Pearl Jam Fenway: Night 1

The rumors were blowing up the Twitter machine:  Chris Cornell flew in. A mini Temple of The Dog reunion might happen. Get to your seats early because the band will do a quick set at 6:30 before the real set at 7:30. We might get a whole album. They soundchecked Aerosmith's "Draw The Line," so someone from the band might be joining them. The surfer dude pulled a knife on Mr. Hand.  Ah rumors.

Turns out the only truth was "Draw The Line" in the set...with no Aerosmith members-and that was more than ok. It was a killer Fenway Friday.

Pearl Jam continues to be one of the strongest live bands on the road. They proved it again with a near-three hour, 32 song set of hits, deep cuts, and covers. Eddie Vedder knows how to craft a set list.

Pearl Jam on Twitter

FENWAY NIGHT 1pic.twitter.com/gFCsrwGRnY

Eddie and his bandmates Mike McCready, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Boom Gaspar, and Matt Cameron brought that  setlist alive with passion and precision and tight, furious playing.   No band has more respect and care for their audience or the music (their own and the artists who came before them.)

Random thoughts and observations in lieu of real journalism:

  • There seems to be some sort of law (written or unwritten) that they start every Boston run with "Release."   In this devisive politcal season, I propose this law always be upheld and never repealed.
  • Eddie talking about how exciting it was to be standing in Fenway as a Cubs fan. Some boos rang out, prompting Eddie to say "Let me get this straight. You're booing the fu**ing Cubs??!!" He's right.  No need. Before we won, we shared their pain and misery.
  • He dedicated "Faithful" to Big Papi, saying "This can't be the last year??"
  • Bronson Arroyo joined them for "Black," playing some tasty acoustic guitar. And still didn't get on the disabled list.
    Former Sox pitcher joins in on "Black"
    Former Sox pitcher joins in on "Black"

     

  • Bob Dylan's "Masters Of War" was darker than the original...if that's possible
  • Hilarious story about playing Axis in the early 90's. He wanted to see Fenway, but it was the all-star break...so he snuck in and took these Polaroids. Also a funny story about a watching a security guard trying to rip the Polaroid picture. (For you kids out there: you can't rip a Polaroid picture)

    Polaroids
    Eddie's Polaroid pics from the early 90's
  • Eddie said "I need a Uke" and out came Kevin Youkilis with a Ukulele. That's funny stuff.

    YOUKKK!!!
    YOUKKK!!!
  • Intro to Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb': "We like playing this because it sounds good outdoors...or for anyone tripping balls."  Band and logo
  • You make friends at every Pearl Jam show.  And usually,  they've traveled to see them.  Fans of other bands should take note.  It's ok to be nice.
  • They welcomed the great Peter Gammons onstage for a wave. As far as I'm concerned, he's the Commissioner of Baseball.
  • During "Baba O'Reilly," I counted at least 10 tambourines Eddie threw into the crowd. There are kids in some western suburbs who have no tambourines.
  • I'm concerned about Eddie's drinking. No, not what you think. I'm used to seeing him drink red wine ALL NIGHT. Like, 2-3 bottles depending on the show. He did have wine with him,but I only saw him take a few sips and I don't think he even finished 1 bottle. It looked like some filming was going on, so maybe he wanted to be in DVD shape. No matter. The show still ruled.
  • I heard Sunday is the night he'll get all red-wined up and swing from the lights.
    I also heard he read this review and knows I'd love them play "Vitalogy" in its entirety, since they only played one song from it Friday.  Ah, rumors.

Ken West is ALT 92.9's Program Director. When he's not going to concerts, he's wishing he was.