Pearl Jam will play a pair of Seattle concerts this summer to help aid the city's homelessness initiatives. Dubbed "The Home Shows," the two stadium gigs mark the Rock Hall-inducted band's first hometown gigs in five years.
"The Home Shows" will invade Seattle's Safeco Field, home of the Mariners, on August 8th and 10th. Pearl Jam has pledged at least $1 million from the concerts to addressing the area's homelessness issues, with the band hoping to raise $10 million in 2018 in collaboration with area businesses, government agencies and nonprofits to alleviate the problem.
"Seattle is our hometown," Stone Gossard said in a statement. "When there are challenges here, we want to be part of the solution. It's heartening so many organizations and individuals coming together to do the same. It's going to take all of us."
To celebrate the announcement of the hometown gigs, guitarist Mike McCready raised the Pearl Jam flag atop the city's iconic Space Needle on Monday.
Pearl Jam notes that the two-night stand at Safeco Field, which will hold 100,000 fans over the two concerts, is the largest headlining concert in Seattle since the Rolling Stones' two-night residency at the city's since-demolished Kingdome in 1981. Check out Pearl Jam's Home Shows site for ticket information, accommodations and more.
"The Home Shows" will allegedly give way to a summer of stadium shows for Pearl Jam, who last played the U.S. in 2016: While the band hasn't announced additional dates, the band's website accidentally hinted at upcoming shows at Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field and Missoula, Montana's Washington-Grizzly Stadium, the latter reportedly a fundraising gig for Democratic senator Jon Tester.
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On a clear December afternoon, friends, family and fans gathered to honor the late Lil Peep in Long Beach, New York. One 19-year-old fan named Tim explains why he got a tattoo honoring the singer-rapper on his lower left rib cage. "I have pretty bad anxiety and depression," he told Rolling Stone. "When that got really bad with a relationship I was in, Lil Peep was my outlet ... Like, someone else has been through the same thing."
Lil Peep, born Gustav Åhr, died on the evening of November 15th at age 21 of a suspected drug overdose. The hundreds of fans lined up to pay their respects outside the beachside Allegria Hotel were overwhelmingly young. Some wore black Come Over When You're Sober sweatshirts in honor of Lil Peep's final recording, hoods up in solidarity. Others wore some form of pink – Åhr's favorite color.
Over the last two years, Lil Peep's music blended rap and rock, often coupling a tremulous guitar line, untouched by distortion or drama, with jaw-rattling bass and hi-hats. Peep delivered hummable melodies with conversational ease, and his songs included frank discussions of suicidal thoughts, heartache and drug use. He released music primarily via streaming services like Bandcamp and Soundcloud, and he currently has some four dozen songs on SoundCloud with more than a million streams each.
During Saturday's tearful ceremony, friends and family testified to the young man behind the music. Eddie Whalen presented Lil Peep as his fashion guru, the invaluable friend who taught him it was OK to throw out his Sketchers and stop tucking his shirts into pants pulled high above his waist. Emma Harris, who dated the singer, recounted falling in love with Lil Peep by the time she was in fifth grade, enthralled because she "never met anyone who colored his hair more than me." "I don't think it's physically possible to shed more tears for anyone," she added. In a ceremony on the beach after the service, fans laid roses in the surf in Lil Peep's honor. One man showed his affection for the singer by stripping to his underwear and running into the Atlantic, red rose in hand.
Lil Peep's rise to stardom was powered by relentless drive. His mother, Liza Womack, said he often labored through the night, working on music until after the sun rose again next morning. "You may be surprised to find out that Gus and his housemates had a weekly Frank Sinatra night," she continued. "His favorite song to sing was 'Fly Me to the Moon,' and he was fucking good at singing it." When Lil Peep tracks like "Star Shopping" or "Save That Shit" played during the service, friends in the audience thew their arms around each other's shoulders, swayed and sang every word.
Womack also remembered her son as someone who reckoned with multiple forms of societal prejudice. "Gus understood that many good people suffered injustice because of what they looked like or how much money they had," she said. "He saw how the cool kids who lived in the fancy neighborhoods looked down on his friends who lived in the projects – and looked down on his own family who lived in an apartment and drove an old Nissan. Gus got fed up with that world. He rejected it."
Womack encouraged others to learn from Lil Peep's example. "Please do not make assumptions about people or events in ignorance," she instructed. "Ask yourself these questions: Do I really know this person? Have I sat down face to face and asked him to tell me about himself? … Am I dismissing this person because he does not match my definition of a 'good kid'?"
"Be honest," Womack said. "Gus was."
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Panic! At the Disco will release a new live album, All My Friends We're Glorious, on December 15th. The career-spanning, 21-track LP documents the pop-rock band's tour behind their fifth LP, 2016's Death of a Bachelor. The record will be available as a limited-edition double-vinyl and digital download, with a pre-sale launching Tuesday, November 21st at noon EST at the band's website.
All My Friends We're Glorious includes material throughout Panic! at the Disco's catalog, from a medley of their emo-styled 2005 debut, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, to their baroque-pop hit "Nine in the Afternoon" to the majority of Death of a Bachelor. The LP also features cover versions of several songs, including Billy Joel's "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Death of a Bachelor – the band's first release following the departure of founding drummer Spencer Smith and bassist Dallon Weekes – debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album at the 2017 ceremony.
Singer Brendon Urie recently made his Broadway debut in a summer production of Cyndi Lauper's musical, Kinky Boots.
Panic! At the Disco – All My Friends We're Glorious Track List
1. "Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time"
2. "LA Devotee"
3. "Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind)"
4. "Golden Days"
5. "Vegas Lights"
6. "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out Medley"
8. "Nine In The Afternoon"
9. "Miss Jackson"
10. "This Is Gospel"
11. "Death Of A Bachelor"
12. "The Ballad Of Mona Lisa"
13. "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)"
14. "Emperor's New Clothes"
16. "Crazy = Genius"
17. "Let's Kill Tonight"
19. "Bohemian Rhapsody"
20. "I Write Sins Not Tragedies"
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In October 2015, David Bowie decided to end his cancer treatments after learning the disease had spread too far to recover from. The very same week, he traveled to a Brooklyn soundstage to shoot a video for his new song "Lazarus," the name of a biblical figure that Jesus brought back from the dead. Bowie spent the day in a hospital bed as cameras captured him with a bandage around his head. "Look up here, I'm in heaven," he howled. "I've got scars that can't be seen."
Footage from that day and recollections from those who were there make up one of the pivotal scenes in David Bowie: The Last Five Years, a revelatory new documentary directed by Francis Whately – who chronicled Bowie's golden Seventies period in his 2013 documentary David Bowie: Five Years. The film, which airs on HBO in January, traces the singer's final chapter as he emerged from a long hiatus to create two brilliant albums and an off-Broadway musical – while battling an illness that would take his life just two days after 2016's Blackstar was released. "He wanted to make his final act one to remember," says Whately. "And one way of coping with the pain of the treatment and knowing what was going to happen was to keep himself occupied."
The project presented several challenges. While Whately was able to draw from a wealth of Bowie footage for his first documentary, he had very little to work with while exploring Bowie's final chapter. The singer grew fiercely private during that time, not granting a single interview or performance. "I had sleepless nights thinking, 'How am I going to fill 90 minutes without any footage?' " says Whately. "I was really worried."
He decided to get creative, reuniting the bands that performed on 2013's The Next Day and Blackstar, asking them to play and share their memories of the highly secretive sessions. He filmed the Blackstar musicians at 55 Bar, the same downtown New York jazz club where Bowie first saw them perform before inviting them to play on the album. Guitarist Ben Monder says he was unaware Bowie was sick at all as they recorded. "Even being ignorant of all this," Monder says, "I was struck by how energetic he was and what great spirits he was in."
Whately also spent time with Tony Visconti, Bowie's frequent producer from 1969 all the way up to Blackstar, who shares unheard demos from the last sessions. The most chilling moment comes when he plays the isolated vocals from "Lazarus," which allow you to hear each agonized breath Bowie took between lines.
"He's in that song . . . in that moment," says Visconti. "For the four or five minutes he was singing, he would pour his heart out."
Behind-the-scenes footage from Bowie's videos was another treasure-trove. Footage is interspersed with analysis from friends; video director Johan Renck discusses the significance of the skeletal astronaut character Bowie commissioned for "Blackstar." "Is that Major Tom?" wonders Whately. "I have no way of knowing that, but he certainly wanted you to believe that it was. It's the character that made him successful, so the idea of one of his last videos having Major Tom absolutely made sense."Bowie on the set of "Blackstar" Jimmy King
Whately frequently uses concepts and references in Bowie's final songs to flash back to prior moments in his career when they were explored; he traces the theme of celebrity from "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" back to Bowie's lifelong struggle with fame. "I wanted to look at his final period through the prism of the past," Whately says. There is also a lengthy prologue centering on Bowie's 2003-04 Reality tour, which ended prematurely when he suffered a near-fatal heart attack right after stepping offstage at a festival in Germany. Tour footage from that time shows Bowie goofing off with his band and checking out a Montana truck stop, at one point competing with guitarist Earl Slick to win stuffed animals in a claw-machine game. "His sense of humor was on," Slick recalls. "That's not the David I had known in early years." In one hilarious moment, Bowie looks through cassettes on a discount rack and finds the 1989 release by his side project, Tin Machine, and 1979's Lodger. "These must be albums that nobody ever bought so they got moved here," he says.
Whately considers the film a tribute to an artist he met a handful of times during his long tenure working at the BBC. It wasn't until after the release of Five Years that he felt a personal connection to the singer. "Near the end of his life, he wrote to see how I was doing," says Whately. "He said to me, 'I'm very happy with my lot in life and the new album. What more can any man ask for?' It really showed the dignity of the man."
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