Pearl Jam Announces Free Vancouver Concert

Pearl Jam will be playing its first full-length show since 1998 in a 1000-seat nightclub in Vancouver, Canada on May 11, and the gig will be a free one.

Tickets will only be available as giveaways from the sponsoring Vancouver radio station 99.3, The Fox (CFOX). The performance is being staged in the city's newly re-opened Commodore Ballroom.

The concert will be a release party celebrating Pearl Jam's new album, "Binaural," which is being issued May 23, the same day the group kicks off a European tour in Lisbon, Portugal (see "UPDATE: Pearl Jam Goes "Binaural" With New Album, North American Tour").

CFOX Program Director Bob Mills told MTV News that the station had been looking to do a free concert with a major act, and on a whim, they threw the idea out to Pearl Jam, the top band on their list.

"We approached Sony Music late last year," said Mills. "And the last month or so, everything just started

falling into place. The band was ready to launch their album and world tour, and they said, 'this might be fun.' And [on Monday] they confirmed it."

Mills added that the phones haven't stopped ringing since the show was announced.

Oddly enough, the venue is owned by The House Of Blues Concerts, a company being boycotted by Pearl Jam over a ticket scalping scandal that erupted last year in Denver (see "Pearl Jam Joins Backstreet In Promoter Boycott").

According to Mills, the chain only owns part of the Commodore, and the House Of Blues will not be promoting the concert. Local promoter Paul Mercs Concerts, which has had a long association with the band, is putting the event together for the station, which is renting the venue from the House Of Blues.