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Pearl Jam challenges fans to take on City CouncilPosted at 9:45 a.m. May 29
Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready drives the crowd Wednesday night at the University of Montana Adams Center. KARA DOCHERTY/for the Missoulian

Grunge rock band Pearl Jam kept its fans on their feet all Wednesday night in Missoula, and asked for a little political footwork in return.

"We thought it would go well on our first night back to start here," lead singer Eddie Vedder told the sold-out Adams Center crowd. The band was returning to the road after a two-week break in bassist Jeff Ament's adopted hometown. Fans responded with chants of "A-ment" and "Jeff-Jeff-Jeff.

Vedder also spoke of the band's offer of $50,000 for developing a public skate park in Missoula. He said the proposal's approval appeared to be getting tangled with a Missoula City Council initiative to ban skateboarding on city sidewalks.

"It's a good thing to get the word out," Vedder told the crowd. "If they get 20 letters, they know they have to pay attention. There's 7,000 of you here. Letís get them 100 letters. These are not weapons of mass wheeled revolution. They're just skateboards."

The band then pounded out a version of the Clash's "Know Your Rights" and segued to its anthem "Alive," which turned into one of several room-wide singalongs.

The five-member band played 17 songs between 9:20 and 10:45 p.m. before taking a break. It returned for three encores and 14 more songs, including covers of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Won't Back Down," and "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The show finally closed with the house lights on to "Yellow Ledbetter" at midnight.

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