Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder Calls Out Tennessee Bathroom Bill Sponsor, Celebrates Daughter’s Birthday at Bonnaroo
Pearl Jam often leave audiences with memorable shows, but there were two moments during the band's Bonnaroo performance over the weekend that will likely leave a lasting memory beyond just the stellar concert they played. Eddie Vedder used the platform to speak out against a proposed bathroom bill in Tennessee, urging the representative who plans to introduce it to reconsider. He also took time out during the set to deliver a pretty awesome birthday present for his daughter.
As for the bathroom bill, which is similar to the one that North Carolina introduced that has led to widespread protests, Vedder spoke openly about the bill's sponsor Susan Lynn, who has been pushing for a requirement that students in public schools grades K-12 and higher education institutions use the bathroom corresponding to their sex at birthday. According to the Tennessean, Vedder opened his commentary stating, "Susan Lynn — she’s promised to bring it back when the session resumes in the fall." Lynn reportedly withdrew the bill this past April on a temporary basis after facing legal obstacles, but intends on trying to introduce it again.
"Dear Susan: Susan there’s a timeline right? This is the present. You’re all in the present. I can see you’re in present. I am in the present. This is past. And that’s the future is this way. You don’t want to preclude us from getting into the future. I want you to be on the right side of the future," Vedder added, continuing, "Because this generation, this generation, and the ones to come they’re more tolerant, they’re more understanding, they’re more empathetic of others. And Susan you can either be part of history or you can be history. These people want you to make the right decision, am I correct?"
He concluded, "Susan’s made a promise to do this, we want to tell Susan: Susan, look, it’s OK in this case to break your promise. You’d be very proud, I believe."
On a lighter note, later in the night Vedder made the band's Bonnaroo show a family affair. He invited his family onstage shortly after the encore opening "Oceans" and let the crowd know that it was his daughter Olivia's 12th birthday. “See I got a birthday cake for a girl but I didn’t get any candles,” he told the crowd according to Alternative Nation. “If you light up your phones you could be the candles and when she blows them out you could turn them off.” The audience played along and also sung "Happy Birthday" to Olivia as well. See photos posted to Instagram below.
The Bonnaroo weekend was also significant for Vedder for another reason. Before Pearl Jam played their headlining set, Vedder made a surprise appearance in the Comedy Theater, where he and Judd Apatow delivered a mix of comedy and music in a tribute to the late Garry Shandling. Watch their performance here.
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