Monday, October 28, 2013

Live Review: Pearl Jam, Wells Fargo Center (10/21/13)

What better way to cap off the release week of Pearl Jam's new album, Lightning Bolt, then to see the band live? I was graced with the luck to be in the massive audience at the Wells Fargo Center on October 21st, where Pearl Jam took the stage for over three hours. The band had no opener and needed none. Every person there was there for Pearl Jam, and their fandom and marveling showed it. The arena packed in, filling the floor and almost every seat, even the seats behind the stage that had almost no view of the band.

Pearl Jam took the stage to the roaring of the crowd, and started off the set slowly, with "Pendulum," from their new album. The brooding track laid way for the next two slow-burners, and the crowd was rather subdued until the fourth song in, where Eddie Vedder led one of the largest sing-a-longs I've ever experienced with "Elderly Women..." The crowd drowning out his vocals at multiple points made the song all the more special, peaking in the swelling of the bridge and the shouting "I just want scream hello!" The set then kicked right into gear, as the band ripped through early favorites ("Why Go," "Animal") and new, soon to be favorites ("Lightning Bolt," "Mind Your Manners"). The band chose to play a large portion of their often underrated album Yield, which was an amazing treat for fans. Songs such as "Wishlist," and "Given To Fly" are anthemic songs, packed with immense amounts of emotion, and Eddie Vedder delivered them perfectly.

From start to finish, Vedder's vocals never once faltered. His pitch perfect tune was incredible, and his strength and showmanship is truly legendary to watch. The band plays better live than they could ever record, with many songs have extended endings or mid-sections. For example, "Even Flow" featured a lengthy solo by Mike McCready which was one of the greatest guitar solos I have ever heard in my life. His playing exudes so much emotion and feeling and when coupled with Vedder's vocals, creates a uniquely astonishing experience. "Rearviewmirror" closed the beginning set, and featured an uplifting jam during its bridge before plummeting back into the song's ending. It was one of the nights most magical moments and was a perfect ending to the first half of the show.

The band them came out with acoustic guitars and played a handful of quieter songs, as Eddie talked to the crowd like it was only a fraction of its size. All throughout the night, he spoke with such high regard for his fans and his band, even referring to the crowd as "friends and friends we don't know yet." Other standout moments consisted of Vedder swinging from lights during the extended jam of "Porch," the powerful building of "Crazy Mary," and the fan-favorite "Not For You."

Pearl Jam proved to be a legendary live band, which only helps cement their impression on rock, and music in general. Go see them live. You'll never be the same again.


1. Pendulum
2. Long Road
3. Low Light
4. Elderly Women Behind the Counter in a Small Town
5. Why Go
6. Lightning Bolt
7. Mind Your Manners
8. Brain of J.
9. Animal
10. Pilate
11. Even Flow
12. Infallible
13. I Got Id
14. Wishlist
15. Sirens
16. Lukin
17. Not For You
18. Let The Records Play
19. Spin The Black Circle
20. Rearviewmirror

21. Man of the Hour
22. Off He Goes
23. Yellow Moon
24. Mother (Pink Floyd cover)
25. Given To Fly
26. Unthought Known
27. 1/2 Full
28. Leash
29. I Believe In Miracles (Ramones cover)
30. Porch

31. Crazy Mary
32. Alive
33. Sonic Reducer (Rocket From The Crypt cover)
34. Indifference

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