Pearl Jam are preparing to hit the road for a world tour in support of their self-titled, eighth studio album and debut for J Records, due May 2nd. The first month-long string of North American dates kick off May 9th in Toronto, and continues through June 3rd, ending with a two-night stand at New Jersey's Continental Airlines Arena. Leg two is scheduled to kick off on June 23rd in Pittsburgh and culminate with the July 22nd "An Evening with Pearl Jam" concert at the Gorge in George, Washington.
This is the first major tour for the Seattle rockers since they co-headlined the Vote for Change tour, leading up to the 2004 presidential election. Formed in 1991 and known for their energetic live show, they have since sold sixty million albums, with both their debut Ten and 1993's Vs. hitting multiplatinum status.
However, the group's last effort, 2002's Riot Act, was met with less enthusiasm and only went gold. The band hopes Pearl Jam may introduce them to a whole new audience. "It feels like a new opportunity for us," says guitarist Stone Gossard. "We're proud of the songs, and we think they have a chance to do a little better commercially."
The first single, "World Wide Suicide," penned by frontman Eddie Vedder, has held the Number One position on the modern rock radio chart since debuting in March. The band had originally made the song -- which guitarist Mike McCready has described as "very punky and Who-ish" -- available as a free download on their Web site, pearljam.com.
While new indie darlings My Morning Jacket will open for Pearl Jam on the first leg of the tour, Robert Pollard and Sonic Youth will serve as support on leg two. Pearl Jam will also partner up with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for two St. Paul, Minnesota and Denver, Colorado shows.