On Monday, hours after Pearl Jam announced that they were canceling their scheduled concert in Raleigh, North Carolina in protest of the state’s controversial new law that discriminates against transgendered people accessing public restrooms, Eddie Vedder explained to the crowd at the band’s Hampton, Virginia show what led to the decision.
“We had to make a real tough call about what we would do about the situation in North Carolina. Because they have a law there that broadly discriminates against a whole group of people,” Vedder said.
“We thought we could take the money and give it to them and still play the show, but the reality is there is nothing like the immense power of boycotting and putting a strain,” Vedder said, “and it’s a shame because people are going to affected that don’t deserve it but it could be the way that ultimately is gonna affect change, so again, we just couldn’t find it in ourselves in good conscience to cross a picket line when there was a movement so…”
The first song of Pearl Jam’s encore, a cover of Steven Van Zandt’s “I Am a Patriot,” was dedicated to the “soldiers in the LGBT community.”