“The Home Shows” have turned into “The Away Shows” for Seattle rock band Pearl Jam, and with that comes a bit of controversy, stirred up after an official poster for a concert in Missoula, Mont., depicted the White House in flames.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Republicans are condemning the artwork, designed for Monday night’s concert at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on the University of Montana campus.
Bassist Jeff Ament and artist Bobby Brown collaborated on the piece, which shows giant “P” and “J” letters flanking the burning White House and crumbling Washington Monument. A bald eagle is shown pecking at a blond-haired skeleton which Republicans and many on social media took to be a depiction of President Donald Trump.
After 20 years #PearlJam is back @ Griz Stadium + in Jeff Ament’s home state, Montana for Monday’s show + pre-show festival #Rock2Vote #festivalatgrizstadium pj.lnk.to/Rock2VoteTw
A post shared by Pearl Jam (@pearljam) on Aug 11, 2018 at 2:01pm PDT
Smoke in the background forms the word “Vote,” as the concert was a Rock the Vote event aimed at encouraging young people to register and turn out come election time.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana — who is from Ament’s hometown of Big Sandy — is shown flying over the chaos on a tractor. The AP pointed out that his Republican opponent, Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale, is shown with a crab claw for a hand while carrying a Maryland flag, in reference to his native state.
Rosendale called the poster “disgusting and reprehensible,” according to the AP, and called on Tester to “denounce this act of violence and blatant display of extremism.”
In a Twitter post on Pearl Jam’s official account on Tuesday, a separate image includes notes from Ament about the poster concept.
“D.C. burning. Tester Evel Knievel on tractor … over the cesspool below. Russian money, golf courses, hookers? Maryland Matt. Stars n stripes as flames,” read Ament’s notes. “You know the deal. We’re at a tipping point and it’s time for action.”
The National Republican Senate Committee compared the poster to other examples of public figures “encouraging violence” against Trump, like an image of comedian Kathy Griffin holding up a bloody, fake Trump head.
Pearl Jam performed two shows last week in Seattle as benefit concerts to help combat the city’s homelessness epidemic. “The Home Shows” — attended by 50,000 fans on both Wednesday and Friday — raised more than $11 million.