Pearl Jam, Tester to Montana: VOTE!

Tester and legendary band launch home stretch by pushing voter participation

MISSOULA, Mont.–Montana farmer Jon Tester launched into the home stretch of his U.S. senate bid with a sold-out rock concert by Pearl Jam and an important message to thousands of Montanans: VOTE!

In between hits from the last night’s 28-song set list, Pearl Jam’s lead singer Eddie Vedder shouted pleas at the nearly 6,000 concert goers to get involved in this year’s election and go big for Tester.

“This election is one of two elections that will determine what happens in the (Senate) and whether we can get anything done,” Vedder said. “So get out and support a great senator,” the singer exclaimed referring to Tester.

Vedder told the cheering crowd at University of Montana’s Adams Fieldhouse how infrequently Pearl Jam performs on behalf of candidates because of how hard it is to find someone who represents everyday people.

“We get asked to do these a lot, but it is hard to find a politician we can get behind,” Vedder said as the spotlight shone on Tester and his family.

Before the concert, Tester and Jeff Ament, Pearl Jam’s bassist and Tester’s long-time friend, got supporters excited about the upcoming election at a “Get out the Vote” rally on campus.

Ament, a Big Sandy Montana native whose parents attended the concert, recalled before a crowd of 500 supporters how Tester’s 2006 win came down to a few thousand votes and pointed out the importance of having a farmer’s voice in the Senate.

“I can’t tell you how important it is to vote,” Ament said. “I think that particular campaign really made me realize how empowering it is to vote and what a difference one person can make.”

Tester’s remarks to the crowd continued on Ament’s theme. “Voting is very important in this country, and in this election it is going to be very important,” the Montana farmer said.

Tester, a former school teacher, highlighted a women’s right to make decisions about their health care and keeping college affordable for students as two issues at stake this election.

The last time Pearl Jam performed in Missoula was 2005 when they performed a show to a field house packed with fans to benefit Tester during his race against former Senator Conrad Burns.

View pictures of the show on Pinterest HERE.