Pearl Jam’s Dark Matter, a listening party with Ed Vedder in London

On March 21, a group of industry insiders, reporters and selected fans were invited to a private listening party for Pearl Jam’s Dark Matter. The event took place at Lafayette in London, UK.

Eddie Vedder and his daughter Olivia were in attendance. The singer poured tequila shots for the guests (like he did at the Los Angeles listening party last January).

Below you can read a report from Fleur, a long-time Pearl Jam fan who was at the event.

Exclusive Listening Event
Lafayette, London, UK – March 21, 2024

Ed talked a lot in his speech beforehand about how music is the best form of art and it has something that the other forms of art (painting, film etc) don’t have – which is volume. He patently said you don’t stand in front of a painting like the Mona Lisa and jump up and down and rock out (which he then hilariously pretended to demonstrate doing).

He also talked about coming to London for the first time and skateboarding in Hyde Park and ending up in front of the Royal Albert Hall (where he had been again the night before performing with The Who). He said several times how grateful he was to have had his life in music and to have the audience they have and he became emotional on this topic and had to step away from the mic to compose himself.

Ed also talked at the very start about the why he was in London and about about creation of the Teenage Cancer Trust and how it has evolved over 24 years. And he mentioned seeing a photo of a young women recently at a protest who had placard which said something along the line of ‘There are more laws governing what I can do with my own body than there are about gun control‘.

After one listen my favorite song is React, Respond which has the essence of Joe Strummer in it with lines like:

‘If you get something you don’t want
Don’t react, respond’

The drums and bass on the record sounded immense over the venue PA.

Ed made particular comments before a few songs including Something Special which he said was written about his daughters. His eldest daughter Olivia was in the house and he pointed her out in the crowd and karaoke-sang along to first part of the lyrics which was sweet. Ed was in good form and kept re-iterating how grateful he and the band were for the life they had in music.

It was, in short, a pretty surreal event for those in lucky enough to be in attendance.