Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pearl Jam to turn 20 at Bridge School Benefit

Most rock bands don’t age particularly well, but don’t ever count Pearl Jam on that list.

Thundering out of the gate with 1991’s “Ten,” PJ were in danger of peaking too early while caught in the crossfire of the whole grunge thing. A stellar debut by any standards, “Ten” spoke to a generation: among the classic tracks, the single “Jeremy” was ubiquitous in the early 90s, its companion video so perfectly crafted that its success caused the band to pull away from making videos for many years.

By their own admission, PJ could have imploded at any time in those early days, crushed by the weight of expectations that only extraordinary success can bring. Instead, the band closed camp, battled their demons and kept their head down, placing the focus solely on their music.

Twenty years later and, like fine wine, PJ have aged extremely well – continuing to matter to their fans by developing a communal spirit, delivering consistently compelling music, and killer live shows where no two setlists are alike.

Keeping the focus on their music means there’s no big celebration planned, but there are a couple of shows on the schedule that sync up - almost to the day – that PJ played their first show as Mookie Blaylock, at the Off Ramp club in Seattle on October 22, 1991.

“The only thing we've got going on in October is Bridge School, which is really special," guitarist Stone Gossard told Billboard while out promoting his side-band, Brad. "So that's our 20th anniversary, which is fitting. It's perfect: not too blown up. It's not about us, it about all those kids that are on stage with you and about Neil Young and his commitment, his influence."

The concerts are a benefit for the Bridge School, which develops and uses advanced technologies to aid in the instruction of children with disabilities. Young's involvement stems, at least partially, from the fact that both of his sons have cerebral palsy and his daughter, like Young himself, has epilepsy.

You can help support the Bridge School with your donation here.

PJ are the only act confirmed, so far, for this year's shows, scheduled for October 23 and 24 in Mountain View, California; it will be their eighth Bridge appearance.

Jeremy Pearl Jam - Jeremy - Ten (Legacy Edition)

Pearl Jam – Jeremy
Bridge School Benefit 6
Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – November 1, 1992

Wishlist Pearl Jam - Wishlist - Yield

Pearl Jam – Wishlist
Bridge School Benefit 13
Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – October 31, 1999

Black Pearl Jam - Black - Ten (Legacy Edition)

Pearl Jam – Black
Bridge School Benefit 20
Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – October 22, 2006