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Pearl Jam Should Get To Headline A Super Bowl Halftime

Kevin Mazur. Getty Images.

Pearl Jam should absolutely get to perform at a Super Bowl halftime show.

I'm not saying they will get to perform at a halftime show. I think that opportunity has passed. There was a time when rock bands performed nearly every year. It was a lot of the groups that baby boomers or older Gen X loved like Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, The Who, Prince, U2 and Madonna. All of those groups played a Super Bowl from 2001 on. 

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If you grew up in the 1990's, alternative music was the king of most the decade. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys and Pearl Jam owned a huge part of that time for a ton of people. Sadly, most of them are all gone. To be fair, the Chili Peppers was a featured guest during the great Bruno Mars performance in 2014. But what the fuck are we talking about? The fucking Black Eyed Peas got a halftime show.

Baby Boomers got what they wanted but they always do. They get to control everything and I've come to grips with the idea that they will for the rest of my life. Us Gen Xers are the middle children of the world. We were born in the shadow of Boomers and was pushed further into being ignored by Millennials who were aways better at being noticed. Don't get me wrong. Part of this is on us as Gen Xer's. It's our fault by a lot of us building our identity on not caring or sarcasm. That attitude is never going to get you in charge. I think it's good for finding inner peace but it's an easy way to also get ignored. I bet there are a couple people reading this that never even heard of Generation X. They think it just goes from Boomers to Millennials. Meanwhile, people born from 1965-82 just shrug their shoulders.

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I've wanted Pearl Jam to get this halftime show for a few years now. I was asking myself (like many of you are probably doing as well) why I should give a fuck about this. It's more to me than just Pearl Jam. I do love them a lot. Other than the Beastie Boys, they are my favorite band from the 90's and 00's. Most rock fans seem to love and/or appreciate Ten, Vs. and Vitalogy. But I'd stack No Code, Yield and their self-titled album right there with them. To be fair, I didn't love Gigaton (their most recent album). They also just released a new single for an album coming out in April…and it's solid but not great. But that's not my point. Recent lack of greatness didn't stop The Who and Rolling Stones getting the honor.

Like I said, this isn't a Pearl Jam issue. It's about the 90's getting some respect. I guess that's why I care about this. Would Nirvana have gotten a shot had Kurt Cobain lived? Maybe. They were bigger than Pearl Jam for sure at the time but it really was closer than you may think. Foo Fighters has a better chance than Pearl Jam of getting on the Super Bowl stage. But Foo Fighters were more of a product of the post-grunge era. Maybe if that happened, Dave Grohl could bring Krist Novoselic up for a Nirvana tribute?

The 1990's really were the best decade. You had the internet but it didn't control us yet. You still needed to be resourceful whether it was reading an atlas instead of relying on a GPS or having to remember things because you didn't have the entire information of the world in our back pocket all the time. But you could still go to a video rental store and still have thousands of hours of entertainment just waiting to be checked out. I would spend hours in a Blockbuster Video just reading the backs of VHS tapes. 

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I saw a ton of people in their 30's love the Usher halftime show and I totally get it. I heard people in the office saying that it reminded them of their Jr. High dances and other nostalgic moments. Millennials absolutely deserve that. This isn't the Boomers clutching everything they can with an iron grip until the end of time. I certainly don't expect Eddie Vedder to ever get to play at a Super Bowl but I'm still going to hold out hope.

Until then, I'm left to imagine what PJ's set list would be. It's not the biggest hit but starting with Breakerfall would be awesome. Got to play Jeremy, Black, Corduroy and Elderly Woman somewhere in that set? Finish with Yellow Ledbetter?