"Lightning Bolt" First Impressions

This is the first full Pearl Jam of the digital age not to leak online in advance of its release, so let’s all thank iTunes for streaming it legally in advance!  I heard several of these tracks in a partial leak a few weeks back but I always savor the first, complete listen of a new Pearl Jam album. Let’s dig in.


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Pearl Jam Buffalo 5.10.10

HSBC Arena – Buffalo, NY
opener: Band of Horses

Main Set: Unthought Known, Severed Hand, Animal, The Fixer, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, No Way, Given To Fly, Light Years, Even Flow, Amongst The Waves, Unemployable, Grievance, Not For You, Got Some, Do The Evolution, Wasted Reprise, Better Man / Save it for Later

1st Encore: Just Breathe, Fatal, Last Kiss, Spin the Black Circle, Rearviewmirror

2nd Encore: Once, Alive, Fuckin’ Up, Yellow Ledbetter

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Pearl Jam Cleveland 5.9.10

Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, OH
opener: Band of Horses

Main Set: Wash, Hail, Hail, Corduroy, Got Some, In Hiding, World Wide Suicide, Force of Nature, Immortality, Go, Even Flow, Army Reserve, Unthought Known, Daughter / W.M.A., Sleight Of Hand, Johnny Guitar, Do The Evolution, The Fixer, Why Go

1st Encore: Just Breathe, Given to Fly, Leash, Porch

2nd Encore: Wasted Reprise, Life Wasted, Black, The Real Me, Smile, Alive, Indifference

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Pearl Jam – Philadelphia 10.31.09 Review

The Spectrum – Philadelphia, PA
opener: Bad Religion

Main Set: Why Go, Last Exit, Corduroy, Severed Hand, The Fixer, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, You Are, Amongst The Waves, Even Flow, Pilate, Unthought Known, Daughter/(ABitWp2), Johnny Guitar, Rats, I’m Open, I Got Shit, Glorified G, Out Of My Mind, Black, Insignificance, Life Wasted

1st Encore: Just Breathe, The End, Low Light, Speed Of Sound, Jeremy, Inside Job, Bugs, Spin The Black Circle, Porch

2nd Encore: Whip It, Got Some, Crown Of Thorns, Satan’s Bed, Sweet Lew, Do the Evolution, Better Man/(Save It For Later), Smile, Alive, Rockin’ In The Free World, Yellow Ledbetter/Star Spangled Banner

It’s been nearly 14 years since my first Pearl Jam concert in 1996, and I still remember it fondly. I’ll always remember Justin walking into the locker room asking who wanted to go see Pearl Jam just before the bus left for a soccer game on the road in Williamsville. The sudden lottery jackpot of a PJ ticket predictably kept more than a few of us on the team preoccupied during the game, and it showed in the result, losing by more than a few goals. I remember frantically trying to get coach to let me hitch a ride with Justin and Steve and failing because I didn’t have a note from my parents; finally getting a ride downtown from one of the other guys on the team. All of 16 years old at the time, my first concert surpassed all of my expectations going in, and holds a place in my memory as one of those transcendent concert-going experiences that shaped your youth and set you off upon your course to adulthood.


(Probably an exaggeration in retrospect; I’m sure I was still doing homework and playing video games the next day.)

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