Pearl Jam fans have been waiting a long time for the band to release a new album, which they’re finally doing at the end of this month, and they’ve been waiting almost just as long for the band to do a proper North American tour. Unfortunately, while the album—Gigaton—is still coming on March 27, those loyal members of the Ten Club are going to have to wait even longer to see Eddie Vedder and the boys onstage. A tour supporting Gigaton was supposed to start next week, but tonight Pearl Jam released a statement saying that it has decided to postpone the North American shows due to concerns about (what else?) the coronavirus.
The statement points out that Pearl Jam’s hometown is Seattle, with the state of Washington being hit particularly hard by the outbreak of the virus, so the members know “how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate.” On top of that, people are supposed to avoid “communing in large groups” to prevent the spread of the virus, and communing in large groups is one of the things that tends to happen at a Pearl Jam concert (whether you’re rocking out in the pit or giving a fellow fan a hug during one of Vedder’s sadder, slower songs, both of which would be ill-advised during this virus scare).
Continuing on, the statement mentions Pearl Jam fans’ tendency to “travel far and wide” for the band, which is also ill-advised, and it takes a moment to gesture toward some of that classic Pearl Jam political rabble-rousing by referencing the lack of clear messages about the virus from the government and its continued inability to actually do anything about it. Basically, this is a perfect storm of bad timing for a Pearl Jam tour, and thus, the North American dates have been postponed. Pearl Jam is still supposed to hit the road for a European leg over the summer, but seeing as how that includes a stop in Italy (which has been hit extremely hard by the virus), some of those might end up getting canceled as well if this thing doesn’t take a turn for the better soon.