Leeds’ First Direct Arena welcomes a one-off indoor Pearl Jam spectacular to the city as one of only two UK dates in July 2014 on their ‘Lightning Bolt’ tour.

Being a defining artist of a particular era of music can often debilitate rather than facilitate a lengthy and consistently successful career. But for Pearl Jam, it’s now over twenty years since the release of the seminal masterpiece ‘Ten’ and they still hold an irresistible power as one of the most influential acts of the past 25 years.

Grunge in America itself acted like punk did in the UK – fitting, since it was and is a punk derivative – in how it provided a catalytic kick in the balls for American rock’n’roll music.

Pearl Jam put themselves at the forefront of this Seattle-born scene, next to another band you may have come across in Nirvana.

‘Ten’, alongside ‘Nevermind’ to some extent, was probably grunge’s most cohesive and most sophisticated piece of majesty. But being incredibly well produced and well put together didn’t mean it lost the visceral snarl of the genre it was projecting. Through tracks like ‘Alive’, ’Jeremy’, ‘Even Flow’ and ‘Once’ Pearl Jam flew into the stratosphere and ‘Ten’ became one of the most enduring and most successful debut records ever made.

But whilst international mega smash hits may not have been the order of the day, they have been consistent in the quality of their output. Following on with the likes of ‘Vs’, ‘Vitalogy’, ‘No Code’ and ‘Yield’, Pearl Jam had reached the millennium as one the defining artists of the decade.

If we fast forward to today, Pearl Jam are now on record number ten, ‘Lightning Bolt’. Yet another example of their intrinsic ability to be their own band, regardless of shifts in public taste or wider opinion, whilst holding on to what makes Pearl Jam the group that new generations continue to discover and take something from.

The fact that Pearl Jam have chosen Leeds’ First Direct Arena as one of just a duo of UK shows next July is a real coup for the city and indicative of the pull the new city venue can have.

Pearl Jam play Leeds’ First Direct Arena on Tuesday 8th July 2014 at 7pm and tickets go on sale Friday 20th December 2013 at 9am.

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