Five shows into its maverick antiTicketmaster tour, Pearl Jam called it quits and announced the cancellation of the rest of the year’s most-anticipated concert tour.
In a statement released late Sunday, the hugely popular Seattle rock group, which canceled its summer tour last year in a highly publicized battle with ticket-distributing giant Ticketmaster, blamed “business problems and controversies surrounding the band’s attempt to schedule an alternative tour.”
“The … band has wanted to focus on its music, but instead it has been faced with continued controversies associated with attempting to schedule and perform at alternative venues,” the news release said.
During Saturday’s concert in San Francisco, vocalist Eddie Vedder left the stage midconcert, citing a case of the stomach flu.
Veteran rocker Neil Young, who was scheduled to make a guest appearance, stepped in, and played for nearly 90 minutes with the rest of the band backing him.
A source close to the tour hinted Sunday that the pressure surrounding the tour was wearing Vedder down.
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the band members met with their management and key tour personnel Saturday night in San Francisco to discuss the tour’s status.
Vedder’s health, the source said, was a topic of great concern, although the nature of his condition was unclear.
“A lot of this was up to Eddie,” the source said. “If he woke up (Sunday) and said, ‘Let’s do this,’ the tour would have continued. But it wasn’t happening.”
Ray Garman, the president of Fillmore Mercantile, a major shareholder in ETM Entertainment Network, said ETM’s alternative ticketing system was not one of the “business problems” the band referred to in its statement.
Rather, Garman said, it was the business dealings with the alternative (non-Ticketmaster) venues that made things impossible.
“The cancellation of this series of shows bears out just how dangerous the Ticketmaster monopoly really is,” Garman said.
The canceled stops include: San Diego; Phoenix; Las Cruces, N.M.; Austin, Texas; New Orleans; Milwaukee; Chicago; and Salt Lake City, where heavy rains postponed a previously scheduled show.
Ticket-holders who paid by check or money order will receive a full refund by mail. Those who paid by credit card will receive credit to their accounts.
There was no indication Sunday as to when, or if, Pearl Jam would resume touring.