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Pearl Jam Announce Online Bootleg Plans, Opening Acts

Throughout their upcoming tour, Pearl Jam will give fans who pre-order recordings of their shows access to unmastered MP3s of the concerts just hours after the music’s over.

As a sequel to the 2000 series of 72 double-disc (well, one was triple-disc) “official bootleg” albums chronicling their world tour, Pearl Jam will sweeten the pot with the Web promotion, in addition to the promise of delivering the limited-edition CDs within seven to 10 business days.

Fans who pre-order CDs of a show can access the unmastered MP3s a few hours after that night’s performance via three sites – www.pearljam.com, www.tenclub.net and www.pearljambootlegs.com – according to a spokesperson for the group.

The mastered double CDs with custom packaging will typically ship two to three days after a concert, though rush delivery will be available for those who just can’t wait a week.

“Last time, we started out saying we didn’t want the label involved,” guitarist Stone Gossard said. “We wanted to do it through the fan club, which is the ideal place for them. If you see a spectacular show that everyone is talking about, because we record all the shows anyway you can get it right from the source. But, [our label] and retail said they wanted them, and we put them out and they sold a bunch.” This time around, the albums will not be available in retail outlets.

Bootlegs for the first leg of 15 shows, which kicks off February 8 in Brisbane, Australia, are available for pre-order now. Ten Club members can purchase the albums for $12.98 per show; non-members will pay $14.98 each.

“I think the fans really dug it. They bought a lot of them,” drummer Matt Cameron said of 2000’s bootlegs. “It was a high-concept thing that worked. It was not a real popular thing to do within the industry, though, but we had to do it.”

Pearl Jam will play 48 North American dates in support of their seventh studio album, Riot Act, beginning April 1 in Denver. Sleater-Kinney will open the first eleven dates (April 1-18), followed by Sparta (April 19-May 3), Idlewild (May 28-June 19) and the Buzzcocks (June 21-July 2). Opening acts for the July 8 and 9 shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden have not been announced.

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