covered Eagles of Death Metal, ‘I Want You So Hard’, with its classic Josh Homme riff.
Eagles of Death Metal were the band playing at the Bataclan in Paris when the venue was attacked by terrorists last month.***** Should any reminder be required that it’s with the people whose lives were prematurely and needlessly taken from them, and their families, with whom our hearts and thoughts should be, and not their nationality (or, for some, simply the nation where they happened to be when these tragic events occurred), it arrived with the dispiriting news that the Front National came first in the first round of France’s regional elections on Sunday. The FN gathered 28% of the vote; in Nord-Pas de Calais-Picardie it was over 40%. The mainstream parties may combine in the second round to minimise FN gains, but with the presidential elections only 18 months away, they need also to think clearly and with urgency about the political climate that exists in which such far-right scaremongering can be so effective. Too many of the French electorate would seem to want the Tricolore to be a symbol of exclusion. Fear of the other, wrapped up in a national flag, offers no solution to complex problems.
Finishing on a brighter note, for those of you who value a good Pearl Jam tribute act, there are two of them out and about in the near future and worth a watch. First up, Pearl Jam UK (previously Pearl Jammer), whom Radio Seattle have supported a couple of times, and who expertly capture the PJ vibe live. Their tour dates can be found at the link above, and include Islington O2 on 19 December.
If that wasn’t enough, I believe Pearl Jem are planning a UK tour for 2016. We’re fortunate to have so many keeping the PJ flame burning!
* Think of it as a grunge version of Where’s Wally; it’s quite a predictable version though, as they tend to be the ones on the stage at one end of the venue, the end that everyone’s looking at with all the lighting and stuff.
** So strictly speaking this was a South and Central American tour. I’ve a copy of the PJ Mexico City gig from 2003, supported by Sleater-Kinney. Corin Tucker joined the band for ‘Hunger Strike’, and Stone Gossard was serenaded by a mariachi band on his birthday.
*** Trump was at it again yesterday. There’s months of this drivel still to come; how much more ridiculous a position can he adopt? Will he go so far along the far-right spectrum that he’ll end up extreme left? Trump the Trot has a ring to it. Tune in next week to find out… I expect that the grisly irony of an American, who, one presumes, is a fervent supporter of the NRA’s shameless manipulation of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, stating that “our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people … [who] have no sense of reason or respect for human life”, will be entirely lost on him. Pillock. And I’ve managed to write about him without mentioning his peculiar follicular arrangement. Until now, damn it, but at least it’s at the end of a verbose footnote, and many of you probably won’t have got past the grammatically tortured sentence above.
**** This probably reads gushingly, but, speaking as a child of the 90s, it’s what makes the band truly special and why they have so many devoted fans 25 years in.
***** Commendably they were back onstage in Paris on Monday night, even if it was at a U2 gig.