Pearl Jam Fans Flock to Wrigley a Day Early For Posters, T-Shirts

By Darryl Holliday on July 18, 2013 3:33pm 

Slideshow
 More than 1,000 fans waited in extreme heat to buy or flip the band's merchandise before Friday's show.
Pearl Jam Fans Wait by the Thousand to Collect Band Merch Pre-show
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WRIGLEYVILLE — The first Pearl Jam fan was in line about 6 a.m. Thursday to buy the band's merchandise ahead of Friday's Wrigley Field show, according to one incredulous security guard.

That supporter was followed by more than 1,000 others, in two lines that wrapped around Wrigley Field, by the time vendors sold out of the show's highly sought posters.

Even after an estimated 400 to 600 prints of the four original posters were sold out, fans like Matt Gonzalez, 36, and Scott Davison, 38, waited for T-shirts.

The two, who grew up together listening to Pearl Jam, came from New York City for Friday's show. By 2 p.m., they estimated the wait to the front of the line was about three hours from where they stood.

Davison had paid $400 through an online vender for his ticket to the show, and he wasn't about to let a long line in 95-degree weather stop him from getting the swag.

But, as Gonzalez explained, the original posters have increased in value in recent years, with die-hard Pearl Jam fans collecting a string of them at shows they attend to hang proudly on their walls.

He guessed, however, that about 20 percent of the crowd was there to resell them online for a profit.

At the front of the line, Angie Herbert proudly held three posters under one arm. She said she had seen a man sell his poster for $100 — a $65 profit — within seconds of his purchase.

"He probably would've gotten more if he had had the chance," she said. "He didn't even make it around the corner."

After a two-hour wait in line, Josh Proefrock held eight posters as at least three people offered him deals of about $50 for any one of them.

Proefrock, who said he drove from Milwaukee for the merchandise, said Friday's show will be about his 30th — and he's got a poster from each.

And no, he doesn't flip them, he said.

"If these sell out, I wouldn't be surprised to see them online for $500," he said, minutes before the first batch of posters actually did sell out. More posters arrived later.

 More than 1,000 fans waited in line, some since 6 a.m., to buy original band merchandise from Pearl Jam's Friday show at Wrigley Field.
More than 1,000 fans waited in line, some since 6 a.m., to buy original band merchandise from Pearl Jam's Friday show at Wrigley Field.
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DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday

By 2:30 p.m. Thursday, a poster from the show, bought for $35, already had four "offers" on ebay before it was sold for $300.

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