5 Unforgettable Moments of Pearl Jam in Quebec, Canada
Eddie Quintana Highlights Some of the Band’s Top Moments in Quebec
All things considered, Pearl Jam hasn’t been to Canada much as a whole. The band came through in early 1991 and 1992, then they did 7 shows there in 1993 previewing Vs. before it came out. They gave Canada some love in 1998 and 2000, but the long-awaited full Canadian tour didn’t come until 2005, which wasn’t followed by another until 2011. In this piece, let’s take a look at Pearl Jam in the Quebec province specifically, as they’ll be kicking off the final leg of the 2022 tour in Quebec City on September 1st.
08/19/1993 – Montreal – The Kids Are Alright
The first time Pearl Jam played in Quebec was during the 1993 tour, about two months before Vs. would be released. There is a video out there that has a very interesting version of Elderly Woman, which was my original song for this spot. But as I was listening and researching I found this gem, Eddie debuting “The Kids Are Alright” for the first time. It’s the last song of the main set, and the crowd is loving it. By the end, they are clapping along, and Eddie sounds like he’s having a great time. The crowd loses it when Eddie says (what sounds like) “Now we’re really alright.” Pearl Jam would definitely be more than ‘Alright’ when it comes to Quebec.
8/20/1998 – Montreal – It’s Hard To Imagine
Pearl Jam returns to Quebec 5 years and a day later to give a fantastic Yield-era show. Animal, Brain of J., and Even Flow rock the early set. The big moment comes as the first song in the encore. Eddie comes out with a skateboard and talks about how it was made there. They then bring out a HUGE skateboard and Eddie jokingly says “…now that’s evolution.”
He then points to a request in front of the crowd and the band busts into Hard To Imagine. This is the first time they had played it on this tour, and the first time in 133 shows, the last time being in 1994 at the Orpheum Theater. The band starts out very strong, with Stone’s guitar line leading the charge. Eddie fumbles in the second verse, but he recovers to deliver powerfully on the outro of the song.
10/4/2000 – Montreal – YieldTreal or MontreYield?
Two years later, the band is in full swing with the Binaural tour. These shows are so special because they are two hours to two and half hours long, and the band is going as hard as it can. We see it off at the start with the classic 2000 setlist, Corduroy into Whipping into Grievance. The cool thing about this show is that this is like a mini-‘YieldTreal’ or ‘MontreYield’ before ‘Yieldwaukee’ 14 years later.
They play Given to Fly into Wishlist into Pilate in a row, just like the album. Something happens to Stone’s guitar during the end of Pilate, so they play Last Kiss to, according to Ed, “allow Stone to collect his thoughts.” After Last Kiss, they tear into a fantastic version of Do the Evolution, followed immediately by MFC. That’s all the Yield for the night, and it’s songs 4-5-6-7-9 on the record, which if not for Last Kiss being added, would have been played all in a row.
6/29/2003 – Montreal – You’re All Forgiven!
The band came ready to go for this show. Half of the main set is Riot Act, with great versions of ½ Full and You Are. Late set additions of Not for You, Habit, and main set closer Blood keep the set explosive. But the moment for this show comes at the end of the first encore. The band starts on an improv which fits the theme of the tour – forgiveness, being lost and scared, and trying to run away from something, but ultimately having to forgive yourself even if you don’t think you should. It eventually leads into the ultimate run away song, Rearviewmirror.
The band is firing on all cylinders during the first half of the song. Eddie shouts “You’re all forgiven!” right before the solo/bridge. You have to talk about the bridge in Rearviewmirror and this version is no different. Stone steals the show, his guitar tone is so dirty and crunchy and just drones on and on, with Mike doing what Mike does and complements and fills in where he is needed. The final chorus explodes with passion and power that is special on this Rearviewmirror, an almost 9 minute version of this song.
5/5/2016 – Quebec City – The Kids Are Still Alright
2016 was such a special tour for the band. With no new album to support, Pearl Jam went out with one thing in mind – please the fans. A ton of shows with no opening act, just 2 ½ to 3 hours of Pearl Jam. The classics, the deep cuts, and the stories. With this in mind, Pearl Jam came back to Quebec after 13 years. The set has a ton of deep cuts, ranging from Gods’ Dice to Light Years, Severed Hand, and I’m Open.
The special moment from this show is when Eddie invites 10-year-old fan Noah Keeley on stage, who had recorded a version of Sad with his dad. Noah is a champ who goes on that stage and totally just owns it. Eddie introduces him and he gets a huge crowd reaction. Stone turns into the biggest dad I’ve ever seen. I love how Ed, Stone and Mike all either stop playing or play next to nothing, so that all you hear is Noah. Mike even comes over and shreds the solo right next to Noah. Only in my dreams.