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What's on Tap

Pearl Jam, Boston cancel NC concerts in opposition to HB2

Posted April 18

Pearl Jam

— Rock bands Pearl Jam and Boston have joined the parade of performers to cancel concerts in North Carolina over a new law setting discrimination policy in the state.

Boston, which is on a 40th anniversary tour, said Monday that it has canceled a May 6 concert at Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh, as well as concerts in Charlotte and Greensboro earlier that week.

"Human rights are more important," Boston founder Tom Scholz wrote in a statement. "HB2 has the appearance of an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority who already have to deal with a narrow-minded world regarding issues beyond their control which they did nothing to bring upon themselves. Other aspects of the new law arguably encourage bigotry. With thousands of fans in attendance at our shows, it is likely that some members of our audience and/or their loved ones are affected on a daily basis by this ugly expression of intolerance."

Pearl Jam's announcement came Monday evening, just two days before their scheduled show at PNC Arena.

"The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens," the band wrote in a statement. "The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are."

House Bill 2, which was signed into law last month after a one-day special session of the legislature, requires people to use the public bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate, excludes gay and transgender people from protections against discrimination and bar cities and counties from extending such protections to them. The law also prohibits cities from setting their own minimum wage and eliminates the right of workers to file job discrimination lawsuits in state court.

"It has always been my wish to inspire people with Boston's music. Hopefully, the sacrifices we are all making here will inspire people to do the right thing in the future," Scholz wrote.

Tickets purchases online or over the phone will be refunded immediately. Anyone who bought tickets in person will have to return them to the point of purchase for a refund.

59 Comments

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  • Amanda Townsend Apr 20, 10:27 a.m.
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    You do, at times, come off that way, but so do others.

  • Chance Loria Apr 19, 9:42 p.m.
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    I keep hearing their votes would not matter. Why would their votes matter? Their votes count as much as republican votes count. By walking out they made sure their votes (or lack thereof) did not matter.

  • Christian Knott Apr 19, 3:13 p.m.
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    I have " a tremendous amount of anger"? Wow, I must sound like a Republican! My bad!

  • Matt Nickeson Apr 19, 3:06 p.m.
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    You have a tremendous amount of anger and hostility for such a supposedly enlightened and educated person. You make tremendous assumptions about me, my experience, and my intentions. You also cast indelicate aspersions on significant portions of the population. Do you think that this buttresses your point or furthers your cause? Perhaps you should spend some more time in meditation or the Yoga studio?

  • Christian Knott Apr 19, 2:47 p.m.
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    Uh, what are YOU doing for the kids in Africa or Asia? What are you doing for the poor in Syria ( other than probably wish to deny them access to the USA). What are you doing for the Whales off the coast of Japan? YOU may wish to couch your own version of what bravery is. So be it. I think being brave is standing against discrimination, esp. in an area so full of backwards thinking people who's only book of reference was scratched onto some old goat hides 2000 years ago by a group of ignorant Iron-age peasants!

  • Matt Nickeson Apr 19, 2:24 p.m.
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    I sincerely doubt that the loss of revenue from these few concerts present a financial hardship for these well-established bands. No matter how you capitalize it, it IS not bravery. I have been witness to true bravery. Since you are calling this bravery I can only assume that you have not. Do you really think that the plight of the LGTB in the US can even compare to the plight of young children in sub-saharan Africa or significant swaths of Asia? If you do then you really need to get a passport and have it stamped to some places other than EU nations. Your posts read as though you are irrationally hostile to anyone who disagrees with your position. You should get some perspective. It is disgusting to me, to be honest, the liberties you take with the advantages with which you are endowed. As I stated, support your cause, advocate for change, but get a grip on yourself or you will just seem a fool. I'll wait for the angry reply and attack.

  • Christian Knott Apr 19, 1:58 p.m.
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    Put your own money on the line for the causes you believe in. These artists are doing it, that sir, IS bravery. LGBT teens have some of the highest suicide rates in America. Why? Persecution from people who either curse them to hades or want to " save" them. They don't need saving. They merely need respect.

  • Matt Nickeson Apr 19, 1:37 p.m.
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    Bravery? Websters and Oxford must have revised the definition of this word. I didn't get the memo. For all of your outrage and screeds about injustice do you ever stop and realize that you should be thankful that these are the biggest problems in your life? Thankful that you really don't have to worry where your next meal is coming from or if you or your loved ones will be executed for some totally capricious reason. Advocate for your cause but you seriously need to gain some perspective on what true injustice and suffering is.

  • Amanda Townsend Apr 19, 1:30 p.m.
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    Not every fan supports the law.

  • Christian Knott Apr 19, 1:27 p.m.
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    I'm certain that in the eyes of the numerous artists boycotting NC, that if their " fans" support discrimination against the LGBT community, they really don't deserve a concert at all. To those who also oppose the law, like myself, who actually works with numerous venues around the country where these acts perform, we view these acts of protest as bravery and support and understand that sometimes you have to do whats right, Not just sit back at a concert chomping popcorn while others are being denied basic rights.

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