Hire a homeless person to stand in line for you.
Pearl Jam fans will get in line on the day of a concert as early as 3am to make sure they’re on the rail for a show. Others will even leave another concert early in order to get that sought-after first spot in line. They’re organized, and a list of who’s in line with numbers is commonplace. Anyone caught cutting or trying to work outside the fan system will be called out and turned on by all of the hardcores.
In Stockholm in 2012, multiple fans were seen arriving early at the venue to claim their spot in line and then leaving immediately after to their hotel to catch up on sleep and shower. They arrived a little before the doors opened to reclaim their spot in line, only to receive an uproar from the other fans who spent the entire day waiting. Eventually, the uprising became so big that security forced the fans to go to the end of the line.
Buy a poster and flip it on eBay.
Pearl Jam helped re-energize concert poster culture. Led by designs by Ames Bros, Pearl Jam posters have become a highly valued commodity. Usually restricted to a poster per person, the limited edition runs would empty out well before the show. This not only helped bring in fans for the opening bands but also increased the value of posters on the resale market.
Fans will often go from merch stand to merch stand and collect as many posters from the show as they can. Some fans have even paid for their entire tours by simply going in early, buying as many posters as they can, and reselling them the day after online. To the Pearl Jam fan this is a faux pas. Posters are meant to be a way to commemorate the experience at the show. To flip a poster on eBay at 4x the cost is an easy way to piss off a community of fans and become Public Enemy Number 1. Best set your eBay privacy settings on “high.”
Ditch your friends to upgrade your tickets .
Pearl Jam fans are a tightly knit community. The show is an experience, and one that’s better with friends. Some fans with the urge to get closer to the stage will ditch their buddies for any chance at an upgrade. While they might end up with a better view, they miss out on the high-fives, fist pumps, and singalongs. They also make their friends wary of ever going to a show with them in the future.
Tell fans around you to stop singing.
Pearl Jam fans like to sing. Like, a lot. Like, to every song. The problem is most fans don’t have the best voices, so if they’re missing those high notes it can kill the ears of everyone around them. However, there’s a connection between the band and the fans when they all sing together. Eddie often just stops singing and lets the fans take over on well-known songs like “Better Man.” It makes fans feel a part of the show. Telling a Pearl Jam fan to stop singing would be like telling Michael Phelps to stop swimming.
Hold up a sign to play “Even Flow.”
Really? “Even Flow” has been played 744 times, including their fabled Off Ramp Cafe debut as Mookie Blaylock. If you’re at a show where they don’t play “Even Flow,” you should feel Paris Hilton-privileged (being famous for absolutely no reason). It could be worse; you could have come to the show to hear “Last Kiss.”
Brag about getting Tenclub tickets when everyone else is getting a “503” error.
Pearl Jam has always tried to do things their own way. They built their fan management and ticketing system all in-house, which has been a blessing and a curse. While in general it has made buying tickets a lot easier, there are still the rare occasions where they haven’t prepared for the surge of traffic the tour-hungry fans are bringing.
This usually results in a “503 Service Unavailable” error, leading fans to frantically refresh their browser, causing even more traffic to the site. The last thing one of these fans wants to see when they check the forums is a post about someone being able to purchase tickets while they got shut out due to technical difficulties.
Be a loudmouth song predictor.
One of the reasons a Pearl Jam concert is so special is because the setlist is different at every show. There’s something fun and exciting about hearing the first few chords and figuring out for yourself what song is going to be played. Some fans who pay far too much attention to the band members’ guitars and tuning notes will often yell out to the crowd the next song of the setlist, much to the rest of the crowd’s dismay. Even worse are the fans on the rail who lean over, see the setlist, and then shout it out, ruining it for everyone around them.
Ask “Is Pearl Jam still making music?”
Pearl Jam was one of the biggest and most influential bands of the ’90s. They broke sales records, took on Ticketmaster, and eventually grew bigger than they were ever comfortable with. This led them to pull themselves out of the spotlight. They stopped making music videos, turned down requests for interviews, and ultimately fell off the popular music scene.
To many of the casual fans, Pearl Jam disappeared after Vitalogy. For the hardcores, Pearl Jam was just starting to come into their own. With new-found freedom to do what they wanted, the band began to experiment both musically and on the stage. This led to longer shows and more varied setlists, and it created an intense following of devoted fans. To ask one of these fans if the band is still making music is like asking a Catholic if they still have a pope.
Think you’re bigger than the band.
Just because you’ve been to 67 shows doesn’t mean you’re more of a fan than anyone else. Moreover, it especially doesn’t mean the band owes you something. Yet, some privileged fans seem to find joy in rubbing it in the less-fortunate fans’ faces.
One example of this happened on the 2003 North American tour. Several fans with really low Tenclub numbers (allowing them to end up with the best seats) attending multiple shows on the tour would turn their backs to the band anytime a song was played they didn’t like or deemed old hat. Even worse, these fans would cross their arms and make fun of the other fans singing and dancing along.
No fan should have the right to ruin the experience of a show for someone who’s there having a good time, especially if the fan is so privileged to be in the best seats.
Yell at Ed to stop talking and play more music.
Eddie Vedder is very personable onstage. He talks to the crowd often throughout a show, whether about politics, the country he’s in, or even about the weather. At times (very often) he’s been known to ramble. This tends to irk some fans, who just want to hear the band play. It especially irks those fans who have different political beliefs. This often leads to some booing, or yelling at the band to “Stop talking, and play more music.”
The majority of Pearl Jam fans, however, enjoy hearing Eddie ramble. It’s as much a part of a show as the music is. Where the band leans politically, and the fact Eddie often talks a lot during a show, is known by even the most casual of fans. So if you don’t like hearing Ed go on, use the opportunity to hit the bathroom or grab another beer.