Brian Chilson

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.

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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.”