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Opinion

November 18, 2013

Pearl Jam puts on timeless show in OKC, addresses controversy

OKLAHOMA CITY —

This is a story about Eddie Vedder and his wine. 

The Pearl Jam frontman downed three bottles during his band's almost three hour, riveting performance Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.  

The ensemble spanned two decades with their set list, playing tracks from the recently released Lightening Bolt album, serenading the audience with "Just Breathe" and bringing the crowd to a deafening uproar with a trifecta of hits from their debut album, "Ten." 

Yes, Pearl Jam was in top form Saturday night, but their music was overshadowed by controversy, which is nothing really new for this Grunge era band. 

Photos surfaced of bass player Jeff Ament sporting a t-shirt, which read "F**k the Thunder," and video of Vedder speaking about Oklahoma City in a similar fashion, gained Internet notoriety this weekend after thelostogle.com posted the media to their site. 

True to their form, Vedder and company didn't stay away from addressing the controversy. 

The baritone singer began with some levity, looking back at Ament saying, "See Jeff, we should play here more often." The crowd responded to Vedder's jest with laughter and cheers. It's been 10 years since Pearl Jam played a show in Oklahoma City, and the band commented on their commitment to cram a lot of music in their set while also dealing with the elephant in the room. 

Shortly after the initial joke, a fan tossed a Seattle Supersonics jersey with Kevin Durant's name and number onto the stage. Ament smiled, put on the shirt and played the majority of the concert in it. 

Shortly after the first encore, which opened with "Just Breathe," Vedder addressed the crowd and put the band's anger over losing the Supersonics into perspective. 

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