You just had to be there. Saturday’s rally for the West Memphis Three was a success on every level. The sold out crowd brought a lot of energy (and iPhones) and the performances were spot on. The night began with remarks from Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Rev. Thompson Murray and Capi Peck, a founding member of the group Arkansas Take Action. The crowd also heard from Damien Echols’ wife, Lorri Davis, and saw a video message from long-time WM3 supporter Henry Rollins.
After the initial remarks, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder took the stage and played “Rise Up,” one of his tracks off the “Into the Wild” soundtrack, followed by a cover of Tom Waits’ “Rains on Me.” Vedder was the de facto master of ceremonies, providing back-up vocals or guitar for many of the night’s performances. After a song from Austin, Texas, songwriter Bill Carter, Vedder came back out to play a soulful rendition of Bob Dylan’s “The Times, They are a Changin’,” followed by a raucous version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Open All Night.”