A Pearl Jam Tour of Seattle

Of the original “big four grunge bands,” Pearl Jam is the only one still touring with more than half of its original members. Here are 12 spots which will help you design your own Pearl Jam Tour of Seattle. This list has some obvious places like MoPOP and the Showbox, but also includes hotels, parks, and record stores, that require the type of deep digging that Eddie Vedder accused the music industry of failing to do in the 1996 film, Hype!

Stops are arranged in chronological order as much as possible. When a location is near a light rail stop, the corresponding station is listed. 

Benaroya Hall

Coryell Apartments

EASY STREET RECORDS

The Edgewater

EL CORAZON

Hotel Max

THE MOORE THEATRE

Museum of Pop Culture

THE SHOWBOX

West Point Lighthouse

The Crocodile

Coryell Court Apartments (The Apartment Building from Singles)

The first time we see Cliff’s band (Citizen Dick), they are jamming inside one of the apartments. Jeff Ament is on bass and Eddie Vedder on drums. In the same scene, an unenthusiastic-looking Stone Gossard puts down his guitar and says, “yea, we got that show,” trying to cover for his forever philandering bandmate Cliff. Not long after, Jeff Ament tells him to move his truck.

Nearest light rail station: Capitol Hill

El Corazon (the former Off Ramp Cafe)

On October 22, 1990, Mookie Blaylock played their first show at the Off Ramp Cafe. The following year, they opened for Alice in Chains on their Facelift tour, signed a deal with Epic Records, renamed themselves Pearl Jam, and released their debut album, Ten, in honor of Blaylock’s basketball jersey. The building is still there, but it’s been renamed El Corazon. If you search for it on Google Maps and find Funhouse, it’s the same building.

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

Black Dog Forge

Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues off Battery Street in Belltown, there’s a narrow alleyway with back entrances to some of the buildings along the main avenues. Behind the Vue Lounge (Rear 2nd Ave), you’ll see a gray door surrounded by a painted black wall.  Above the door, there’s an eerie painting of an arm holding an oil lamp. To the left of the door, you’ll see “Black Dog Forge” outlined in red. In the early 1990s, the basement of this former blacksmith shop served as a 30x30′ practice space for bands such as Soundgarden and a then up and coming band called Pearl Jam. Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public.

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

West Point Lighthouse

This is the lighthouse you see in Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike” video. Just months before Chris Cornell broke his Rusty Cage and Eddie Vedder let the world know that he’s still alive, Temple of the Dog released their only album. It started as a tribute to Mother Love Bone (Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard’s pre-Pearl Jam band) frontman, Andrew Wood. The project started with two songs, “Say Hello 2 Heaven” and “Reach Down” and eventually was released as an album featuring Chris Cornell and the Pearl Jam lineup from 1998-present. 

Both the lighthouse and the beach they perform on are part of Discovery Park, which is situated on the Puget Sound.

The Crocodile

Seven months after they released Yield, Pearl Jam took a break from headlining arenas and stadiums to play this 550-capacity Belltown venue. Like Nirvana did seven years earlier, Pearl Jam also shunned their most popular songs for the intimate setting. Mike McCready’s side project, Mad Season, played their first live show here as The Gacy Bunch. Perhaps a reflection of frontman, Layne Staley’s dark sense of humor?

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

The Moore Theatre

Dating back to 1907, the Moore is the oldest Seattle theatre that is still in use. Some of the concert footage you see in Pearl Jam’s video for “Even Flow” was taken from a live performance at the Moore. Mad Season (a Seattle supergroup with Mike McCready on guitar) recorded their only concert film, Live at the Moore in the same venue. 

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

The Showbox

The legendary Showbox dates back to 1939. Jazz legend Duke Ellington played here as did blues guitarist Muddy Waters. The Ramones played here before their Seattle offsprings like Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden made it a household name. 

In 2003, Pearl Jam released a limited edition DVD of their 2002 performance here called Live at the Showbox. The show is notable for the unveiling of the George W. Bush mask during “Bushleaguer,” as well as an Eddie Vedder anti-war improv at the end of “Daughter.” Both would make regular appearances during their 2003 world tour. 

Nearest light rail station: University Street

Benaroya Hall

Benaroya Hall is home to the Seattle Symphony. On October 22, 2003, Pearl Jam played a mostly-acoustic show here to raise money for Seattle-based charity YouthCare. It was released the following year on vinyl and as the two-CD set, Live at Benaroya Hall. The show marked the live debuts of “Man of the Hour,” the B-side “Fatal,” and a cover of Johnny Cash’s “25 Minutes to Go.” 

The building sits directly above the Great Northern Tunnel. The Sound Transit Light Rail runs through the tunnel and stops under the venue.

Nearest light rail station: University Street

Easy Street Records

Dating back to 1988, when CDs started to replace vinyl and cassette, Easy Street is an independent record store located in West Seattle. It also serves as a cafe and sometimes performance venue. Yes, this densely packed music store has hosted more than 500 in-store performances. Pearl Jam even released Live at Easy Street, an EP of their April 25, 2005 in-store performance.

Hotel Max

At the Hotel Max, each 5th-floor room door features a black and white Charles Peterson photograph of a Seattle grunge icon. Of the 19 rooms, five have doors which feature Pearl Jam photos from the 90s. Three of the five are from the 1996 Pearl Jam tour of Europe. Each 5th-floor room has its own Crosley record player with a small Sub Pop vinyl collection along with some books about the “grunge” era.

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

The Edgewater Hotel

Only two bands have suites named in their honor at The Edgewater. One is The Beatles and the other is Pearl Jam. 50 years after the Edgewater became an iconic landmark for music fans and nearly thirty years after songs like “Jeremy,” “Even Flow,” and “Alive” were first heard around the world, Pearl Jam gets the same treatment in their home city as the most iconic rock band in world history. 

If you can shell out at least $1,000 per night, you can stay in room 464 with your own guitar,  Marshall amp, mini library, record player and curated vinyl collection. As you enter the suite, you’ll see dozens of concert flyers from past Pearl Jam shows on your right. A replica of the famous Mother Love Bone mural hangs above the king-size bed, while there are framed, hand-written setlists to the right. The bathroom wallpaper is an audience shot from an outdoor Pearl Jam show. Unlike the Beatles suite, the PJ suite has a balcony, offering panoramic views of Elliot Bay.  

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

MoPOP (the former Experience Music Project)

The MoPOP’s Pearl Jam exhibit has enough band memorabilia to be a separate museum by itself. Most items are encased behind glass. They include Eddie Vedder’s George W. Bush mask from their 2003 tour as well as Stone Gossard’s Devo costume from when Pearl Jam played the final show at the Philadelphia Spectrum on Halloween 2009. The walls are lined with concert posters spanning the bands entire carrer and there’s even a separate room where you can watch clips from the band’s numerous concert DVDs.

Nearest light rail station: Seattle Center Monorail (connection from Westlake)

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This post was sponsored by Visit Seattle. All pictures were shot with a Panasonic Lumix ZS100 4K Point and Shoot Camera with the exception of any Instagram pics. I stayed at the Kimpton Palladian Hotel, which is conveniently located across the street from the Moore Theatre and within walking distance of many other Pearl Jam landmarks. 

Planning a trip to Seattle? Any Pearl Jam Tour spots I missed? Feel free to leave a comment below!