(Press Release | Posted 2009-11-04)

Whitinsville, MA, USA, November 4, 2009 – It is no secret that Pearl Jam puts on intense, expansive live shows, and that they have a very loyal fan base, as proven by recent sold out tour dates across the U.S. in support of their new release, Backspacer. The band is now back on the road, with their long time sound provider Rat Sound Systems Inc. For the band’s on-stage mixes, monitor engineer Karrie Keyes again selected MicroWedge MW12 Stage Monitors from EAW, a world leader in audio system solutions.

Easily one of the most influential bands of the past 20 years, Pearl Jam continues to be a top concert act, noted for their dynamic, deeply compelling live performances. The legendary band is fronted by Eddie Vedder, (lead vocals, guitar), with Mike McCready (lead guitar), Jeff Ament (bass guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar) and Matt Cameron (drums) generating a tight, cohesive, truly one-of-a-kind rock sound.

Keyes met the band in 1991 as she was working for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, whom Pearl Jam was supporting as an opening act at the time. She has been with them ever since and knows their needs extremely well. Among the challenges she faces this tour are the sheer volume on the stage, small stage space and each band member‘s different sound needs, including individual monitor mixes or occasional crossfire sound patterns. The goal is to have no pockets on stage without sound, with Eddie Vedder being the loudest and the clearest, as he thrives on the volume. For this reason, Keyes chose to once again use the EAW MicroWedge MW12's,which she had previously used for Vedder’s and Ament’s mixes in 2008. Keyes notes that for Pearl Jam, the monitor system is straightforward, elegant in its simplicity, and devoid of gates, compressors and elaborate effects packages. She notes that, in the past, she utilized previous MicroWedge models to a limited extent, but that's changed given the significantly upgraded performance of the new EAW MicroWedge Series.

“I am using the MicroWedge MW12 for Ed's guitar mix," explains Keyes. "They are wonderful and I can get them to sound very close to his guitar rig’s sound without much EQ or trouble! So far I have found no other wedge that comes as close. The small footprint helps as well, as we have limited stage space. We are also using MicroWedge 12’s for Matt's drumfill, with a left and right mix plus a sub. We have had challenges in the past with Matt getting his drumfill world right, so finding the right combo has been a crucial hurdle we have overcome. Large drumfills and in-ear systems left him fatigued and with ears ringing! They need very little EQ and the smooth high end does not add to ear fatigue! The band thrives on the stage volume, which provides the energy to rock. We are all very happy!”

Pearl Jam are just completing their tour’s U.S. and Canada leg and will soon be going to Australia and New Zealand, where EAW MicroWedge MW12’s will again be the stage monitor of choice. Keyes notes, "There are two types of wedges: those that are loud, and those that sound good. Usually a wedge is not both, but the new EAW MicroWedge is the exception.” For more information, please visit www.eaw.com.

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