I'm a sucker. I love Pearl Jam. I always have. I will tell you something else you may not know. Ten, while a great album, is not even close to their best album. It's number 4 or 5 maybe. Binaural is in fact their best album. I know this because I checked. Through repeated listens the evidence is irrefutable. So, over more than a decade as a Pearl Jam fan you would think I have seen them live numerous times. Sadly not. Before this past weekend I had only seen them once live. And truth told I was less than sober taht evening, and I don't even count that as seeing them. It's embarassing and best left forgotten. So we will say that Saturday night was my first Pearl Jam show. At US Bank Arena in Cinci.
I was blown away by the show. I am not usually into big shows. I think something gets lost in those shows. Energy, sound, everything. The barrier between performer and audience is just more difficult to overcome. The last BIG show I saw was Coldplay at Deer Creek last summer, and while it was good enough, it simply wasn't great. They and their music just don't have the energy to sustain a 2 hour show. But from the moment Pearl Jam took the stage, till 2 hours and 45 minutes later, the energy in the whole arena was phenomenal.
The set list?
Set 1 Long Road, Save You, Hail Hail, World Wide Suicide, Severed Hand, Corduroy, Unemployable, Even Flow, Love Boat Captain, Gone, Green Disease, Not For You/(Modern Girl), Present Tense, Lukin, Whipping, Do The Evolution, Life Wasted
Encore 1 Wishlist/(Love is Stronger than Witchcraft), Better Man/(Save it for Later), Inside Job, Crazy Mary, Rearviewmirror
Encore 2 Comatose, Leash, Alive, Baba O'Riley
Yeah, I coulda used some Binaural. But to see Wishlist, Present Tense, Long Road, Leash and some others live left me far more than satisfied. It almost restored my faith in the large arena show. Hearing thousands of people shout along with songs which never really amde an impact on radio is also pretty damn awesome. It's great to see this band still around and still having fans who have stayed along for the ride, when they aren't as hip or cool as they maybe once were thought to be.
And the final encore was an even greater treat. Robert Pollard one time Guided by Voices folk hero was the opener. (His set was also phenomenal.) Pearl Jam brought him up for Baba O'Riley. All the house lights were on, and everybody sang along. I couldn't have imagined being any happier to [i]not[/i] hear Yellow Leadbetter as a closer. It was a phenomenal ending to the show. I hope to get the bootleg off my friend Paul and listen to it repeatedly.