On Monday, Oct. 22, 1990, at the Off Ramp Cafe in Seattle, a five-person band known as Mookie Blaylock took the stage for the first time, and played a short set of eight total songs. In the 25 years since, the group – which was later rechristened Pearl Jam – has played hundreds of shows, sold almost 30 million records in total, and become one of the most influential rock bands of the last quarter century.
“Twenty-four years ago today, it was our first gig. We’re proud of that. We’re proud to still be together. We’re proud to be in a long relationship,” Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder said on Oct. 22, 2014, during a concert in Colorado. Vedder joined Pearl Jam after bassist Jeff Ament and guitartist Stone Gossard, previously of Mother Love Bone, had started to look for new lead singers following the death of Andrew Wood. (Guitarist Mike McCready and drummer Dave Krusen made up the rest of the group at the time; Krusen was replaced by Matt Chamberlain, who was replaced by Dave Abruzzese, who was replaced by Jack Irons, who was replaced by current drummer Matt Cameron.)
“There are two people on this stage who have been together for 30 years. That’s Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard,” Vedder said last year. “It’s a hell of a thing. We just want to thank you, because without you trusting us – me and Mike, and later on Boom Gaspar [the band’s keyboardist] – I just want to thank Jeff and Stone for giving us the nucleus for the ride of our lives. It’s been a hell of a ride.”
And it all started at the Off Ramp Cafe. Combined, Pearl Jam has played the eight tracks that made up its first show a total of 2,593 times – and songs like “Alive” and “Even Flow,” both off the group’s debut album Ten, show no signs of cycling out of rotation any time soon. Ahead, a by-the-numbers look at Pearl Jam’s first concert (all stats via Pearl Jam’s official website.)1. “Release”
Times played: 148
Last played: Oct. 22, 2014