Laurie Pope eagerly packs away her sleeping bag after 12 sleepless hours spent spearheading a line of fans snaking around the Adams Center on a hot Friday afternoon. The fans buzz with excitement and Pope tries to shake the goosebumps from her arms as she purchases the first of 1,100 additional Pearl Jam tickets released at 5 p.m. on July 20.
"Missoulians didn't get a shot at the tickets the first time they went on sale," Pope says. The first round of tickets were released June 22 and sold out online in 15 minutes. The second round of box-office-only tickets, limited to two per customer, were made possible by changing the Adams Center concert to a 360-degree stage view. This opened the opportunity to see the band for fans that felt they had no chance of getting tickets online.
Missoulians weren't the only fans that felt left out from the online ticket sellout. Dustin and Rebecca Quillen stand second in line behind Pope after traveling seven hours from Story, Wyo., to wait for the tickets they had no luck getting in the first round. Jon Totten arrived in Missoula from Coeur d'Alene at 2:30 a.m. He sits behind the Quillens in a lounge chair armed with energy drinks and snacks.
The Sept. 30 concert will be Pearl Jam's last scheduled performance of the year and the band's only non-festival U.S. show of 2012. Pearl Jam is playing with fellow Seattle grunge rockers Mudhoney as a partnership with Sen. Jon Tester, a long-time friend of Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament. Tester is raffling off a prize of two onstage reclining seats to the concert, dinner with Tester and Ament, VIP passes and round-trip travel and hotel accommodations. The raffle is open to donors to Tester's campaign.
Tickets in hand, Pope bursts out the doors of the Adams Center a few minutes after 5 p.m., taking her first breath of fresh air since 5:30 a.m. and hooting with excitement.