November 18 [7:55 EDT] -- On Friday night, Pearl Jam opened the first of four shows for the Rolling Stones, at the Oakland stadium in California. ["Hail, Hail" Live, 500k QuickTime]
During the first night, Pearl Jam played several new songs including "Wish List," "Do The Evolution," and "Given To Fly," which will be the first single off the band's next album, tentatively titled "Yield." The album is due out February 3rd, with a tour to follow.
The next night, on Saturday, Pearl Jam omitted "Given to Fly" but instead played another new song called "Brain Of J." Eddie Vedder also told the crowd he was worried about the rising tensions in Iraq, and seized the opportunity behind the mic to offer up a possible solution.
"So here I was watching the news last night after going home and watching the Rolling Stones, and it was really kinda, I have to admit, like a beautiful thing 'cuz everyone was just listening to the music and
so f**king happy," Vedder told the crowd.
"And all this war sh*t. And it's gonna happen and it really just pisses me off. They're just building us up to accept that there's a war's about to happen. And I was just thinking, if Bill Clinton's sitting in the front row and then Saddam Hussein, well, put him in the back row, or wherever you put him, but just get him in and get 'em listening to this music. Like, 'Brown Sugar' could save the world."
Pearl Jam opens two more shows for the Stones in Oakland, Tuesday and Wednesday night.
In other Pearl Jam news, spokespeople for Pearl Jam and R.E.M. will not confirm internet reports that both bands will collaborate on a Christmas single, to be available only to their respective fan clubs.
We are told, however, that Eddie Vedder may be one of the people wearing a pinhead costume in the new Ramones home video called "We're Outta Here," which is due out November 25th.
In one final Pearl Jam related note, their
former drummer Dave Abbruzzese is back with a new band called "Green Romance Orchestra." They've just released their debut album, called "Play Parts 1 and 5." The band is made up of what Abbruzzese describes as "guys who never heard of Pearl Jam," playing music that ranges from rock to jazz to country.