Pearl Jam 2011 Festival - a best guess
I am working feverishly to figure out where the big 20 year anniversary celebration Pearl Jam festival will be this year. This is what they have given us so far. Ament has said it will be 'somewhere in the middle of the country'. He also said they would likely give the info out in April, and the show would be Labor Day weekend.
So, what markets could that be? To me, it could only possibly be two markets: Denver or Chicago. While the band wants to be accessible, they will want to play where there is population nearby, and airports and stuff.
So, Denver or Chicago? Well, we have an early tell... which is the Soundgarden tour. Soundgarden is playing the following cities this summer: Denver, Philly, Toronto, and Los Angeles. What does that have to do with the Pearl Jam festival? Everything. Those four cities are where the festival WON'T be. The reason is non compete clauses in every concert contract. the promoter of the SG show will say that the band can not play any show nearby for 60 to 90 days in either direction.
So, SG can't play another Denver this summer. I am almost positive that SG would play the Pearl Jam festival. They are more than just friends, they share a drummer right now. So, my theory was Denver or Chicago. Denver is out. That makes Chicago in. Except... Chicago doesn't have any great large outdoor venues.
This is where Alpine Valley, Wisconsin comes in. Holds 40,000 people, is a couple of hours away from Chicago. It is beautiful and outdoors. It is even large enough to have multiple stages. It makes perfect sense. Well, except for the 16 hour drive I would have make from Colorado. I wouldn't do it just for PJ... but for PJ and Soundgarden and some others I would.
perhaps Foo Fighters? Perhaps the Chili Peppers? How about Smashing Pumpkins? Billy Corgan is Chicago. Plus, they all toured together back in 1991 with Nirvana. I was there in Phx.
BTW, if you want advanced access to tickets (and you do, this will sell out in 5 minutes between fans and scalpers) you need to join Pearl Jam's fan club BEFORE the show is announced. It is called 'the Ten Club'. A membership costs about $20 a year. Trust me, this is worth it if you are a PJ fan. You get first shot at all concerts, a week before general onsale.
Update - I was Correct, it was at Alpine Valley. It was a nice idea to try and put it somewhere in the middle of the US. Denver would have been a better choice. Anyhow, bu all accounts it was as good as you think it would have been. Cornell showed up and did a bunch of 'Temple of the Dog' songs, too. There is just not much better in life than a Pearl Jam concert.