Making of a Moment – San Diego, CA 11/21/2013
We covered San Diego 2013 on the podcast last week, gearing up for the first leg of the 2022 tour by talking about some places they’re going to be in a few weeks. This was a fantastic show full of great moments, and hopefully there will be a few more to come when the tour begins in San Diego on May 3rd. My #3 Moment this week is Porch.
From the Devo-inspired beginning to Jeff’s incredible work on the verses, this Porch has a little bit of everything. Mike comes out of the gate with an epic, signature solo, not wasting any time. As he’s settling into the groove, the orbs are down and swinging, and he goes down to the front row, then back up, it looks like he’s attempting to command the orb to do something, pointing up at it, while continuing the solo with his left hand. He’s fully in the zone, he falls into a somersault on the floor, and now Jeff’s come back over and joins in the shenanigans. This was a common sight on the 2013 tour, and this is one of the better ones. Ed, ever the man of the people, goes out and finds a spot on the front row to sing, leading the crowd. In the background, there’s an empty orb shell floating by, evidently somehow one’s been broken. Mike attacks an orb with his guitar, it’s not a reach to say it was probably him who destroyed it. A classic version of a classic track.
We first hear In Hiding before this, when Stone starts it after Given To Fly, but Ed stops him and calls an audible, adding in Tremor Christ. They do go back to In Hiding immediately after though, and it’s my #2 Moment this week. Stone really shines on the Yield material, even 15 years after the album’s release, and Ed sounds great as well. There’s some crowd participation too, which always adds to the moment. Mike has a wonderful little solo, Jeff and Matt sound perfect, and Ed and the crowd finish it off.
It will come as no surprise to listeners of the show that In My Tree, my all-time favorite Pearl Jam song, shows up as my #1 Moment from this show. The moment when the guitars come in is simply magical, it elevates everything and the song just takes off from there. Unlike the Jack era, when it was about the drums and Jack’s wizardry, modern versions of In My Tree are about the guitars, Ed’s guitar playing especially, and how percussive he is with his strumming. It fits in perfectly with what Mike and Stone are doing. As the song moves into the final stages, Ed brings in the chord change quietly, although maybe not purposefully so, and then listen to Jeff here, he pulls off a melodic solo that brings everything together and finishes off the song perfectly.