OK, maybe owes is a strong word, but it was over 7 years ago that Ed Vedder, well into his nightly bottle of red wine, gave us one of his best ever Encore Break rants at the June 21, 2003 Alpine Valley show.
Along with some advice about getting your ass off the couch and getting your own blow job (!!), he relates that the band wanted to come back to Alpine Valley the next year (cut to about 3/4 through if you want to skip the political advice).
But we were just talkin in the back and we were thinkin that maybe, on the strength of a night like this and really, so you understand how much we appreciate it we were thinking that instead of waiting two years or even after we finish the next record maybe just next time we could come back and play just a few places that we've been to and this would be one of em.
Two years? Next record? Try seven years and two records (not counting re-issues or Lost Dogs). During the two-night United Center run in 2009, he did mention that he wanted those shows to be under the Midwestern Sky, an obvious reference to one of their favorite venues.
I'm not trying to be sanctimonious about Ed "not keeping his word," but maybe just a disappointed fan. The question has to be, what has kept them away? Contractual issues? Cost? Bad luck?
Whatever it is, work it out guys. Alpine would be the perfect venue for PJ20 Festival. The rumors and comments from Jeff Ament are good signs, but there were plenty of rumors about Alpine shows in 2009 as well. Grant Park, another rumored venue, is decent, but it can't bring the energy and love that Alpine Valley does. Do the right thing. :)