Pearl Jam cancels NC concert; lost revenue from HB2 fallout rises

Pearl Jam cancels NC concert; lost revenue from HB2 fallout rises
Boston band leader Tom Scholz (Wikipedia)
Boston band leader Tom Scholz (Wikipedia)

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) - The fallout from North Carolina's passing of House Bill 2 continued Monday, with rock bands Pearl Jam and Boston dropping in North Carolina.

Pearl Jam was scheduled to play in Raleigh Wednesday night.

"The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens," the band said in a statement. "The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are."

Boston canceled shows May 4, 5 and 6 in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh. The concert in Raleigh, part of the band's 40th-anniversary tour, was scheduled for Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh.

The announcement came after Bruce Springsteen canceled a show earlier this month in Greensboro and Ringo Starr canceled a show in Cary. Also Cirque del Soliel canceled shows in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte.

The North Carolina General Assembly is scheduled to return for the short session April 25.

Boston founder Tom Scholz, in a lengthy statement, said, "While the enjoyment of our fans is our central concern, and we have been looking forward to celebrating forty years of history performing for our listeners in North Carolina with spectacular live shows this spring, human rights are more important.

"It is with deep regret, that I must announce the cancellation of our upcoming shows on May 4, 5 & 6 in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh in order to raise awareness, and protest in the strongest terms, the recent passage of HB2, the so called 'North Carolina bathroom law.'"

The announcement came one day after Gov. Pat McCrory appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" to address the national response to the bill.

Boston also played concerts in Charlotte and Greensboro.

"HB2 has the appearance of an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority, who already have to deal with a narrow-minded world regarding issues beyond their control which they did nothing to bring upon themselves," Scholz said. "Other aspects of the new law arguably encourage bigotry.  With thousands of fans in attendance at our shows, it is likely that some members of our audience and/or their loved ones are affected on a daily basis by this ugly expression of intolerance."