Top 100 Pearl Jam Live Songs of The 2022 Tour Part 1 – 100-76
Top 100 Pearl Jam Live Songs Of 2022: 100-76
Well, it happened. After waiting over four years to see Pearl Jam hit the road properly, 2022 was finally our year. We had a little taste in 2021, but it felt like this was the true introduction of the Gigaton tour that we’d been waiting for since 2020. Some things changed – the days of 30 songs spread through three individual sets were over, but that didn’t take away from the age-old adage that anything can happen at a Pearl Jam show. We’ve experienced unforgettable moments and witnessed the band struggle through some hardships. But after 33 shows, there’s a lot of important things to look back on.
I had the idea to offer up 100 of the best performances from the tour year. I couldn’t do a top 10, I couldn’t do a top 25 even, there was too much here worth talking about. Plus, if we shortened it, then we wouldn’t get to relive a moment from each individual show. Those are memories that you all hold dear, and at the very least this is an opportunity for someone to read up on a moment that they’ve either forgotten or haven’t listened to at all.
This series will be released in four parts, starting with #100, 25 songs per write-up, just to build up the anticipation a little. I also came up with some guidelines to make this as fair of a list as possible:
- At least one song was selected from every show. There are shows that only have one song representing them, but I believe the most that any show had was six, and that’s not including two-nighters like Hyde Park.
- This list was put together by people in the community. I went through our podcast community group on Facebook, our Twitter, and our Discord to ask people what they considered to be their favorites. Some tough cuts had to be made, and perhaps a few compromises that I conceded to in order to make a complete list. After we had the 100, I pieced it all together and it seems like, ultimately, the people that were helping felt good about it.
- To keep the list feeling fresh, I made sure that there would be a maximum of two renditions per song. Sure, it would be great to throw 18 versions of Porch in, and perhaps to someone they all deserve to be. But I was attempting to find the big moments that perhaps had more of a weight behind them than just a great live version. Songs have been selected due to stories, dedications, and even personnel.
- Not every big fan-friendly song is going to make this list. I tried to make sure that some songs were able to sneak in, but it was impossible to do it for each of them. That’s not saying those performances weren’t worthy of it, they certainly were. Let’s just say blame the band for putting together too many awesome moments that need their time in the sun.
OK! I don’t think we have to linger much longer. Out of 751 individual performances and 132 unique songs played in 2022, here is what the Live On 4 Legs community thought were the 100 best of the bunch.
100. Her Majesty – September 8, Toronto, ONT, CAN
I thought that this would be a fun way to kick us off here with a little Beatles ditty that doesn’t take more than 25 seconds to play. In the afternoon on that day in Toronto, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II had passed away at the age of 96. With Elton John performing across the street, you’d think that he’d put together a nice tribute to her, which he did. However, Ed decided to go more subtle with his dedication. Stating that he was going to borrow one from Paul McCartney whilst in the middle of the sit-down set, he brought this obscure Abbey Road album closer into the annals of Pearl Jam. Being there for the moment was something I really appreciated due to my Beatles fandom. Her Majesty has always been a song that I thought would be fun to cover in more of an extended manner, perhaps going a little anthemic punk with some big chanting moments. It made a lot of sense to follow this up with All Those Yesterdays (which sadly did not make the cut), considered to be one of their most Beatles-influenced songs.
99. Buckle Up – September 1, Quebec City, QC, CAN
How do you set the tone for the final 12 shows of the year for a tour that, well let’s face it, had its bumps? You put your seatbelt on. Following Daughter and Footsteps, clearly modeling a new kind of set structure following the rough end to Europe, Ed takes a moment to toast the crowd, reminding everyone that the show was supposed to be March 22nd, 2020, and “we are here and we are very excited to checkout all the sounds we can get out of this Videotron Centre tonight. We’re going to play slow songs and fast songs, loud songs, quiet songs, new songs, tight songs. So uh, buckle up and I’m just so happy, we’re so happy to finally get to say – good evening Quebec.” The song, which takes on a very literal as well as metaphorical story path, is a true gem from the mind of Stone. Checking off several boxes here – slow, quiet, new, tight – it is hard not to listen back with hindsight and feel that this was a mic drop for what was arguably the greatest run of shows they have had in the second half of their career. – Patrick Boegel
98. Low Light – June 21, Berlin, GER
Similarly to 2018, Low Light was a staple in outdoor European shows in 2022. As the band played on the Summer Solstice, having this song in the set was expected. It’s worth mentioning that it was played early in the set, meaning that the light was not that low…to be frank and a bit controversial, it was not even dark when the show ended, which caused disappointment at the time. Eddie gave a very emotional rendition of the lyrics, and also showed at the end of the song how he was still able to maintain long notes. What might not fully transpire on the recording is how it was a communal moment for the crowd. Lots of fans skipped the previous date in Pinkpop, meaning that it was the first Pearl Jam show since 2018 for the majority. With this particular song, everyone in that beautiful venue was singing with one voice. – Aurelien Moureaux
97. Street Fighting Man – June 18, Pinkpop Festival, Landgraaf, NED
As you may know, Pearl Jam has a long history with the Rolling Stones. McCready has always been hailed as the superfan, but their influence can be heard in various parts of Pearl Jam over the years. They opened four shows for them back in Oakland in 1997, and they would play with them again in 2005, when Ed joined to sing Wild Horses. This year we saw Waiting On A Friend tagged on Wishlist as well as Beast Of Burden tacked onto Better Man. Street Fighting Man actually had a very short stint at Pearl Jam shows back in 1994, it debuted at the beginning of the tour in Denver, and was played again 11 shows later in Memphis. It took 735 shows before they’d bring it back out at Pinkpop 2022, and they would do it one more time in Berlin before retiring it for the rest of the year. It might’ve taken 28 years, but the band turned out a fun, spirited performance that I don’t think anyone would have expected prior to the tour.
96. Glorified G – May 7, The Forum, Los Angeles, CA
When Ed came out to play Wildflowers for the pre-set, he mentioned all of the fans on the rail and how they’ve been through a lot and had a long day. As a way to say thanks, he handed out a piece of paper for the fans to write down any song of their choosing for the band to play later that night. It came back with everything from extremely rare tracks such as Brother, Strangest Tribe, Fatal, and Angel, to some forgotten fan favorites like Breakerfall and Severed Hand, and then a few songs that appear more frequently in the band’s repertoire. They took two requests from that list during the show. The first was Unthought Known, which looked to have already been written on that night’s setlist, perhaps taking a layup on that one instead of rising to a challenge. The second request, Glorified G, was a little more uncommon. Ed teed it up by mentioning that Dave Chappelle had gotten attacked on stage by a person hiding a knife in a fake gun. There’s a great interaction mid-song where Ed gives a little nod to the folks up front who chose the song by turning the mic around to have them sing the ‘always keep it loaded’ line. While it would’ve been nice to see the band take a stab at one of those serious collector songs, we did get a nice moment here that we almost never get to see at a Pearl Jam show.
95. Satan’s Bed – July 17, Lollapalooza, Paris, FRA
To paraphrase Eddie, it was “hotter than hell” in Paris. It gave the band a reason to dust off a song that has not been played since night 2 in London 2018. While the London version was forgettable, this Paris version was really good and for sure the highlight of a festival set with little surprises. Stone seemed to have the time of his life during the show and with the help of Mike, they demonstrated how their dual guitars were still effective. This performance was unique due to the fact that Mike played an extended jam at the end. Unfortunately, this show is now remembered as the one that damaged Eddie’s voice, forcing the band to cancel the three next dates of the European tour in Vienna, Prague, and Amsterdam. – Aurelien Moureaux
94. Take The Long Way – July 3, Stockholm, SWE
Showcasing the strength and nuance of their newest material has long been a hallmark of the Pearl Jam live experience. This rendition of Take the Long Way, just the fourth time ever played and the first (and only so far) in Europe, is no exception. Ed takes a moment after Present Tense to acknowledge how great Matt Cameron is, then the band propels right into this Matt-driven rocker, weaving the layered vocals and soaring guitars (Mike absolutely shines near the end!) together just like the words: taking the long way to lead back to…a damned great live song. – Aaron Redmond
93. Dance Of The Clairvoyants – June 25, Imola, ITA
On January 22, 2020, when Pearl Jam dropped their first single off of Gigaton, it was definitely a change of sound for them that had some people divided. As with the first singles from the past two records, The Fixer and Mind Your Manners, this was primed for the live stage nearly every night. Dance Of The Clairvoyants was played at 23 out of 33 shows on this tour, and we really got to see all of the elements that made this a fun live performance. It’s the perfect song to introduce you to what Josh Klinghoffer provides, and this version in Imola is a great example of what makes Josh a valuable asset. His back-up vocals add a complementary element to what Ed’s doing, a second voice that we don’t get to hear alongside him too often. In addition, there’s the machine that Josh is using in order to loop all of Ed’s vocal pieces together, layered on top of each other. It’s reminiscent of how Ed performed Arc back in 2003. Without Josh, I don’t believe we have those layers, which really give the song its identity. Mike McCready seemed to be disappointed about this version, due to coming in late on the bridge, but Ed makes a point to say that he did a damn fine job. The Italian crowd clapped along, perhaps more enthusiastic about this song than other cities that got to hear it.
92. In Hiding – July 8, Hyde Park, London, UK
In Hiding is a song that has been played way less than you would think. The band could easily play it every night with huge success, but it is as if they want to keep it special and precious. With back-to-back dates in Hyde Park, the odds were high for the song to be included on the set and the band gave a treat to the crowd by playing it. Of course, the chorus is always the culmination of the song and the London crowd did not disappoint. Smiles were all over the faces of the fans in the front section and everyone’s problems seemed to have vanished for a moment. – Aurelien Moureaux
91. Given To Fly – June 28, Frankfurt, GER
Frankfürt was the fifth show of the European tour, and it felt like the band started to be more relaxed at that point. The beautiful venue most likely inspired the band and the crowd was one of the best of the tour. What is notable with this version is how the band managed to play it at a somewhat slower pace. Don’t get me wrong, they still played it faster than the album version, but this live rendition felt less rushed than what they have done in recent years. By doing so, more emotions transpired and the crowd was more than pleased to have a song that will never be played enough, even if it is played almost every night. – Aurelien Moureaux
90. Do The Evolution – September 14, Camden, NJ
This night in Camden was charged up. The 27 songs in this set was the high bar for the whole entire year, with the main set maxing out at a whopping 20 songs. Do The Evolution was played shortly after the sit-down set, and the reason why I wanted to highlight it is because of the pacing. Evolution tends to be one of those songs that either ignites the momentum or pushes it forward with a speedy surge, but in this case, following Animal and Mind Your Manners, the band instead elected to play this closer to the album speed than we’ve heard in a long time. The person that benefited from this the most was Stone. Giving him a little bit more space during his patented mid-song solo allowed for those notes to ring out in a very similar way that you heard them when the blinking flashes of a dancing death girl appeared in the music video. It was a great throwback version, with the crowd on hand to represent the hallelujah choir and Ed running down each end of the stage to fire them up.
89. Life Wasted – September 18, St. Louis, MO
Part of an absolutely stellar run of songs (which you haven’t heard the last from on this list), Life Wasted gets off to a good start: Ed’s being very emotive, Stone’s giving us his classic head bob, Jeff and Matt lock down the groove. But what elevates this performance is Mike’s solo. Watch him as it begins, something inside him seemingly vibrating although he hasn’t moved. As the solo builds, he paces, circling like a caged animal, until the moment when he collapses onto a stage monitor as if he were magnetized to it, throttling the final notes of the song face down. As the song ends, he extends his guitar out to the front row as if to say “go ahead, touch it, it’s real.” – John Farrar
88. Leash – May 7, The Forum, Los Angeles, CA
It almost doesn’t matter what song was played after the intro that Leash got on this emotionally-charged second night at the Forum: “Alright, this next song I dedicate to COVID-19, and I call it…’Fuck you, COVID!’” Positively *launching* into the opening riffs, Mike and Stone lay the sonic foundation for Ed to make his feelings about a two-plus year delay for the tour crystal clear: “Get outta my fucking face!” For three raucous minutes, it felt like it was 1992 and the President had two middle initials. I dare say the crowd enjoyed this treat more than Jeremy before it, and even Alive after it. I certainly did. – Aaron Redmond
87. Light Years – September 8, Toronto, ONT, CAN
There was no way that they weren’t going to leave Canada without paying tribute to the late Gord Downie. The last time they were in Toronto was in May of 2016, only a few months before the Tragically Hip played their last show. All it took was one sign to make it happen. Ed points out the sign before the start of the encore that read ”Play Light Years For Gord” so he went for it. It was a heartfelt performance that you could tell wasn’t rehearsed ahead of time, but Ed’s passion rang out on that final chorus and it allowed for the song to soar and become a big cathartic moment. Afterwards, he tells a story about Gord recording in Seattle that involved them spending time together, along with Chris Cornell and former Pearl Jam producer Adam Kasper.
86. Red Mosquito – September 6, Hamilton, ONT, CAN
Coming in on the heels of a rocking Who Ever Said in the traditional Even Flow spot comes a roaring version of Red Mosquito. Ed introduces the song as being from an album that he believes was titled No Code, and from the initial note of Mike’s guitar you can feel the angsty energy. From a tour that displayed a great deal of McCready magic, this may be the best example of it. Mike’s guitar rang out and soared all through the solos. Matt also did a great job keeping the tempo in a groove closer to the original. This is most certainly one of the best versions of the song in many years. Listen to the great crowd participation singing along on a night that was more of a deep cut fan’s setlist, without as many sing-along anthems. – Clay Davis
85. Brain Of J. – July 12, Budapest, HUN
The third song in a set that opened with Wash, this rendition in Budapest packed a punch that could carry you to the end of the show. Tight and flowing guitar work was complemented with nimble pick-scraping and fingers running across strings. The bassline and drum fills at the start and close of the bridge were on point, maybe even contributing to an inspired-sounding Ed changing the last word to “now.” An enthused crowd clapping along is clearly audible. All in all, an unmistakable sign of great things to come for the show. – Eric Stevenson Gonzalez
84. Untitled/MFC – September 14, Camden, NJ
Camden had a lot of great surprises and deep cuts, and this stands out as one of the highlights of the night. The song combination is such a pleasure to witness live, it’s like you are going through the same experience of the story being told from a delicate, but romantic lead-in from Untitled to an enthralling climax when MFC accelerates. It’s theatrical in a way. This was my first time witnessing it at what had been 24 shows attended up to that point, and the emotion just to hear those melodic, arpeggiated notes strummed was enough for me to be locked in. We even got a lyric substitution to “pack your things, we’ll go to the liquor store on the way out” that the crowd seemed to love. But of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Live On 4 Legs’ #1 inside joke here. On the first go around, Ed missed the first car noises, or as I affectionately put it, ‘gnawing’, getting tossed up on the two choruses. Second time around and we’re golden. Screamed it at the top of my lungs as they rode the song off into the sunset.
83. Garden – September 20, Oklahoma City, OK
There are a good handful of songs which you could say saw a major resurgence in 2022. Dissident and Hard To Imagine are two that rode the wave of momentum, but perhaps you could say that Garden was the sneaky MVP of the tour, with an impressive nine renditions this year. It hadn’t been played this often since 2006! One of the main factors as to why it went through the renaissance that it did was due to its inclusion in the opening sit-down section of the show. This version in Oklahoma City was evidence as to how good they were feeling about it, because for the first time since making its debut back when the band still went by the Mookie Blaylock moniker, it finally opened a show. You can tell that this connected with the crowd right away. Whether or not they knew the actual statistics in the moment doesn’t matter, the minute those trance-inducing notes were plucked from the guitar of Stone Gossard, you knew that this was set up to be a special night. The best aspect about this performance is by far and away the crowd belting out every word of this at the top of their lungs. It’s always important to come right out of the gate and make that connection with the crowd, and while the band was taking an opportunity to try something they’ve never done before, the risk was more than worth the reward.
82. Alright – September 3, Ottawa, ONT, CAN
You can forgive people for maybe overlooking this song, from the first of three Saturday shows in the month. Spoiler alert: this song followed one of the best concert moments in the band’s history. But you should not be too forgiving. Alright is a mantra that fits perfectly in the new sit-down mini sets we witnessed. File this one in the criminally underplayed category for the tour, as this soaring performance features Josh and Matt setting an incredible rhythm together. Ed may struggle with some of the words in the final verse, but supported by the band’s great synchronicity raises his intensity to reach the moment as he’s often able to do. Wait for that 3-minute mark when he amplifies those last two lines and his vocal lifts the song into the stratosphere. It was then apparent that Ed’s vocal issues suffered at the tail end of Europe were not going to be an issue. – Patrick Boegel
81. Rats – September 16, Nashville, TN
A Brad Klausen classic. The poster for the Nashville show beget this setlist inclusion. “We’re gonna play this next song, it’s a request, and uh, it’s a request by Mr. Jeff Ament on the bass.” If for some reason you have not seen Brad Klausen’s poster well, it’s the funkiest Nashville honky tonk bassist laying down the bottom playing Pied Piper to the rats. I am not ashamed to say that when the poster reveal was put out on social media I commented “If you fuckers don’t play Rats after Brad Klausen’s masterpiece you suck.” Klausen himself remarked later in the month during an interview with the State of Love and Trust podcast that he has had many of these easter eggs on his posters before and it did not yield the song request. Ed is not going to win vocalist of the year on this one, but the band does it justice and Mike breaks out the slide to amplify the funk. It’s loose but grooves. Fitting the atmosphere of the show, the rats had descended on Nashville and it was a party. They don’t compare. – Patrick Boegel
80. Even Flow – May 16, Fresno, CA
With Matt still out on the IR, the band had help from a few different friends to fill in behind the drum kit for the show in Fresno. Original drummer Dave Krusen made a cameo in the middle of the main set for a Ten section that included this version of Even Flow. He stepped in without missing a beat, but employed a more stripped down, less splashy approach to the song. Make no mistake, Krusen held his own with the rest of the group, but seemed perfectly fine letting the others shine. His workmanlike effort behind the kit was counterbalanced by Mike’s showmanship. As usual, Mike stole the show, starting his solo by playing the guitar with his mouth then transitioning into guitar hero mode, seemingly showing off for his old friend Dave K. Mike was on fire all night, but this song was one of the highlights of the show. – Bradley Piasecki
79. Indifference – June 28, Frankfurt, GER
Closing such a good show with Indifference was the icing on the cake. The song is for sure one of the preferred closing songs of the band, and it was the best option to end what would become one of the highlights of the 2022 European tour. The crowd gave its best to accompany Eddie during the verses and there were lots of emotions that literally transpired from everyone’s faces in a hot room with the lights full on. While fans seemed to be disappointed with the end of the previous three shows due to shorter sets, Frankfürt was the turning point of the leg. The band went deeper in their repertoire and proved that they could still deliver a strong set that you would remember for years. – Aurelien Moureaux
78. Throw Your Hatred Down – May 13, Oakland, CA
Due to the loss of Matt Cameron in Oakland, it was all hands on deck behind the kit. Josh Klinghoffer stepped in for the bulk of it, Josh Arroyo and Kai Neukermanns had some great one-off moments, but it was Richard Stuverud who got to have his big moment, playing to the biggest crowd he’d ever played to in his 30+ years of performing. He was the definition of a team player, with Ed even mentioning that he said “put me in, coach” when called upon for anything. This was the first song of the night for him, so after a simple stick tap, you see him go bonkers for this great Mirrorball-era Neil Young song. Bobbing his head up and down and smiling, he looked legitimately happy to be there. Stone channels Uncle Neil here, grabbing all of the pre-verse solos while playing a beautiful hollowed-top gold Les Paul that was manufactured in the ‘70s. To top it all off at the end, we get to hear an improvised little snippet of Ziggy Stardust that finds Mike, Jeff and Stone all huddled around Stuverud in the same way they’re known to do with Matt.
77. Crazy Mary – June 23, Zurich, SUI
After 2 and a half years of COVID-19, bringing a bottle of wine and sharing it with a crowd was not a thing Ed could do responsibly anymore. Despite this, it only took 3 shows for the band to bring Crazy Mary back in Europe. The song started with the wrong chord, but Stone quickly got back on track. The highlight of Crazy Mary is usually the solo part and Boom shone for sure in Zurich. What is notable with this version is how Mike let Boom take the lead. There are versions of Crazy Mary during which Mike shreds a ton, but in Zurich it was almost as if he restrained himself in order to let Boom express what he wanted to bring to the table. There were a few Boom moments during the European leg of the 2022 tour, and this live version of Crazy Mary was one of the best of them. – Aurelien Moureaux
76. River Cross – May 3, San Diego, CA
On a night that could easily be described as the sequel to Storytellers, with Ed telling tales and reminiscing at length between what felt like nearly every song, River Cross begins with nary a comment. Just the second time played live, this version is noticeably different from when I witnessed the live debut at Ohana Encore a few months prior. This time, it feels fuller and more polished. Matt’s punchy flourishes stand out in stark contrast to Ed’s emotive singing, and the weight of this slow-burn piece builds and builds, truly revealing itself mid-song just as a Ukrainian flag is shown on the video screens. It’s always a special moment when a Pearl Jam song evolves, and clearly the meaning and message of this one already has. An unexpected, welcome gem. – Aaron Redmond
25 down, 75 to go! Tons of great performances on this list so far, comment below and let us know what you’re looking forward to seeing in the next 3 parts. As for next week, here’s a sneak preview as to what may be involved: A shock opener in London? A song making it’s return with a new face behind the kit? A handful of songs played only once in 2022? We’ll see you next week for 75-51!