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MoPOP Unveils Photograph from Pearl Jam’s First Concert

Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready, Dave Krusen, and Eddie Vedder perform on stage for the first time at the Off Ramp Café on October 22, 1990.

Do you think Karen Mason-Blair knew she would be photographing history when she showed up to Pearl Jam’s very first show? 

The newest addition to Pearl Jam: Home and Away captures the young band, known as Mookie Blaylock at the time, rocking out for a crowd of lucky spectators at the Off Ramp Café on October 22, 1990. 

Throughout her career, Karen snapped candids of bands like Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Mother Love Bone and others that made a name for themselves in Seattle’s booming music scene, but the 36 photos she captured at Pearl Jam’s first show are the only ones in existence.  

Hear more details about that historic night from the photographer’s point of view before you see the photo for yourself during your next visit to MoPOP. 


Where Is It? 

Near the intro wall in Pearl Jam: Home and Away. Walk right up the stairs and it should be the first thing you see! (That’s how proud we are to have it!) 


Set list from first show: Release, Alone, Alive, Once, Even Flow, Black, Breath
Encore: Just a Girl


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Music, Pearl Jam

About the author

The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.