Pearl Jam fans won’t just be getting a concert video and a second round of North American tour bootlegs: they’ll be getting them before anyone else. On April 3, members of the Ten Club — the group’s official fan club — will get the first crack at “Pearl Jam: Touring Band 2000,” a three-hour DVD compiled from footage of Pearl Jam’s 2000 tour. Authorized two-disc bootlegs from the second leg of that trek will be available to members on Feb. 27 via Epic, a full month before the albums hit retail. The DVD hits stores on April 10.
“I think people will love the DVD,” Pearl Jam’s manager Kelly Curtis tells Billboard.com. “It works for us, because it’s not a promotional clip. It’s real. It’s done by us. It runs like a continuous concert, with the peaks and valleys. The songs are presented like a setlist. It’s laid out where it starts mellow, and builds, then gets more hardcore toward the end.”
In all, “Touring Band 2000” (which will also be released on VHS) sports 28 songs drawn from 19 different concerts. The footage was shot on digital cameras by crew members Liz Burns, Steve Gordon, and Kevin Shuss, and was combined with soundboard recordings made by engineer Brett Eliason, who also mixed the shows for their impending release on CD. Friends of the band, including actor Tim Robbins, also contributed footage they shot at various shows.
Burns says the 50 minutes of bonus material, which is exclusive to the DVD, provides an insight into the inner workings of Pearl Jam that is seldom seen. “We really wanted to make the fans feel like if they weren’t there [at a show], that they knew what happened and what went on, and that they were part of it,” she says.
The bonus footage includes:
* A montage from the band’s summer tour of Europe, split into three separate pieces: the Cities, the Band, and the Fans. The first two segments are backed by a trio of previously unreleased instrumentals from sessions for Pearl Jam’s 2000 album “Binaural,” while the third is augmented with a live version of “Yellow Ledbetter.”
* The Matt-Cam, which allows viewers to watch the songs “Evacuation,” “In My Tree,” and “Even Flow” from drummer Matt Cameron’s vantage point, complete with a drum-heavy audio mix. “He’s almost faster than film,” Burns says.
* An “outtakes” clip, set to the song “Smile,” and featuring on and off-stage footage.
* Music videos for “Do The Evolution” (directed by animator Todd McFarlane) and “Oceans,” the latter of which has never been released in the U.S.
As for the next round of North American bootlegs, which encompass the tour’s second leg, the band’s selections for six exemplary shows (marked on the packaging with an “ape man” logo), are Detroit (Oct. 7), Chicago (Oct. 9), Las Vegas (Oct. 22), San Diego (Oct. 25), Boise, Idaho (Nov. 3), and Seattle (Nov. 6). The Seattle tour closer, which ran more than 2 hours and 45 minutes, will be pressed on three discs because of its length.
And while Pearl Jam will likely not reconvene to begin work on a new studio album until next year, its members are keeping busy. Billboard.com can exclusively reveal that guitarist Mike McCready recently spent time writing songs with Ozzy Osbourne, and is collaborating with Nancy Wilson for the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s “Vanilla Sky.” Guitarist Stone Gossard has logged time recording with fellow rocker Pete Droge for an as-yet-undetermined project, and frontman Eddie Vedder is “surfing,” according to Curtis.