Making of a Moment – Utrecht, NLD 3/4/1992

By: John Farrar | March 7, 2022

Last week on the show we talked about the Utrecht show from March 1992, continuing our run through the month. Often overshadowed by Den Haag, this show, which took place just 2 days later, features more great, early moments of the band as they were about to rocket into the stratosphere. My #3 moment is a song that I rarely give any plaudits too, so you know it’s got to be good here. It’s Once.

Moment #3

Ed’s thrashing around right from the very beginning, one thing I’ve noticed from doing all these shows, and we’ll talk about it on the Rotterdam episode coming out this week, is that it looks like Ed genuinely loves all of these songs, he can’t help but dance around and let the music take over. It’s all pure energy and excitement. As Mike heads to the front of the stage for his solo, we see Ed off on the side up against the speakers, and he bolts out just in time to shriek, and we see Jeff fall to his knees and then lay down on stage, still playing. Ed goes and stands over him for the “I…got nothing to say…” line and, leaning down in Jeff’s face, adds “…to you.” These little moments between band members give us a glimpse into how they were feeling at the time, Jeff has a huge smile on his face afterwards, and it’s one of the most memorable moments of this show.

Moment #2

Speaking of Jeff, he is featured on the next song as well, Porch. The jam starts at 52:28 (look for the giant Dutchman freaking out on stage, you can’t miss it), and Jeff is just a whirlwind of low end awesomeness. His face is again, just radiating joy. He even takes a little bass solo at 53:29. He and Dave are throwing in little fills and accents, just having fun with it. Ed’s whereabouts are still unknown until 55:30, when Jeff looks up over to the top of the speakers and holds his hands out, as if to say, come on then, do something. Ed reappears, having jumped down, and the build up to the final chorus is ferocious, Jeff’s taking running leaps off the side speakers, Ed’s got a one-man circle pit going, it’s chaos. As the final chords ring out, Mike theatrically holds his guitar over his head and lets it fall behind him, taking a bow. Ed runs over to kick it, as Mike slams his mic down on it. Jeff tosses his bass off stage, and Mike picks up his guitar and tosses it to Ed, who waves it over his head before hunching over it and making some noise before exiting for the break. Showstopper.

Moment #1

“State of Love and Trust, goes like this,” Ed says and Mike starts that familiar riff. They all crash in at the beginning, not the tidiest it’s ever been, but effective nonetheless. Listen to Dave during the intro, he and Jeff are thunderous here. Ed’s acting out the lyrics, he’s cradling a baby, then his arm’s a gun, if you needed the song spelled out for you. Listen Jeff at 42:15 and the wonderful little bass fill, so many times in these early bootlegs the bass is so low in the mix or muddled, but here it sounds up front and you can hear everything Jeff is doing. Ed sings the last “…myself…” with his finger gun in his mouth, and then as they kick into the solo, Jeff does a leap worthy of the NBA (or at least Montana basketball), and Mike is taking off, swirling notes around, effortless brilliance. Ed goes over and leans on him and they tussle a little, neither missing a note, before Ed goes back to the mic. Mike’s not done, he goes over and plays off of Ed’s energy, and Ed’s got the finger gun back out, and he pulls the “trigger” at Mike just as he sings the last line, and takes a backward somersault. We’re careening towards the final solo now, Jeff has another killer bass fill, and then Mike punctuates the entire thing with a fiery blast of notes, and it falls apart just as easily as it came together, one of the best performances of State I’ve heard in a long time, and my number one moment from this show.

Check back next week for my top 3 moments from Rotterdam, just a couple of days later. One of these songs might make an encore appearance, you never know.

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 12 times in 8 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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