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Flashback: Pearl Jam Wrap Up 2016 Arena Tour With an Epic ‘Yellow Ledbetter’

Pearl Jam fans are a fiercely loyal bunch, but a quick glance at Twitter, Facebook, and their fan forums shows that many of them are getting a little impatient when it comes to the band’s North American tour plans. The group was originally supposed to hit U.S. arenas in March 2020, but they had to push back the dates because of the pandemic. Fans were told to hold onto their tickets, and in November 2021 they were given a long-awaited update.

“We’re announcing that the previously scheduled shows in North America will start in May 2022,” they wrote. “Dates will be announced early next year.”

Eddie Vedder recently wrapped his first solo tour with side project the Earthlings, and Pearl Jam are due to begin a European run on June 18th, but those May U.S. dates have yet to surface. Fans have been holding onto tickets for two years, and are quite curious to know when they can use them, though many understand that arenas are tough to book after the pandemic and the Omicron surge in December and January made everything even more difficult.

Pearl Jam haven’t played a North American arena since May 12th, 2016, when they performed at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. It was an amazing night where they broke out the super obscurity “Alone,” played a bit of the Rush classic “Cygnus X-1” since Geddy Lee was in the audience, and covered “Last Kiss,” “Crazy Mary,” and “Baba O’Riley.” The night wrapped up with an epic “Yellow Ledbetter” — click here to watch that performance via fan-shot video.

There have been plenty of chances to see Pearl Jam after this night. They played a handful of American stadiums in the summer of 2016, and went all across Europe in the summer of 2018 before hitting stadiums again in Seattle, Missoula, Chicago, and Boston. And in September and October of last year, they revved up for the Sea.Hear.Now Festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and the Ohana Festival in Dana Point, California.

These were all wonderful gigs, but they can’t compare to the joy of seeing Pearl Jam at an indoor arena. Most fans at stadiums and festivals are miles from the stage and it’s simply not the same sort of frenzied environment. The band meant to remedy this in March 2020, but the timing couldn’t have been worse because of Covid. Let’s hope those May U.S. dates are indeed a reality. It’s been six long years since that Toronto gig and we’re all ready to get back indoors and finally experience the Gigaton songs in a concert setting.

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