As mentioned in Pearl Jam Comes Home, the Seattle-bred band are playing a series of outdoor venues to close out the Summer of 2018 (sorry for the reality check, but the first day of school is 20 sleeps from today).
In bassist Jeff Ament’s home state of Montana, Pearl Jam were at Washington-Grizzly Stadium Monday night, which doubled as a reelection fundraiser for US Senate hopeful Jon Tester. On top of another nearly 3-hour, 30-song set, the show featured an – um – interesting poster designed in part by Ament himself. Pearl Jam’s initials bookended an illustration of a burning White House, with what appears to be a lifeless body on the lawn, its carcass being picked at by an American bald eagle. The toupee is a dead giveaway I’d say as to who this is meant to represent.
A little shocking to some admittedly, with the most vocal outcries coming from the conservative side of the political ledger. Tester’s GOP opposition Matt Rosendale was all over it, calling it a “blatant display of extremism” while linking to a Breibart article. Surprisingly, Drumpf himself hasn’t found the poster important enough to tweet about, although his willfully blind followers have been more than eager to express how they’ll never listen to Pearl Jam again, not that they’ve been any good since the ’90s anyway. This may just be my two cents, but the MAGA crowd can keep Toby Keith and Three Doors Down; I’ll keep on rockin’ in the free world with PJ, thank you very much.
If anyone thinks Pearl Jam are going to do the opposite of Tom Petty and back down from this, they don’t know them very well. Jeff Ament has already said,
We’re at a tipping point and it’s time to take action.
People getting offended over a cartoon versus the real-life injustices that have been going on the past two years probably don’t remember Eddie Vedder taking a knee in solidarity with NFL players or that, y’know, Pearl Jam are bigtime Rock the Vote supporters, which champions otherwise undecided ballot-casters to get out there, make a difference and prevent someone like Donald Trump from ever getting in the position he is in again.
Needless to say, the GOP is not happy about this and is demanding an apology. I don’t think one is forthcoming.