Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Pearl Jam Rocks Fenway (with Cards)!

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing my all-time favorite band, Pearl Jam, play live at one of my favorite places on the planet, Fenway Park!  I can't think of a better way to spend a warm summer evening than that.

Pearl Jam's been my #1 favorite band for over 25 years now, and I've been seeing them live just about every chance I get for the past couple of decades.  I've lost track but I've probably seen them at least 20 times at this point, and I haven't had anything but a thoroughly enjoyable time at any of those shows.

The guys have played Fenway Park four times now, twice in 2016 and twice this past week, and I have been fortunate enough to see all four shows.  Why am I bothering to mention this on a card collecting blog, though?

Well, just as they did last time through in 2016, the band printed up a set of trading cards to commemorate their shows this summer!  For $5 at the merch stand you receive a pack of ten cards plus a sticker.  I'd never stand in the ridiculous lines before or after the show for these, but since our seats were directly above a stand I grabbed a couple of packs with no line while on a quick beer/bathroom run during the show.

On the back we find that there are 60 total cards in the set, ten cards of each of the six band members.  There's also a 61st card featuring producer Brendan O'Brien, as well as three versions of the one-per-pack sticker.  A genius idea for a band touring in professional ballparks if you ask me.  Based on the prices these things have fetched historically on the secondary market, many seem to agree.

Pearl Jam and trading cards, two of my greatest loves, combined into one product.  Let's see the cards...

The last set back in 2016 took its inspiration from 1991 Topps baseball, this time it's 1990-91 Hoops basketball!  A simple design to replicate, one that's instantly recognizable to most collectors, and a set that harkens back to the band's early days.  Seems like a perfect choice to me.

Despite having less than 100 total basketball cards, I actually do have a handful from 1990-91 Hoops, so here's one for comparison.  I'm sure those of you that spend significant time making custom cards may have some gripes, but to my untrained eye I think they did a good job with these.

I didn't bother scanning in the backs since they don't have true card backs, but rather all 60 cards together make a giant puzzle.

One thing I am impressed by is that the band actually produced three entirely separate sets of cards for their shows this summer at Safeco Field, Wrigley Field, and Fenway Park.  I assumed they went the easy route and just printed up the same set three times, changing out the logo in the lower right for each city, but I found they actually produced three unique sets with different photos as well.

I know these aren't for everyone, if you don't like the band you've probably skipped right through this post (if you even clicked it to begin with).  If you enjoy their music though then these are a cool collectible item.  Even if you're not a Pearl Jam fan, just think of your favorite band, and now imagine that they released a set of cards to commemorate an event you attended.  You'd buy a pack, right?

On a personal note, I was psyched to see Jeff Ament break out the stand-up bass as the band treated the crowd to one of my personal favorites last night, Nothingman from their Vitalogy album.  Something about hearing tens of thousands of people sing at the top of their lungs in unison gets me every time.

Eight cards into the pack here, and it's a very Eddie Vedder/Stone Gossard/Jeff Ament-heavy pack.  Three band members haven't even shown up yet, which means I'll be missing representation from someone with just two cards left here.

Ah, there we go, drummer Matt Cameron.  Formerly of Soundgarden, though he's been playing with Pearl Jam for 20 years now.  Truly one of the best.

Last card of the pack, and I'm glad I didn't get skunked on pulling a Mike McCready.  Well, I missed out on a card of keyboardist/organist Boom Gaspar.  No offense to the guy, and I enjoy his contributions to the group, but if I was going to whiff on someone he'd have been my pick.

Here's the sticker insert.  I believe these are the same across all three 2018 sets, one sticker for each city.

Well, that's all I've got for today.  I've got the day off from work, but I hear it's supposed to be about 175 degrees (we like to exaggerate here in New England), so I'm probably going to nurse off this hangover sorting cards in the air conditioning and listening to records.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed this mix of trading cards and America's greatest rock & roll band!


Billy Kingsley said...

That's pretty cool, and a great homage to one of my favorite sets. Somebody in the band must be a collector himself to put this much effort into it.

Nick said...

I've never been a huge Pearl Jam fan, but these cards are excellent. If only every band had stuff as cool as this at their merch table...

The Shlabotnik Report said...

I probably said the same thing the last time you posted Pearl Jam cards, but they really make me wish I like the band.

defgav said...

These are awesome!

Fuji said...

These are sweet. Especially love that Seattle sticker.

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