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!
Amongst The Waves
Not For You
Arms Aloft (Joe Strummer)
Do The Evolution
Given To Fly
Of The Earth
Better Man/Save It For Later
Kick Out The Jams (MC5)
Yellow Ledbetter/Cowboy Song
Ben Harper & Relentless 7
I Will Not Be Broken
Number With No Name
Lay There & Hate Me
Keep It Together (So I Can Fall Apart)
Up To You Now