Many reasons - none of them worthy - kept me from ever seeing this band live before last night.
is sonic art without artiface. Live Rock without cliches.
They deliver experience true to rock's origins - honoring their influences - but incorporating an urgent command of the present tense.
The fans made as strong a first impression as the band. We stood on the floor for the entire show. Think they may have played 2:45!? But the entire crowd at Madison Square Garden stood - all night - every song - collaborating and contributing. The band played a song not yet released called "Unemployable," and at least a quarter of the room already knew the words.
If you were late teens or 20 when this band first arrived in 1990, then you're pushin' 40 now. Rock men made most of the crowd, but there were more hot girls than you'd guess if you haven't sipped this wine before.
Eddie oozes authenticity. Can't say enough about the respect he pays to the job of frontman. Sharing the mic, his wine, heart, ideas, and the power of the band.
Vedder spoke of vinyl, marijuana, George Carlin, The Who, The Ramones, New York, veterans, the election, and WAR.
He made a point early on that intense negotiation with the Garden lifted the normal curfew that ends shows at 11pm. They played at least 30 minutes past that. I realized 'negotation' meant the band made a decision to PAY to give more music. You RARELY if EVER see that.
He made a point later in the night that the band was not there with any record to promote - just there for the good time in the summer in New York. He told the crowd how much their commitment meant to him - at the lowest points in his life. Far more feeling than the standard 'thanks for comin' out tonight.'
Respect to Jeff Ament on bass, Stone Gossard on rhythm guitar, Mike McCready on lead guitar, Matt Cameron on drums. Boom Gaspar played hammond B3 and keyboards. 3 backup singers on key songs. C.J. Ramone (with the Ramones 89-96), guested on "I Believe in Miracles" during the 2d of 3 encores, giving Eddie Vedder a chance to right a rock wrong & put a Ramone onstage at Madison Square Garden.
Pearl Jam opened the first encore with The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" from Quadrophenia - as a warmup for the upcoming VH1 Rock Honors
show for The Who taping in LA on 7/12 & airing on VH1 on 7/17.
I've sipped the wine and found a trusted place to return to for inspiration. Mega thanks to this band for carrying the torch - and to CAROLYN - and to HOLLY - for the connect.
Pearl Jam 2008-06-24 Madison Square Garden
Set 1 - Hard to Imagine, Save You, Why Go, All Night, Corduroy, Faithful, Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town, Down, Unemployable, Given to Fly, Who You Are, Whipping, 1/2 Full, Even Flow, Present Tense, Daughter, Do the Evolution
Encore 1 - Love Reign O'er Me, W.M.A., Leash, Spin the Black Circle, Wasted Reprise, Porch
Encore 2 - No More, Crazy Mary, Comatose, I Belive in Miracles, Alive
Encore 3 - All Along the Watchtower, Indifference