True, although traditionally their tours across the States are pretty mammoth, no PJ fan can say they have not had ample opportunity to see them in the last decade. I don't know why they chose now to cycle down though, that does seem strange.
The number of shows they have done in the UK in the last 10 years is pitiful.
Actually, not so true. They have done a lot of shows across the northern states
...but they have been pretty much ignoring the South for the entire last decade. The last PJ show Atlanta (where I lived until last Sept) hosted was in 2003, for example (one night only too)....and Atlanta is by *far* the largest city in the South - 5 million people. And I know that PJ fans in Texas complain of the same thing. Very few shows during the last decade.
I think what you are saying is definitely true of the Northeastern U.S. - NY, PA, and states in that area have had multiple shows nearly every year...and those cities are so close together that the fans in one city could easily go to multiple shows in other cities as well, even! Shoot...I know people who, say, live in NYC who can go to 6 shows without even having to spend a night in a hotel, each time PJ comes through - which, like I said, has been nearly every year.
But fans in the South have had very few shows over the past decade. Most (those who had the money, anyway) have resorted to getting on planes, staying in hotels and renting cars up north.
NYC is nearly 900 miles from Atlanta, though...and if you think London is expensive, spend a night or two in NYC.
Excluding the actual show tickets, for me to go to a show in NYC from Atlanta would cost about $600 in airfare, plus at minimum about $250 per night in a hotel - and that would not be a very nice hotel either. You can't eat in NYC for less than about $50 per day either unless you eat off of street vendors. Plus taxis to get around....because renting and parking a car there is enough to put anyone in the poor house.
Now...I'm a fan...but I am just not going to spend over $2,000 to see a Pearl Jam show. I just don't have that kind of money.
So...waiting for them to decide to play Atlanta again was the plan. And it has been a VERY long wait since 2003.