Predicting Pearl Jam’s 2021 Ohana Fest Setlist

By: John Farrar | September 24, 2021
Pearl Jam Ohana Setlist Prediction

Last week, we posted our predictions for Pearl Jam’s first show of 2021 and their first in 3 years, at the Sea.Hear.Now festival. How did we do? Pretty well, actually. I picked 14 songs correctly, and Randy picked 13, and he even picked a couple of the songs that were cut for time. Knowing what we know now, let’s do it again for this weekend’s show at the Ohana festival.

Here’s Randy’s prediction for Ohana:

Randy’s Prediction for the Pearl Jam Ohana Festival 2021 Setlist

Now that we know what a Gigaton show looks like, this show becomes a little bit easier to predict than Sea.Hear.Now. Right off the bat, they introduced the new record, mainly due to the excitement of finally playing the songs for the first time in 18 months, but there is a little bit of a sense as to what’s to be expected now. The overall idea of a Pearl Jam show may have changed as we know it, and with the limited amount of songs they’ve re-learned in this short time period, there won’t be too much discernible difference in the set. But for arguments sake, I have changed this up enough to make it feel unique and not just a repeat of Asbury Park.

One of the common trends that I’m almost certain was supposed to happen when Gigaton came out in 2020 was having Dance Of The Clairvoyants open the show. I didn’t think it would happen last show, but now it seems like a Pendulum-esque lock to happen at the three remaining Ohana shows within the next week. Which means songs such as Release and Long Road may be on hold for the time being just to figure out where they belong in this new PJ world. Instead of Quick Escape, this time they’ll follow Dance up with the first two Gigaton album tracks, Who Ever Said and Superblood Wolfmoon. While it would be hard not to place Corduroy back in this slot, I’m gonna go with Animal for their fourth song, and follow that up with Given To Fly. Seven O’Clock was a major highlight of the last show, and I’d find it impossible not to add it to every set here on out, so I’m putting it in a more traditional spot than third, where we saw it last week. One of the most surprising aspects of the SHN set was that each song was able to stand out on its own and not need to rely on momentum to get from one to another.

In past years, I don’t think I’d agree with this pairing, but I am going to go Lightning Bolt into Even Flow in the mid-set spot to give you two big energetic moments in a row. While it was placed on last week’s setlist, Retrograde was seemingly cut midway through the show last week, I think it’ll get its chance to shine here. Follow that up with another atmospheric anthem, Unthought Known, to pick the crowd up. Jeremy wasn’t played last week so that should be a lock for this show, then follow it with Down, which was considered on the “Odd-ibles” list for New Jersey. Nothingman here is the lone Vitalogy representative, as I left off Corduroy and Better Man because they had both been performed previously. Gotta shake it up a little bit, but don’t be surprised to see that I’m incorrect. Never Destination will return to the set for a second time, then Do The Evolution, which was another song that was replaced last week. That will take us into a late main set Black, one of the most surprising songs left out of the last show, and of course Porch will claim its rightful spot closing out the main set.

I have a feeling that even though they are allotted the same amount of time for this show, they will likely slide a few extra songs in, due to perhaps fewer speeches in this one. River Cross absolutely can’t go another show without being played, I expect it to open the encore and account for the night’s emotional moment. And then I can foresee Brandi Carlile coming out as a surprise guest, after performing earlier in the night, to accompany them on Just Breathe. I think they’ll sneak in a non-bread ‘n’ butter cover and go with Comfortably Numb, which was soundchecked in Jersey. After that, you’ll get the expected songs: Alive, and then instead of Rockin’ In The Free World, we’ll hear All Along The Watchtower with special guest Glen Hansard, and the night will end with the appropriate finale, Yellow Ledbetter.

John’s Ohana Fest 2021 Pearl Jam Setlist Prediction

Randy went conservative, which I think is the right call. This is still just their 2nd show back, and it’s on the other side of the country, so we can assume there won’t be many people who were at last week’s show. I think they’ve got some confidence now, getting that first show under their belt, so we might see a curveball or two, but don’t expect them to dig into Lost Dogs just yet. I think Randy is right on with his assessment of Dance of the Clairvoyants. I think we’ll see it as an opener here and for the foreseeable future. Retrograde was cut from SHN, and I think they’re itching to play it, so I think it makes an early appearance here. I also think Who Ever Said makes its debut here, I think we may see a pattern of 3 Gigaton songs to open going forward, Dance and then two rotating songs. We didn’t get as much Ten as we expected last week, and I think they’ll play more this week, starting with Why Go here. Unlike Randy, I think Corduroy is a lock here, I don’t think there’s any way they don’t play it. We also saw a pattern last week of 2 old songs then a new song, so I think Quick Escape shows up here. It was just as epic and bombastic as we had hoped live, and this should be no exception. Given to Fly was a big moment for me last week watching from my couch, and if you listened to our instant reaction podcast, you heard me talk about getting a little emotional during that performance, with Stone thumping his chest and the song soaring like it always does.

Even Flow marks the middle slot, it seemed rejuvenated and energetic last week. Randy was there in New Jersey last week, and I believe him when he says Seven O’Clock seems to be another band favorite of the new ones, they were having a blast playing it, and I think it fits perfectly after Even Flow. Here’s where I think we might get something a little unusual: it is California, it is the beach, I think we could get an Oceans here, leading into a little bit of a mellower section here. I have Daughter following, the W.M.A. tag was one of the highlights from SHN and I think we’ll get a repeat performance. It’s time for another debut, Randy hasn’t picked this one, but Alright is an underrated song off Gigaton and I hope they debut it here. Randy and I see eye-to-eye on Jeremy here, I think it’s a lock. Sirens could be here what Wishlist was last week, a sneaky good song with a possibility of a tag, something unique. I just hope they don’t have to stop it due to any crowd issues. Superblood Wolfmoon absolutely shocked me at how good it was live, they really injected some energy and life into it. I think it would fit perfectly as this main set winds down. Do the Evolution would have been great last week and I think it slides in here in the penultimate spot. We didn’t get Rearviewmirror last week, and it’s tempting to put it here, but this is the Porch spot, it has to be.

We saw the pump organ come out last week, but River Cross was cut, and Randy is 100% correct, it would be a travesty if it isn’t played here. I also agree with Ed’s BFF Glen Hansard getting a guest spot, but I think it’ll be Smile here. We got two No Code songs last week and I’d like to think that we get one at Ohana. Randy called the omission of Black last week surprising, and I’ll go one step further, I was shocked it wasn’t at least on the original setlist. Watch for McCready to pour 3 years of pent-up emotion into the solo. Here we are at the end, and I don’t think they’ll stray from the tried-and-true formula: Alive, Rockin’ in the Free World, and Yellow Ledbetter. As you can see, I also went fairly conservative. I think the Ohana Encore shows are a chance for them to loosen up and dig into the catalog a little more, we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully we can replicate our numbers from SHN, or maybe we’re off the mark completely! Whatever they play, we’ll be watching, listening, and talking about it.

Randy’s Predicted Main Set

Dance of the Clairvoyants, Who Ever Said, Superblood Wolfmoon, Animal, Given to Fly, Seven O’Clock, Lightning Bolt, Even Flow, Retrograde, Unthought Known, Jeremy, Down, Nothingman, Never Destination, Do the Evolution, Black, Porch

Predicted Encore

River Cross, Just Breathe, Comfortably Numb, Alive, All Along the Watchtower, Yellow Ledbetter

Last 5 Cut

Rearviewmirror, Corduroy, Once, Quick Escape, Elderly Woman

Randy Sobel's Pearl Jam Setlist Prediction for Ohana Festival 2021

John’s Predicted Main Set

Dance of the Clairvoyants, Retrograde, Who Ever Said, Why Go, Corduroy, Quick Escape, Given to Fly, Even Flow, Seven O’Clock, Oceans, Daughter, Alright, Jeremy, Sirens, Superblood Wolfmoon, Do the Evolution, Porch

Predicted Encore

River Cross, Smile, Black, Alive, Rockin’ in the Free World, Yellow Ledbetter

Last 5 cut

Rearviewmirror, Elderly Woman, Better Man, Release, Present Tense

John Farrar's Pearl Jam Setlist Prediction for Ohana Festival 2021

There you have it. Comment below to let us know which set you’d like to see the most or feel free to tell us what we missed!

John Farrar

Content Editor & LO4L Host

I was obsessed with Pearl Jam in the early 90's, and then became a collector of their live bootlegs in the 2000's. I’ve seen them 9 times in 6 different states. I’m continuously blown away by their ability to create transcendent moments in concert. I owe them for my love of vinyl, live music, and so much more. I’m happy to have the podcast and this website as an outlet for that obsession.

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