Generations X, Y and Z, watched Pearl Jam roll into town with the third show of their 2016 Lightning Bolt tour appropriately playing the Amalie Arena – Home of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The boys from Seattle’s 90’s grunge era are one of the bands that are still relevant and making new music. They are being compared to the Grateful Dead or Bruce as their shows last 3 hours and the set lists change every night. Vedder and company pay homage to the predecessors who have influenced their music by playing covers by Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd or Neil Young. In Tampa it was The Who (Baba O’Reilly) and Hendrix (Little Wing).
No opening act needed at this PJ show. They band took the stage at 8:30 and Vedder opened the show with a wine toast to the audience rocking into “Why Go”. Vedder, McCready (lead guitar), Gossard (guitar), Ament (bass) and Chamberlain (drums) seem to have non-stop energy that is contagious and they clearly have the audience in the palm of their hands. There are certain rituals during songs that you know if you are a member of the Ten Club and you know who you are. It has been 25 years since they burst on the scene from Seattle and bringing a new genre of music shaking things up.
Vedder took to the stage mid-show to sing an acoustic version of “Imagine” honoring vets and giving a piece of the show to Wounded Warriors. Eddie Vedder is an activist reminiscent of the 60’s. Eddie and Pearl Jam took on Ticketmaster for the fans in 1995 regarding ticketing fees and even though they didn’t win the war, they stood up to corporate greed. For this tour, $3.00 of the ticket price for the show goes to Vitalogy, Pearl Jam’s non-profit foundation that supports community health, environment and the arts. At the show you could purchase limited edition earplugs with the money going to MusiCares to raise awareness on hearing health.
Pearl Jam is playing some big gigs on this tour including New Orleans Jazz Festival, Bonnaroo, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park! If Tampa is any indication with almost 3 hours and 32 songs, this will be the biggest summer tour! Eddie and gang are still going strong and doing their part in the cause of keeping rock and alternative music ALIVE!
photos property of The Sarasota Post, Vicky Sullivan, Rock The Lens Photography