They?ve defied the early critics, battled with labels and concert ticket giant Ticketmaster.
Yet Pearl Jam, who held fast to their principles and refused for years to either do music videos or perform at venues that used Ticketmaster, remains one of the world?s great rock bands.
And Tuesday, they?ll play at London?s Budweiser Gardens before heading to Chicago for a second July date Friday, more than two months ahead of a North American tour in support of their new album, Lightning Bolt, to be released in October.
The London show is reportedly sold out, but Budweiser officials say there could be tickets made available before show time.
The Seattle-based band that helped fuel the grunge movement has sold about 60 million records around the world. Although their early releases, Ten, Vs. and Vitalogy, were by far their best sellers, the band continues to enjoy success but not at the expense of family or lifestyle.
The band includes frontman Eddie Vedder (vocals), Stone Gossard (guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), Mike McCready (guitar) and Matt Cameron on the drums.
They were part of the Seattle grunge explosion that included Alice in Chains, Nirvana and Soundgarden, who Cameron left to join Pearl Jam in the late ?90s.
Jeremy, Daughter, Better Man, the Grammy-winning Spin the Black Circle and World Wide Suicide are among the hits the band produced over the years.
They have often experimented with different styles (albums No Code, Binaural) over the years, but always returned to their classic rock/grunge roots and the heavy influence of classic rockers Neil Young, The Who and punkers The Ramones.
The band?s boycott of Ticketmaster was over the company?s monopoly and surcharge on ticket prices, which the band had tried to set limits on to ensure their audience could afford them.
Instead, the band toured at alternative venues, limiting their access to fans (no touring of the U.S. for three years) and, eventually, abandoning the Ticketmaster boycott.
Regardless, they?ve never shied away from issues, politics and causes, such as support for the pro-choice movement, environmental and other social issues. In 1999, they released the single, Last Kiss, with all proceeds going to refugees of the Kosovo war.
The band?s following has been described in Rolling Stone magazine as cult-like, not unlike the Grateful Dead and their concerts as marathons in the spirit of Bruce Springsteen.
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IF YOU GO
What: Pearl Jam concert.
Where: Budweiser Gardens, 99 Dundas St.
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Tickets: $71.25, it could be sold out. Check ticket sellers, or online at www.buweisergardens.com