Making of a Moment – East Lansing, MI 8/18/1998

By: John Farrar | March 28, 2022
Pearl Jam in East Lansing, MI 8/18/1998

After a month spent covering 1992 shows, last week we covered East Lansing 1998, giving us a chance to dig into some early Matt Cameron versions of Yield tracks. And that’s where I want to start with this week’s Making Of A Moment. Brain of J. is the 4th song of the night, it’s my #3 Moment, and it’s a chance for Matt to show what he can do.

Moment #3

Listen at 12:12, when the build up to the solo starts, Matt goes to a rhythm on the toms that’s very close to the way Jack played it on the record, that’s not an easy transition to make, and his powerful fill before the solo is fantastic. Mike walks over to Stone’s side during the buildup as well, wanting to feed off Stone’s energy on the solo, and Stone doesn’t disappoint, with one of his patented fluid, melodic solos. Matt finishes off the song, adding one final drum crash, punctuating the song perfectly. Notice how his back doesn’t move at all when he plays? Machine-like efficiency.

Moment #2

Matt ended Brain of J. with a bang, and he comes in on Corduroy, my #2 Moment, with a bang as well, announcing his arrival in the intro with a thunderous stomp and then pounding away as the song builds to the verse, adding some muscle and power to what was already a standout song. He showcases his skills again at 24:50 with a fill that builds up anticipation and energy for the solo, so much so that Ed gives a Townshend jump with his guitar. Ed and Jeff immediately turn their backs to the crowd and play to Matt during the solo, always a sign of appreciation.

Moment #1

Rearviewmirror ends the main set here, and the jam starts at 34:20. Mike goes over to play with Matt this time, and they’re just sitting in the moment, no rush, letting the song breathe and stretch. Ed connects with Jeff, adding some nice accents on guitar underneath what Stone and Mike are doing. Suddenly an idea forms in his head, and he moves the mic stand over to the side, places a towel on the monitor, and balances a soccer ball on it, teeing it up. The crowd knows what’s coming, and Ed takes a step back then kicks the ball into the crowd. It’s not NFL caliber, but not bad for a basketball guy with a guitar on his shoulder. The jam gets spacey after this, Matt takes the lead and propels it to the end, complete with strobe light. Another run-of-the-mill, spectacular version of RVM.

Check back every Monday for my breakdown of my top 3 moments from last week’s podcast, next week we’re staying in the ‘90’s, covering Hartford 1996. Get ready for some more drummer discussion next week…

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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