The Auckland summer concert season roared into life yesterday evening with a show by veteran American rockers Pearl Jam.

About 32,000 fans were at Mt Smart stadium for the first of two New Zealand shows the band will play, supported by fellow American Ben Harper, his band the Relentless7, and New Zealand's Liam Finn.

It is Pearl Jam's first Kiwi outing in 11 years.

The tour's New Zealand promoter, Manolo Echave, said tickets sold out a couple of days ago, but after the stage had been set up a handful of extra seats became available.

Some of the older fans were doing things a little differently from the last time their idols were in town, including bringing along their kids.

Victor Kendall was 34 in 1995, the last time he saw the band play here.

He reckoned the "naughty 90s" meant good times, but last night the Maraetai dad was behaving himself - his 13-year-old son Jacob bought the tickets as a Father's Day gift.

"I won't be drinking tonight, that's one biggie. My hair's a bit greyerbut I can still rock to them. I'vejust picked Jacob up from Dilworth. It's his first concert."

Jacob became a fan in the family car.

"I really like [the song] Jeremy and Rearview Mirror. I didn't at first, but Dad kept playing it and after a while I kind of started to like them."

The band plays Christchurch tomorrow.