Episode 101: Charlotte, NC – 10/4/1996
About the Episode
Episode Release Date: October 14th, 2020
We continue the politically charged Pearl Jam theme with a show that sets the standard for the band’s dedication to encouraging their fans to vote. Originally dubbed as a retirement party for former NC Senator, the bigoted Jesse Helms, this show in Charlotte prior to the 1996 election was one where the music was secondary to the mission which was to get the young people in attendance registered to vote.
Joining the band on this night was activist Gloria Steinem who made a poignant speech about the importance of voting that can be repeated 24 years later and still have the same importance. On many occasions Ed would repeat that sentiment, even at a point during Porch where he painted a picture of the America that we as people can build together where everyone regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation could live free of hatred and bigotry. It was a maturing moment for the band as they’d expressed their political beliefs in prior years, but took this time to be proactive in helping achieve their goal in signing up registered voters. Over 1,000 new voters were registered that night.
And wouldn’t you believe that the music was pretty good too? The band had to deal with a wild crowd that took to surfing and moshing right from the start of Long Road. Yeah, Long Road. On numerous occasions Ed has to calm the crowd down even invoking the two steps back practice to alleviate the rambunctiousness. Key highlights from this show include In My Tree, Immortality, Red Mosquito, Whipping and I Got Shit with the inclusion of Brendan O’Brien on bass.
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