Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pearl Jam June 22nd, Dublin, Ireland

Driving in to the show I was reminiscing with Jane that it's been 14 years since I first saw Pearl Jam live, scary! Last night was pretty amazing and particularly rockin. Only real let up in the first set from the second tune on was Nothingman, apart from that they pretty much tore it up. They opened with the slow burner 'Long Road' which isn't a regular opener although it's opened three shows I've been to now. From there they just went into overdrive. Loved hearing the opening riff of once, I had a fleeting thought that they might play ten from start to finish but that's a ridiculous thought, although they did do it with the avocado album so maybe someday. 4 singalongs followed, the 'yeah, yeah yeah's' from The Fixer, 'why go home' from eh.. Why Go, pretty much all of what is decipherable from Corduroy and more 'yeah's' from Severed Hand. Two of my top three from the new album came next sandwiched with Even Flow as the filling, Amongst the Waves an absolutely stellar song which sounds fantastic live and Unthought Known an amazing song with a fantastic melody. Even Flow was as always a chance for Mike McCready to show off with a trademark solo and the crowd to go even more mental.
A note on the crowd, I wonder does it happen to everyone or is it just me but I seem to always get surrounded by the same group of cliches. The token shirtless American high fiving those around him when they play his favourite songs, the token shirtless guy showing off his pearl jam stickman tattoo, the long haired Portuguese guy who head bangs his hair into my face (it strangely smelled quite nice actually), the annoying guy who appears out of nowhere and stands right infront of me, the beer spiller on his way past, the tone deaf guy behind me singing in my ear and the token guy who brings his completely disinterested girlfriend. I guess it wouldn't be the same without them.
Anyways, back to the show. Nothingman was a real treat. I was delighted to hear that song, one of my favourites and it sounds just gorgeous live. Was also a nice breather. The breather didn't last long though as they scorched through Lukin seguing into Not For You. Another treat, the b-side Down followed before another song from the new album 'Got Some'. I wonder how drummers have the stamina to take on all those songs, Got Some has alot of drumming going on in it. Comatose went by with a frenzy, before Ed told a story about hearing about the death of Joe Strummer on his birthday December 23 and they launched into a song of his which they've never played before called 'Arms Aloft in Aberdeen'. Some pretty profound lyrics in it. The set closed with the ever enjoyable 'Do The Evolution'.
1st encore began with the absolutely gorgeous 'Just Breathe' a member of my top three from the new album. Having a wife and two kids has definitely rubbed off on Mr. Vedder. Following this was another crowd favourite 'Given To Fly'. They then played another song they've never played before this time it wasn't a cover though. Ed said it was so new it's not even a song yet. Although Jeff mentioned the song a while ago in an interview as an outtake from the Avocado sessions. It's a strange mix of jazz, punk and Peter Gabriel, has some great bits to it. A bangin Porch closed the set, always great to hear a favourite from 'Ten'.
The second encore was another sing along fest. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In a Small Town, was great with everyone singing their hearts out, as they did in the next song Betterman. Ed pleased the crowd with letting us sing the first verse and chorus on our own. Another cover followed, 'Kick out the Jams', not one of my favourites. The set closed with 'Alive' and 'Yellow Ledbetter'.
Overall an absolutely cracking show; added to it by having Ben Harper and Relentless 7 support. A real treat. looking forward to Belfast tonight!

Long Road
The Fixer
Why Go
Severed Hand
Amongst The Waves
Even Flow
Unthought Known
Nothing Man
Not For You
Got Some
Arms Aloft (Joe Strummer)
Do The Evolution

1st encore:
Just Breathe
Given To Fly
Of The Earth

2nd encore:
Small Town
Better Man/Save It For Later
Kick Out The Jams (MC5)
Yellow Ledbetter/Cowboy Song


Ben Harper & Relentless 7

Better Way
I Will Not Be Broken
Number With No Name
Lay There & Hate Me
Feel Love
Keep It Together (So I Can Fall Apart)
Up To You Now

1 comment:

swalsh5 said...

I was also at the gig last night and similar to yourself it was around 97 since I had seen them live around the time of the No Code album. Decent enough gig but not a classic by any means or as good as had I hoped it to be…… Long Road was a strange selection of an opener to the night and I feel the first 3 or 4 songs were hampered severely by sound difficulties, you could see Eddie Vedder constantly looking to the left of the stage telling the technicians to get the volume up.

Poor choice of songs overall with more preference given to the last few albums and only the odd little gem thrown in for good measure, no Jeremy, Black, Daughter, Animal, State Of Love And Trust…. I agree they put in a great performance and Vedder as always encapsulates the genuine deep thinking soul searching front man teasing the crowd with his stories and his love for all things Dublin but I left there feeling a slight bit let down by the proceedings of the night….. And as for the crowd, I have never seen as many people in one place more interested in their iphones than having Pearl Jam on stage right in front of their very own eyes…. Here you have Eddie Vedder singing his heart out to Elderly Woman and these 4 guys standing beside me taking pictures on their iphones of their tickets, I shit you not!!!!! I felt like grabbing them by the throat and saying you do realize something special that you have handed over your hard earned cash for is actually occurring right now behind you….

Maybe walking into the gig last night I just set my expectations far too high and was hoping and longing for that spark like it was all those years ago when they first broke onto the scene with a rawness that was so ruthless and full of meaning, instead what I got was a good polished performance that lacked any real importance or relevance….. To some it up for me at one point towards the end of the night a tone deaf drunk guy who probably didn't even know what gig he was at put his hand on my shoulders and uttered the words "the man is a f##king legend" and I kind of just thought to myself, maybe at one point in time I would have agreed but not anymore…....