Pearl Jam Concert Breaks Curfew, Irks Some Wrigleyville Neighbors

By Quinn FordKyla Gardner and Serena Dai  on July 20, 2013 1:35pm  | Updated on July 20, 2013 6:05pm

 After storms hit Chicago Friday night, Pearl Jam promised fans a full set at Wrigley Field. Some neighbors weren't happy the band played until 2 a.m., breaking and 11 p.m curfew.
After storms hit Chicago Friday night, Pearl Jam promised fans a full set at Wrigley Field. Some neighbors weren't happy the band played until 2 a.m., breaking and 11 p.m curfew.
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DRLPhotography/Dwane Lindsey

WRIGLEYVILLE — As strong storms cut other concerts short around Chicago Friday night, Pearl Jam promised fans a full set at Wrigley Field, rocking until 2 a.m and breaking a noise curfew by three hours.

"We intend to provide you w/ a full show tonight," the band Tweeted shortly after a several hour rain delay began about 9 p.m., and later thanked fans for sticking it out: "Thanks for waiting out the storm and staying late Chicago. We had to make sure you were safe."

Some Wrigleyville residents weren't as thankful for the late show.

"I was assuming they were just going to cancel the concert," said neighbor Jim Spencer, who went to sleep in the quiet about 10:30 p.m., and was woken up a few hours later. "I woke up to this loud and booming noise...I didn't think they could do that."

Though there is an 11 p.m. curfew for concerts, the Cubs, after consulting with a neighborhood group, allowed the show to resume after the rain delay.

Julian Green, the Cubs' vice president for communications and community affairs, said the Cubs allowing Pearl Jam to resume playing "was the best option given the unexpected circumstances last night."

"Rather than release 40,000 frustrated fans into the neighborhood and attempt to reschedule the show, thus impacting the community on another weekend night, we determined it was in the best interests of the fans, band and community to go forward with the show," Green said in an email.

Will DeMille, president of the Lake View Citizens' Council, said the team called and asked for a recommendation on what to do.
 
The Council agreed with the Cubs, he said. While "no one wants a concert to go 'til 2 a.m., that late," DeMille said, "we thought that was better" than rescheduling.
 
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said he had received complaints from constituents about the show lasting past Wrigley's 11 p.m. curfew, but said keeping concert-goers safe during severe weather should be the top priority.

"Public safety comes first. Inconvenience comes second," Tunney said. Wrigley's outfield was evacuated for safety reasons, and some fans opted to leave the park, rolling out to Clark Street and taking shelter under the Red Line 'L' tracks behind Spencer's home.

Spencer cleaned up beer cans, solo cups and liquor bottles left by the revelers out of his backyard Saturday morning. 

"I'm a Pearl Jam fan, but concerts get canceled all the time for weather and people get their money back," Spencer said. "That was clearly never a part of the discussion with these folks."

Neighbors Jim and Jean Lachowicz said they were awoken by fans streaming out of the concert after it ended at 2 am.

"There were large crowds moving through the neighborhood and it woke us up, even with the windows closed and the air conditioner humming," Jim Lachowics said Saturday.

Lachowicz also wondered about the overtime costs endured by the city for traffic aids and police.

"It seems that they barely have control over a large crowd like this when everything is perfect, so when there are extraordinary circumstances, there seems to be no plan or method of dealing with it," he said.

Tunney said he didn't think the Cubs would be fined for breaking curfew, but said his office would review the circumstances.

"Let's get through tonight first," he said. Singer Kelly Clarkson and country music rocker Jason Aldean are scheduled to perform at Wrigley Saturday night.

Lachowicz wasn't hopeful for less late-night noise in the future, noting that a large Bruce Springsteen also broke curfew in September, playing until midnight.

"The curfew on concerts has become meaningless," he said. "Future acts will know the curfew has no teeth."

The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.

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