Pearl Jam has drafted Sleater-Kinney, Sparta, Idlewild, and the Buzzcocks as the support acts for its 2003 North American tour. Sleater-Kinney will support beginning with the April 1 Denver tour opene

Pearl Jam has drafted Sleater-Kinney, Sparta, Idlewild, and the Buzzcocks as the support acts for its 2003 North American tour. Sleater-Kinney will support beginning with the April 1 Denver tour opener through April 18 in Nashville, with Sparta taking over from April 19 in Atlanta through May 3 in State College, Pa.

Idlewild opens from May 28 in Missoula, Mont., through June 19 in Cincinnati, followed by the Buzzcocks from June 21 in East Troy, Wis., through July 5 in Camden, N.J. Openers for the July 8-9 tour finale in New York have yet to be announced. Manager Kelly Curtis tells Billboard.com that before his sudden death last month, former Clash frontman Joe Strummer had agreed to open several dates on the tour with his band the Mescaleros.

Meanwhile, the band has revealed further details about the official "bootlegs" it will make available following each upcoming show. As reported yesterday, fans who pre-order the double-disc sets through the band's Ten Club fan organization will be able to access a secure stream of unmastered MP3 files from a given show within hours of its completion.

A mastered double-CD copy of the concert, complete with custom-designed packaging, will be shipped two to three days later (shows from the pre-North American tour of Australia and Japan will take seven to 10 days to arrive). The band's soundman, Brett Eliason, will be mixing each show as it happens, and will afterward upload the music as a digital file via a secure network connection directly to an MP3 server and a mastering lab.

"After the show, we will literally just take the hard drive with the files and go and upload them to the locations [where] they're supposed to show up," he says. "It's exciting. The components just fell together to be able to do this in the fashion we're doing it."

And although 72 complete shows from Pearl Jam's 2000 world tour were available from the Ten Club and in traditional retail outlets, Curtis stresses the 2003 shows will initially be available only through the Ten Club. "My concern is that of retail and the consumer," he says. "Right now, there's too much [leftover 2000 tour] product out there. Until we're able to clean it up, we're not going to release anything to retail. Our intention was never to market this project in a huge way. It was intended to be a one or two-time offer to retail and then it's gone."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print