Hardcore Pearl Jam fans unite! This podcast revisits some of the best live shows in Pearl Jam's 30 year history. From breaking down set lists to discussing hot band related topics, every episode features something new and exciting for every PJ fan!
Episode 118: Columbia, SC - 06/16/08
2008 is an under the radar tour year for Pearl Jam as the Avocado era was nearing it's end. They went out on a 13-show east coast run where songs that they either hadn't played in years or never played at all starting popping up in setlists. Fan favorite tracks like W.M.A. and Who You Are mixed in with Lost Dogs such as Sad, Education and All Night all found playing time during this tour. This show in Columbia, SC that we cover in this episode is a microcosm of that year. A big thank you goes out to our Patron Michael Keating for requesting this show!
The craziest thing about this setlist is how incredibly balanced it was. No Code has the same amount of representation as Ten and Vs., Riot Act has more songs played than Yield and Vitalogy and there are Lost Dogs galore. The band took this opportunity of not having to promote an album as a platform to celebrate their entire discog and the fans reaped the benefits. This is definitely a stat heavy show and we'll get into some of the gritty statistical details that may make this show feel amongst the rarest of the bunch
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Episode 117: Ann Arbor, MI - 3/20/94
We're taking this week's episode back to the revered 1994 tour smack dab in the middle of the Vs. and Vitalogy records. It can be argued that 1994 was Pearl Jam's most important year - it was a year where they stood their ground in the fight against Ticketmaster, a year where they spoke up about important social justice issues such as pro choice rights, a year where they were about to fire their drummer, and it was the year where they grieved the loss of Kurt Cobain. The Ann Arbor show fell right in the middle of that tumultuous time as the 10th out of 21 shows on tour and as we'll discuss throughout this episode, you could tell that the drama was weighing on them a bit.
Through the duration of this show we'll talk about how Ed's mood seemed to reflect one who was struggling to make it through the night. Visceral performances of songs like Daughter and Porch that utilized improvisations that weren't necessarily out of character for him at the time, but they set a tone for the show expressing how fed up they were with the ticket fiasco. Ed even made mention to it later in the set and apologized for how impossible it was to get tickets that night. Blood was another performance where his frustration seemed to burst whilst on stage.
We also get a few very interesting moments that make this show unique. One of those moments featured Jeremy in the opener spot, something that hasn't happened at a Pearl Jam show since. Three Vitalogy songs were played 9 months before the album would be released - Last Exit, Not For You and Nothingman making it's live debut which would be the only performance of the song for over two years. There's also a very raw version of Yellow Ledbetter that was played for only the 5th time.
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Episode 116: Lincoln, NE - 10/9/14
This week we take on some uncharted territory as we head to the heartland of America to cover a show from Lincoln, Nebraska on the Lightning Bolt tour in 2014. The state had been a flyover state for them since 1992 so this show was 22 years in the making, and the crowd showed them why some of the often forgotten states deserve more love. Joining us for this episode is our Patron Curtis Hames who was there that night with many stories to share.
When you think 2014 shows, Moline is probably the first that comes to mind. The Moline show where they played No Code track-by-track happened 8 days after this show, and you have to wonder with three No Code songs mixed into this setlist, was this in preparation for that night? There were also 3 Binaural tracks mixed in this show which is pretty rare for any show in the past decade.
There are three moments to look out for in this show. One is within the middle of the set where Ed makes conversation with a child celebrating his 6th birthday and singing 1/2 Full directly to him. Another moment came during a wild version of Porch where Stone took a solo and Ed went all Miley Cyrus and swung on the green orbs like a wrecking ball. And in the final moment of the show is a very memorable Yellow Ledbetter where Ed was using a faulty mic and led to some humorous moments, including him singing into a beer bottle.
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Episode 115: Drop In The Park - 09/20/92
This week we dive back into our year long Seattle Series celebrating the 30th anniversary of the band by reliving the best hometown stories. This one may be the cream of the crop. Everybody knows it, you've all seen the pictures, maybe you've even imitated the antics at some point in your youth. This episode dives right in to the infamous Drop In The Park show from 1992.
In the episode we'll talk about how this show had some hiccups getting underway in May of 92 where just days before the event was set to happen, the mayor of Seattle canceled it due to safety and traffic concerns. The band pushed back, especially because it was an event to encourage voter registration, and they were able to reschedule it to September only a week after finishing up the Lollapalooza tour.
And of course there is the show... and Ed and what he did. It goes down in history as one of the craziest stunts he's ever pulled and it was fun to go back and basically do a play by play of this as it was all happening. It's one of the band's most iconic moments and images and we discuss where this stands on the all-time most important shows list.
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Episode 114: The Ice Bowl - 10/8/2000
Bundle up and put on your Bernie mittens because this episode will leave you freezing your ass off. We're covering the infamous Ice Bowl show from Alpine Valley on the 2000 tour. On an October night where temperatures dipped down to 28 degrees, the band took the stage and ripped through a 26 song setlist as if they were inside an arena. Joining us to share his stories is one of our Patrons Kirk Walton who was there that night to witness all of it!
After you see the band take the stage wearing jackets and blowing on their hands to keep warm, they burst through Of The Girl and Hail Hail before Ed greeted the crowd by welcoming them to the Ice Bowl. The nickname given to an infamous Packers/Cowboys game at Lambeau Field in 1967 where they played in -15 degree temperature conditions. From there on out, the band zipped through the set playing familiar songs in order to keep the crowd warm.
From all this information shared, you'd assume the band would've struggled throughout this set, but quite the opposite! If you listen to the boot, there are small instances where you can tell what the conditions are (Ed singing "it's too f*****g cold to sing" during Corduroy) but aside from that, if you replaced this with an arena show bootleg you would barely be able to tell the difference. The band jammed through great versions of Insignificance, Dissident, Black, Porch and Smile to help make this memorable night unforgettable.
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Episode 113: Saskatoon, SASK - 9/7/05
We're runnin' back to Saskatoon! In this episode we head to the prairies to tackle a show in an unsuspecting Canadian location from the big 2005 tour. Joining us for a chat is author of the book This All Encompassing Trip, Jason Leung. His book touches up on what it's like for a fan to follow the band around for an entire tour and since he just dropped a brand new hardcover book, he'll join us to talk about all of his experiences in 2005 and 2006, including this Saskatoon show!
So ask mentioned above, Saskatoon is not a prime concert location or vacation spot. It's located in the prairies of the Saskatchewan province, which would lead you to believe that maybe this would be a smaller crowd that they may not get the kind of reaction that you'd expect from larger Canadian cities. But as you'll hear in this show, the crowd was on fire for this one the same way a crowd in Boston, London or Sydney would be. After 15 years of the band utilizing the city as a fly over, the fans were ready to erupt and show their love.
There are some great moments from this one that we can't wait for you to hear. Attempting to appease the crowd in the encore, the band takes the stage with an impromptu version of The Guess Who's Runnin' Back To Saskatoon which was played on the spot unrehearsed. There's also great versions of I Got Shit, Whipping, Daughter, Porch, Present Tense, Alive and Off He Goes jam packed into a short but very fun show!
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Customer ReviewsSee All
This is a great podcast. Go deep into PJ shows and learn so much about the band and their deep catalog of songs.
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Every Pearl Jam Fan Needs This Pod
These guys do a great job of reviewing so many different Pearl Jam shows. Some stuff you will not hear anywhere else. Always entertaining, and informative about shows from different eras. They even have their fans on to discuss shows they’ve been to. It doesn’t get better than Live on Four Legs!