News Flash: Pearl Jam To Embark On Major U.S. Tour

After several years of failing to meet the expectations of an American fanbase hungry to see them perform live, Pearl Jam is set to take the country

by storm this summer as they support their recently released Yield

album.

On Friday, the band announced tour dates for its first U.S. outing since

a brief 1996 excursion following the release of No Code. The 33-date Yield itinerary will take the group to all regions of the lower 48 states, as well as two cities in Canada, on a tour that runs from June through September. The tour is shaping up to be Pearl Jam's biggest U.S. outing since a 1992 headlining venture in support of their debut album, Ten.

The length of the Yield tour may allow the band to find a groove

that perhaps evaded them on shorter live runs. "I feel like I need to go

out and play 20 or 25 shows," PJ bass player Jeff Ament told Addicted To

Noise columnist Dave Marsh in November. "Somewhere after 10 shows, you start to get a rhythm and everybody starts to play really well together. That's

when it's fun, and that's when it's like you're on a cloud."

This summer, as in years past, the group is striving to avoid playing venues that use Ticketmaster for ticket-purchasing. However, there are some cities that the group cannot play without making use of a Ticketmaster-contracted facility and, in those cases, Pearl Jam will let Ticketmaster sell the tickets. Ament and

guitarist Stone Gossard denounced Ticketmaster as a monopoly at a 1994 congressional hearing. Ticketmaster has repeatedly denied that they are a monopoly, and the Justice Department ultimately dropped its antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster’s contracting practices.

"They're going to use local alternative ticket companies for most of the

tour," band publicist Annie Ohayon said Friday. "They'll use Ticketmaster

in some cities in order to better accommodate the concert-goers."

In 1995, a 13-date tour collapsed halfway through under the combined

weight of trying to avoid Ticketmaster and an illness that struck singer

Eddie Vedder. One year earlier, the band canceled a planned summer tour,

citing a lack of suitable venues that did not have exclusive contracts with

Ticketmaster.

The Yield tour begins June 20 in Missoula, Mont., then moves into

the Midwest and Texas before hitting California and the Pacific

Northwest in July. In August, the band returns to the Midwest and makes

stops in Montreal and Toronto before ending on a string of East

Coast dates in mid-September.

While fans are undoubtedly excited at the prospect of such a long run of

shows, whether there would be any shows seemed doubtful at one point, Ament said. "When we started making this record, the conversations about touring were pretty dismal," he explained. "I don't think anybody wanted to tour. The more that we started to hang out with each other, though, the more we started to realize that we liked each other. At that point, people started getting excited about the idea of getting together and going out and playing some shows."

The base cost for each ticket will be $23; additional charges may be

imposed by local ticket outlets and facilities.

Last November, Pearl Jam played a secret show at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, Calif., then opened for the Rolling Stones at the Oakland Coliseum stadium for four nights. On January 31, the group performed live as part of a four-hour "Monkeywrench Radio" show.

Before Pearl Jam tours the continental United States, they hit Australia

and New Zealand for several shows in February and March. Their first

concerts in support of Yield will take place in one week, when the

band plays two nights in Maui, Hawaii, on Feb. 20 and 21.

Pearl Jam Tour Dates:

Jun. 20; Missoula, Mont., Grizzly Stadium

Jun. 21; Salt Lake City, Utah, Delta Center

Jun. 23; Denver, Colo., Fiddlers Green Amphitheater

Jun. 24; Rapid City, S.D., Rushmore Plaza Civic Center

Jun. 26; East Troy, Wis., Alpine Valley Music Theater

Jun. 29; Chicago, Ill., United Center

Jun. 30; Minneapolis, Minn., Target Center

Jul. 2; St. Louis, Mo., Riverport Amphitheater

Jul. 3; Kansas City, Mo., Sandstone Amphitheater

Jul. 5; Dallas, Texas, Reunion Arena

Jul. 7; Albuquerque, N.M., Tingley Coliseum

Jul. 8; Phoenix, Ariz., Arizona Vet. Mem. Coliseum

Jul. 10; San Diego, Calif., San Diego Concert Pavilion

Jul. 13; Los Angeles, Calif., Forum

Jul. 16; Sacramento, Calif., Arco Arena

Jul. 18; Portland, Ore., Rose Garden Arena

Jul. 21; Seattle, Wash., (benefit) To Be Announced

Aug. 17; Indianapolis, Ind., Deer Creek Music Center

Aug. 18; East Lansing, Mich., Breslin Student Events Center

Aug. 20; Montreal, Que., Molson Centre

Aug. 22; Toronto, Ont., Molson Park

Aug. 25; Pittsburgh, Pa., Starlake Amphitheater

Aug. 26; Cleveland, Ohio, Blossom Music Center

Aug. 28; Philadelphia, Pa., Blockbuster Music Ent. Center

Sept. 1; Atlanta, Ga., Lakewood Amphitheater

Sept. 3; Birmingham, Ala., Birmingham-Jefferson Coliseum

Sept. 4; Greenville, S.C., Bi-Lo Center

Sept. 6; Knoxville, Tenn., Thompson-Boiling Arena

Sept. 8; East Rutherford, N.J., Continental Arena

Sept. 10; New York, N.Y., Madison Square Garden

Sept. 13; Hartford, Conn., Meadows Music Theater

Sept. 15; Boston, Mass., Great Woods Center

Sept. 18; Washington, D.C., Merriweather Post Pavilion

-- Chris Nelson [Fri., Feb. 13, 1998, 4:30 p.m. PST]