More than 20 years after embarking on an ambitious “authorized bootleg” program that has seen the release of nearly 500 complete concerts, Pearl Jam today released to DSPs for the first time 186 shows from its 2000, 2003, 2008 and 20013 tours, encompassing a mind-boggling 5,404 different tracks. Originally made available for sale through Pearl Jam’s Ten Club fan organization, these shows have never previously been released in any comprehensive form on streaming services.
In tandem with Universal Music Group and Republic Records, Pearl Jam has also launched Deep, a long-in-the-works immersive live hub featuring a searchable concert database, detailed show information and fan-curated, thematic playlists.
Nodding to the band’s diehard fans, Deep allows users to generate personalized setlists that can be transformed into streamable playlists as well a unique setlist graphic in frontman Eddie Vedder’s handwriting. Each show is augmented by personal descriptions and recaps written by Ten Club members. The site is launching in beta mode with plans to add more functionality in the future, particularly ahead of the 30th anniversary of Pearl Jam’s debut album, “Ten,” and the 25th anniversary of its fan-favorite fourth LP, “No Code,” both in August.
“We’re really trying to make it easier for longtime Pearl Jam fans, bootleg aficionados and appreciators of Pearl Jam live music to stream the shows,” Ten Club head Tim Bierman tells Variety. “We’re also hoping that these tools will introduce live and bootleg Pearl Jam to a new generation of fans, who are more adept at navigating the streaming environment.”
Bierman believes Deep will provide a regular destination for serious Pearl Jam fans, much like vintage fan sites such as Five Horizons and Two Feet Thick did with their encyclopedic concert chronologies in years past. “Back then, you could have a specific show playing in the background on your stereo while you read a review, but now you can be on your phone listening to that show while you scroll through the fan reviews on Deep,” he says. “If they talk about something crazy happening during a specific song, you can go right to that track if you want to. For our hardcore fans, this is another level of immersion that they’re always looking for.”
Pearl Jam has not performed live since Sept. 4, 2018 at Boston’s Fenway Park. The band’s 2020 tour in support of its 11th album, “Gigaton,” was scuttled by the COVID-19 pandemic, with its 2020 European tour dates having been rescheduled for 2022. Pearl Jam’s website still lists upcoming performances for the weekend of Sept. 18 at the Sea Hear Now festival in Asbury Park, N.J., and the following weekend at Vedder’s Ohana festival outside San Diego.
Vedder just made an appearance with a full band as a solo artist, meanwhile, at last Sunday’s taping of “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World,” which will air Saturday on ABC, CBS, Fox, YouTube and iHeartMedia stations.