Sunday, November 1, 2009


People overuse the word "epic," but last night's Pearl Jam Halloween/last-concert-at-the-Philly-Spectrum truly was one for the ages. The above clip (not my video, I wasn't sitting that close to the stage) was from the first encore, when the band came out dressed as Devo and covered "Whip It." It was pretty classic. (Devo apparently approved: a video with a different angle from the above one, is posted at their website. On another note, this gave me a great idea for my halloween costume for next year: Devo actually sell these outfits).

I'd have to check on this, but I think it may have been their longest show ever. It was certainly one of them - I'm sure the live album will be three CDs. (all of Pearl Jam's concerts are available as live downloads or CDs through the band's website) Like Bruce Springseen 's recent concert closing down Giants Stadium, there were crazy rumors of who would show up... and like that show, there were no guests. Which is fine: they played over three hours, that's more than enough, who cares about guests (although Eddie Vedder did sing a song with opening band, Bad Religion, who were great). Eddie addressed this towards the beginning of the show, mentioning that he had heard rumors that Bruce, Neil Young, Billy Joel, Dave Matthews and Jon Bon Jovi were going to be there, and he said that, in fact, there would be no guests.

Instead, we got performances of some songs that had never, or rarely ever, been performed by the band. That included "Pilate," from Yield, "Out Of My Mind," which was the b-side of "Not For You" and which wasn't even included on the b-sides collection, Lost Dogs. Eddie explained that a fan offered a large sum of money to a worthy cause if they played it - it was only the third time they ever performed it.

Eddie strapped on a button accordion for the first ever performance of Vitalogy's "Bugs," which was better than the studio version. There was also the first ever performance of "Sweet Lew," featuring Jeff Ament on lead vocals, Eddie on backing vocals and dribbling a basketball, and Stone Gossard on bass. Stone also played bass on one of my favorites, "Smile," which featured Jeff on lead guitar. Plus there were some other rarely played songs that I love, such as "I Got ID" and the Mother Love Bone song "Crown Of Thorns."

But the show wasn't just for aficionados: they also played some of their biggest songs, including "Evenflow," "Alive," "Yellow Ledbetter," "Better Man" and "Daughter." As well as a bunch of songs from their very solid new album, including one of my favorites, "The Fixer," along with "Just Breathe" (which featured a string section) and "Got Some." I've been seeing the band for seventeen years, I've very rarely been disappointed, but this was one of the best shows I've ever seen by them. They seem like they are at the top of their game, and I hope they tour some more in 2010, I'll definitely go to see them again.


Will said...

Epic indeed!

rakeback said...

Pearl Jam is the standout band of the 1990's next to Nirvana. I have yet to see them in concert, but Yellow Ledbetter would be worth the price of admission alone in my opinion.

grizaham said...

It was their longest show!!! And I am so greatful I was there!
Pearl jam is in another league than Nirvana!!

Stephen said...

Pearl Jam is one of my favorite groups ! I really like the Pearl jam song, Black . Black is also a favorite of mine. I found this really good video of black , check it out here