Pearl Jam kicks off its North American tour on Friday night in Pittsburgh, but the band made headlines before even taking the stage. As Billboard revealed in a cover story on Pearl Jam, the group will provide the soundtrack for this year’s World Series on Fox Television, including all 12 songs on their new album, “Lightning Bolt.”
“There was a period of time when we didn’t license much music,” Kelly Curtis, Pearl Jam’s manager, told Billboard. “But for the past many years, we consider licensing requests using the same criteria we do for everything else: Do we like it? Would the fans like it? Does it provide a different forum for fans to hear the music? Is it something we can get behind? The band loves baseball, so this one was a no-brainer.”
The World Series is set to begin on Oct. 23. Two days before that, however, Pearl Jam will have another national stage: “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.”
From Oct. 21 through Oct. 25, Fallon’s talk show will celebrate Pearl Jam with a week of cover performances, culminating in a two-light live set from the band itself. From the NBC press release announcing the event:
On Monday, October 21, Fallon welcomes Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell to perform the song “Footsteps” with the Avett Brothers. The instrumental of this song previously appeared in a different form as the track “Times of Trouble” in the 1991 self-titled album by Temple Of The Dog, which featured Cornell collaborating with the members of Pearl Jam.
Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold will give his first television performance in nearly two years when he covers “Corduroy” backed by special guests on Tuesday, October 22.
Wednesday night, country music superstar Dierks Bentley will be joined by Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready and The Roots for a one-of-a-kind performance. Bentley previously covered “Wish You Were Here” as part of “Late Night’s” Pink Floyd tribute week in 2011. His 2009 album “Feel That Fire” features a guest appearance by McCready on the song “Life on the Run.”
Pearl Jam closes out the week with performances on Thursday, October 24 and Friday, October 25. These will be Pearl Jam’s only television appearances in conjunction with the new album. The band has not appeared on network television since a two-night stand on “Late Night” in September 2011 in support of the retrospective film and book “Pearl Jam 20.”