It’s a beautiful day, and Pearl Jam‘s social media comment sections are up in arms because the band’s latest concert poster features an illustration of the White House engulfed in flames as a bald eagle strips flesh from the flaxen-haired carcass of Donald Trump. The alt-rock vets shared the poster from last Monday night’s (August 13) show in Missoula, Montana, which doubled as a get-out-the-vote event supporting the reelection of Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester. Tester is pictured riding a flying tractor over clouds that spell “VOTE”; his Republican opponent Matt Rosendale, who’s originally from Baltimore, is pictured at bottom right with a lobster claw holding a “Maryland” flag. It’s all part of a heated race that’s found both candidates challenging one another’s local bonafides.
Pearl Jam’s artwork is a collaboration between bassist Jeff Ament, who’s from Montana, and artist Bobby Draws Skullz. It’s more cartoonish than grisly, but it’s still managed to rankle its right-wing targets: Rosendale slammed the poster as an “act of violence” and a “blatant display of extremism.” In a note appended to a sketch of the final design, Ament references Trumpian scandals (“Russian money, golf courses, hookers?”) and writes, “You know the deal. We’re at a tipping point and it’s time for action.”
Ament and Tester are longtime friends, and Pearl Jam previously played a benefit concert for the senator’s reelection in 2012. This week’s Missoula show was part of Pearl Jam’s current Home X Away Tour, which also inspired a limited-edition wine. Other recent Pearl Jam performances have included a tribute to survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, a parody version of Melania Trump’s “I Really Don’t Care” jacket, and a “fuck you” chant in protest of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, meaning you’ve got full permission to mock anyone just now self-selecting out of the fan club.
Check out Pearl Jam’s controversial new concert poster in its finished form and Ament’s sketch notes below.
Official artwork by Jeff Ament and Bobby Brown from last night’s show in Missoula. #TheAwayShows #Rock2Vote pic.twitter.com/CQI4chGEjs
— Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) August 14, 2018