Top 100 Pearl Jam Live Songs of The 2022 Tour Part 2 – 75-51

By: Randy Sobel | December 6, 2022

Welcome back for part two of our mega-series! We had a lot of good feedback on the first entry, but that was just the opening act. The next 25 songs range from off-the-wall rockers to tear-inducing tributes, and even some rarities and spontaneous moments. Hey wait, that sounds a lot like the rest of the list! But these are the ultimate traits of a Pearl Jam show, the goal they set forth to accomplish is to create memories for each concertgoer to have their own personal experience that brings out the positive endorphins and keeps you wanting more. We can’t take this for granted – having every show released as an official bootleg helps us be able to relive that excitement all over again, and YouTube clips are further proof of the magic that makes you a believer. You know what else helps too? Pearl Jam podcasts, whose sole focus is to break down individual setlists song-by-song as yet another aid to help recapture the moment. I may be biased, but I’m not kidding!

I urge everybody to take the time to watch some of these clips. Even if you weren’t at the show, each of these moments are reminders of how valuable the band is over 30 years into their career. Just like American history belongs to Americans, Pearl Jam history belongs to us. And away we go!

75. Hard To Imagine – September 14, Camden, NJ

The band would begin every night of the September leg of the tour seated for the first few songs, and we were welcomed to a good one on this night in Camden. Prior to the song, Ed offers “we got one more with a bit of composure before we are going to turn up the heat.” Before the release of Lost Dogs, Hard to Imagine was one for the serious collector, and remains a rare treat as it has only been played a total of 42 times (not including early teases). Much like a wave, this song has such a great build before crashing down upon you. Although rare, the band had a healthy dose of backing vocals from the fans who sang along with every word. However, any questions as to whether Ed needed the assistance are answered pretty quickly. This is an Ed vocal song and he flat out delivers here and leaves no doubt that he still has his proverbial fastball. By the crescendo of the song, the band has been lifted out of their seats and the entire place has lost a bit of their composure, but in a good way. Anytime you get to hear this gem is frankly amazing and those of us lucky enough to hear it in Camden certainly felt fortunate to experience it that night. – Nick Smith

74. Hail Hail – September 8, Toronto, ONT, CAN

In 2022, Hail, Hail almost felt like an afterthought. What was once a customary staple of the first 3 or 4 fast rockers in the set had taken a backseat to songs from Gigaton and some of the other notable early set songs. Which is why when this followed up on a blistering Corduroy in Toronto, I lost my damn mind! There is something to be said for surprises in a set and where and how they come to be. Hail, Hail was a song that I had already seen a handful of times in the past, but it was because the moment was so unexpected that it felt like such a big deal. Once you hear those first chords break in, there’s a trigger in your mind that knows it’s go time, and then your body does the rest. Even though the set was already 8 songs deep, when Ed swapped the original lyrics for “is there room for all of us?” there was a sense that he was feeling a big connection with this crowd that would only get better as the night progressed. For anybody that watched my livestream of the Toronto show, you may remember my reaction and excitement during this performance. I have no regrets.

73. Off He Goes – September 1, Quebec City, QC, CAN

After cancellations plagued the previous two legs, all eyes were on the first stop of the third leg of the tour, Quebec City. There was no question that something needed to change in order for the band to finish out on a high note. Enter the unpredictable and highly anticipated ‘sit-down’ section of the setlist. Ed teased this No Code favorite after seeing a sign in the crowd, but the band opted to play Other Side first. When they did play it, Ed dedicated the performance to Montreal native Dr. Peter Lightbody. Played in the fifth spot, and just the second of three performances this year, Mike’s flamenco-inspired strumming gives this version an upbeat and positive feel. Paired together with a very strong vocal performance, it was no surprise that this song got a huge crowd reaction. I was very fortunate to be in the crowd and this performance is one that I continue to go back to, time and time again. – Dani T

72. Not For You – September 17, Louisville, KY

“There’s a lyric that I always wanted to sing here in Louisville…” What do you think of when you think of Louisville? Bourbon? Horse racing? Baseball bats? Chances are, you also think of the city’s most famous citizen, Muhammad Ali. So it was only fitting that the band played the song in which “Muhammad hits the truth” in their first show in Louisville since 1994. The performance itself as an absolute banger. On a night in which they played a shorter “festival set,” Not For You was a true standout, with high energy throughout. A particularly memorable performance of this song. – Kirk Walton

71. Nothingman – September 16, Nashville, TN

For their first full show in Nashville in almost 20 years, the band played a very ‘90s-heavy set, leaning on Vitalogy throughout the night. As most of the shows did on this leg of the tour, the boys came out to chairs and played a mini-set of slower-tempo songs before fully rocking out. As the first of SIX (!) Vitalogy songs performed at this show, Nothingman was used as the opener for only the second time in the history of the song. With the stage bathed in blue lights, Stone started strumming the fan favorite and the crowd erupted. There are so few songs in Pearl Jam’s catalog that can have the same effect to open a show, perhaps only truly rivaled by Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town. You’re kicking off with an audience participation moment that’s intended to be a feel good sing-along, compared to a song like Release that takes you on more of an emotional journey. It’s tough to identify the reason as to why Nothingman hasn’t been given more reps in this spot. Perhaps one of the possibilities is that Ed doesn’t want to stretch out his vocals that much on the first song, because that’s what happens here. The vocals absolutely soar and expand, which in turn only makes the crowd work harder to keep up with what he’s doing. – Bradley Piasecki

70. Rearviewmirror – September 11, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

It’s hard to believe looking back on 2022 that this Vs. track was only played 5 times. It could have just been coincidence or perhaps a signal change. Whatever the rationale is is less important than enjoying what you do get. Coming off a fairly fired-up Sonic Reducer, Ed took a moment to address the Garden crowd. It was a very pointed yet thoughtful sharing of conversations he and the band had with some first responder guests. 21 years since 9/11. A lot has happened. I think you should listen to what was said, and soak it in. Can we appeal to our better selves? Rearviewmirror will punctuate the meaning of those words. The song itself takes on elements of its different approaches throughout the years. It’s at once hard-driven punk circa 1993-94 with varying degrees of guitar-driven psych jamming from the Beatles to the Dead to Pink Floyd to Sonic Youth. No amount of speakers will do it justice. But just close your eyes, play it loud, imagine an entire building moving and Mike throwing himself to his knees pulling sounds out from the stage floor during the closing chaos after the final chorus. Because that’s what happened. – Patrick Boegel

69. Faithfull – July 9, Hyde Park, London, UK

Halfway through the second night of the Hyde Park series, Faithfull made its first appearance in Europe since 2012. A nice reward for the faithful concertgoers that have followed the band for decades. As soon as Stone played the intro, a Union Jack with ‘Faithfull’ written on it got thrown on the stage, and Eddie quickly wore it on his shoulders. As expected with such an incredibly catchy song, the crowd sang every word of the chorus with might and faith. Music-wise, the rather slow pace of the tempo really suited the song and Jeff demonstrated how important he was for the overall Pearl Jam sound as he seemed to be the one who drove the band during this song. – Aurelien Moureaux

68. Jeremy – June 25, Imola, ITA

30 years ago, European fans most likely heard Jeremy for the first time during the summer of 1992. The iconic video was starting to be played all over video channels and it attracted legions of fans. Contrary to the US, the hype around Pearl Jam quickly faded in Europe, meaning that the song never ended up getting overplayed. The excitement was then high when the first notes from the bass rang in Imola. The fans gave their best vocals to support Eddie in the second part of the song while Jeff, Stone and Mike proved how their interplay was still effective after so many years. The crowd for sure gave its thumbs up. – Aurelien Moureaux

67. Quick Escape – May 7, The Forum, Los Angeles, CA

It was once perhaps easy to write Quick Escape off as a song that, like Bu$hleaguer, would eventually age poorly. In a very quick order, the band has laid that concern to rest. It has evolved into a barnburner, becoming both more polished than its first renditions and increasingly chaotic in its best moments. Played on back-to-back nights at The Forum, recorded for the song’s eventual music video, this evolution took its most dramatic turn. Grounded by Matt but driven by Ed, the vocals showed strength and clarity that were previously lacking, as well as symbiosis with poignant cymbal work. The band gives Ed room to work, and he uses it to capture the rapt attention of even the most Gigaton-unaware fans in the building. Guitars swell, harmonies ascend, Josh shows his chops. What was the best-yet version on night one yields to a markedly eclipsing execution on night two, with a positively frenetic guitar solo, inexplicably harried and tight all at once. With a commanding finish, the band took the entire Forum, blasting all of us off the Red Planet, cementing Quick Escape’s status as one of the greats. – Aaron Redmond

66. State Of Love And Trust – May 16, Fresno, CA

Mike went and joined Dave Krusen on the drum riser to kick off State of Love and Trust, while Jeff went for a quick bass switch following an epic version of the relatively rare Deep. Since Krusen kicked us off with what became a true Ten night due to the circumstances earlier on, the tone of the show was a celebratory one. The track was played a little more muted than it had been across the tour, partly due to how Ed was feeling this late in the set, but with Dave there on the drums this felt right. As the song was in the early stages of development right before he left, Dave was never able to get a chance to play this one live. It took me back to the studio version that’s on Singles, especially with Mike playing such a studio-like clean solo. It felt like it fit. For the final stanza of the track, Ed was soaking in the moment as he went back and danced away until the end. – Jon McFarlane

65. Smile – May 9, Phoenix, AZ

Playing Phoenix for the first time since 2013, the band performs with the typical extra energy they bestow upon those places that haven’t been visited for a spell. Hardly pausing for the encore break, Ed asks the crowd if they “remember when I used to share this wine,” since he obviously can’t do that anymore. He offers a toast of gratitude for the ability to finally gather together, calling it a ‘first step’ post-pandemic and noting that he’s come to realize people need to be in the presence of others. Elatedly, he tells us that his niece, Molly, is in the crowd – and is skipping an event that evening, as she is set to graduate from the local university later that week. Ed notes that it’s rare for a Vedder to do so – she’ll be the first! About to kick off the next song, Ed postpones what they were going to play next (Come Back, scratched): “That one was gonna be sad, this feels too good, I don’t wanna bum myself out.” In a few short sentences, we get a great deal of ‘Pandemic Ed’ insight – something that would prove to be characteristic of this first leg. Then, the unmistakable first notes of Smile boom across the arena, and they’re playing their hearts out. There exists a parallel universe where Smile developed into the band’s go-to closing song, extended jam and all. This rendition is so powerful that it begs for such a treatment, but alas…we’re left wanting more, as it ends just when our collective smiles couldn’t possibly grow further. Unforgettable. – Aaron Redmond

64. Better Man – July 8, Hyde Park, London, UK

I never would have guessed it as an opener (you have to go back to Bridge School ’14 for the last Better Man opener). With a gorgeous sky as the backdrop as the sun started to go down on the BST festival in Hyde Park, Pearl Jam hit the stage for the first night of a 2-night stand. The massive screens behind the band were showing live shots of the crowd as “All You Need Is Love” was blaring over the speakers. The crowd sang along with John and Paul while the band took the stage. It was a great moment in and of itself. I was in attendance with my wife and my oldest daughter (who was seeing PJ live for the first time). The crowd erupted as Eddie began picking the first few chords of Better Man, and I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect opener. The crowd enthusiastically sang along to every word, as Better Man gave way to a great “Save It For Later” tag and a jam that was an exercise in a full-band groove more so than a Mike showcase. As the song ended, Eddie exclaimed “Fuck! It’s beautiful out here!” It truly was. – Brian Horwitz

63. Inside Job – September 14, Camden, NJ

Why is this song on the list? Rarity is certainly part of it, as it was only played twice in North America this tour, but it is more than that. We all know that when your lead guitarist writes a song, it better be good, and this song delivers. Coming out of the break after a blistering opening set, Ed offers “you know we’re not going yet, summer’s not over yet.” He then introduces Matt Cameron and how fortunate they are to still have him, Boom from Hawaii, and the “secret weapon” Josh Klinghoffer, adding “this one we dedicate to a great woman, she knows who she is, and it starts with Mike McCready.” I’m not exactly sure when Mike dropped the Jimmy Page-esque double guitar, but the song is as good if not better than its introduction in 2006. The now classic look-to-the-sky is on full display from Mike and sounds just fantastic in the open-air amphitheater. He and Ed share the spotlight towards the end of the song, and Ed gives Mike an almost playful anointing head tap. His vocals are impeccable, and Matt’s background vocals provide that extra layer, but this song, on this night? All hail the maestro himself, Mr. Mike McCready. – Nick Smith

62. Man Of The Hour – September 6, Hamilton, ONT, CAN

This band always feels like they owe a debt of gratitude towards the fans who follow them far and wide, and whenever an unfortunate tragedy strikes, Ed and the guys are there to heal the community. Prior to the performance, Ed pays tribute to a dedicated fan we lost named Richard Oswald, who died at way too young an age. You can hear in the tone of Ed’s voice how truly heartbroken he is for Richard’s friends and family, and it shows how much he cares for the people who have been touched by their music. Showing Richard’s face on the video screen was a beautiful tribute, and it led to a sullen and powerful rendition of Man Of The Hour. This may be a very bold statement, but the way that the crowd observed this in complete silence while Ed ran through each chorus gave me some major Benaroya Hall vibes. You can feel them erupt after each one. You see it in Ed’s face on this one too, he feels the pain from the loss and uses that emotion to rear back and let it all out in the bridge. A cathartic moment for anyone that was connected to Richard. There was also a nice little touch at the end where Ed let that last chord ring out instead of transitioning back into the final measure of the song. Man Of The Hour works best when played with a purpose, and this one provides an excellent example of that.

61. Fuckin’ Up – September 3, Ottawa, ONT, CAN

After the band completely destroyed this party crowd with hit after hit, there was no better song to celebrate the night than the Uncle Neil cover, Fuckin’ Up. Making its first appearance in 40 shows (since Krakow 2018), the song returned to the Canadian Tire Centre after being played there in 2016. The crowd was bouncing from the first few beats of the kick drum. Mike rocked the first solo and Stone grooved through the second whilst tambourines flew through the air in all directions. And who can blame Ed for stealing a few glances at his lyric sheet? This performance was a highlight of my night in Ottawa and in my personal Top 10 of 2022. – Dani T

60. I Won’t Back Down – September 22, Denver, CO

Eddie came out to begin Denver’s encore after a memorable set to wrap up the North American tour. From the onset, EV’s meandering storytelling jumped from reminiscing about playing Red Rocks in ‘95 and wanting to play the venue again to a sobering remembering of a father he had befriended whose daughter was a victim of the Sandy Hook shooting. This is when my heart, stomach, and face dropped. Why did this hit me so hard? Because school shootings are part of my everyday reality as I enter the high school building I teach at five days a week. Active shooter drills mix in with the frequency of fire drills. Beginning of the year syllabus discussions blend in exit strategies if the school is under a threat. Professional Developments sessions now include a station rotation with the local police department to review “codes” that will be used over the intercom if a shooter is in the building. I come from the time when Columbine breaking news flooded my classroom’s TV monitors – a school that was less than 20 miles away from me. So, this particular moment, this particular cover, framed in this particular conversation hit me harder than I anticipated. When EV sang the refrain “and I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down/gonna stand my ground/and I won’t back down,” it sparked the familiar internal battle that educators face everyday. – Lila Barzegar

59. Love Boat Captain – July 5, Copenhagen, DEN

The only appearance of Love Boat Captain in 2022 appropriately happened in Copenhagen, Denmark. The song was preceded by a moving speech from Eddie touching on the band’s gratitude for the acceptance and friendship with the families of those who died at Roskilde and how much those connections mean to him. He fights to hold back the tears as he talks about the trauma of that day and how he thinks about those lost every day. The song starts with a jammy guitar instrumental intro before dropping into the first verse. While a heartfelt performance, verbalizing his reflections on Roskilde appears to have left Eddie out of balance as he makes a couple of noticeable errors to the lyrics and structure of the song. The audience rolls with it recognizing the significance of the song. A unique and poignant moment in words, music and reflection. – CR Warne

58. Present Tense – September 11, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

I’m sure it will be stated every time an MSG show is brought up on this list, but I must reiterate here, this crowd was EN FUEGO on this night! After kicking it off with a trio of sit-down songs in front of this ticking time bomb of a crowd, the band had to transition into the energetic section of the set with a song that featured a climatic build that was going to set this time bomb off. Enter Present Tense. The stage was nearly pitch black with just a moderately-lit spotlight shining down on Ed. You could only see a silhouette of Mike on stage left as he remained perched in his seat. And even at the beginning of the song, the way that he was rocking back and forth gave no indication that he was long for that spot. As Ed reared his head back and elevated his voice for the big buildup as only he can do, the crowd exploded right on cue, and now the show had officially begun. Mike never stayed seated during all of that, surprise surprise. Once the chorus hit, it was like his own little time bomb went off and hit him so hard that he staggered to his feet and circled his side of the stage like a madman on the loose. To me, that is the quintessential ‘kick down the chairs’ moment from this year’s tour. The participants were more than ready to get this show started and you couldn’t have asked for a better song to get you there. After the madness, Ed asked the crowd if they felt the floor moving and said “that’s fun as hell, keep doing that.”

57. W.M.A. – May 13, Oakland, CA

The Oakland shows in May of this year were some of the most interesting ones of the tour. Not because they were super-long or had a bunch of rarities, but rather because Matt Cameron missed both shows due to COVID. Luckily, Josh Klinghoffer and Richard Stuverud were able to step in and take his place for both shows. Although setlists were pretty standard, the band did play W.M.A. for the first time since 2016 in Greenville (the night Vs. was played in its entirety). This song in particular was played at the request of Stuverud, as it was one that he was already familiar with. You can tell that the band really enjoyed themselves throughout the song, Stuverud in particular. The song sounds much heavier than previous performances, thanks to both Mike and Stone who take full advantage of their effect pedals. Just as the song seems like it’s winding down, Stuverud keeps on playing and is joined by Klinghoffer and the two play an extended drum outro. It’s nice to see the band utilize Klinghoffer on older tracks as well as the newer material. I hope the band keeps this drum outro for future W.M.A. performances, but also adds something similar to other powerful percussion-heavy songs. – Kieran Fino-Saunders

56. Baba O’Riley – July 9, Hyde Park, London, UK

A fitting end to two massive nights at London’s Hyde Park. For two sets that had already made multiple references to Britain’s punk rock heritage, ending with The Who’s Baba O’Riley was a naturally massive number to go out on. It fit the sheer spectacle of the crowd size, the near no-repeat setlists across each night and the giant BST video screens (which are probably more aligned to a U2 concert than a Pearl Jam show). In person, Baba sounded absolutely huge with its simple, spacious power chords traveling from the stage to the back of Hyde Park and likely into the London streets. The bootleg doesn’t quite capture just how big Baba sounded that night. At that moment, I thought it was surely going to be the greatest version of Baba they ever played. The wall of sound was further increased by a surprise appearance from Andrew Watt (Earthling member and producer) who bounced around the stage living out his own rock ‘n’ roll moment. Total catharsis. – CR Warne

55. Sleight Of Hand – September 10, The Apollo Theater, New York, NY

The sit-down set for the Apollo show was gorgeous, even taking into account the PA issues that caused the band to step off the stage for several minutes before launching into the main part of the set. Situated right in the middle of the seated portion was a stunning version of Sleight Of Hand. To me, Matt is always the unsung hero of this semi-rarity, and his subtle groove sounded phenomenal bouncing off the walls of the historic theater. Eddie’s baritone voice and Jeff’s low-end bass lines made for a boomy version that needs to be heard. Don’t sleep on the rest, but Sleight Of Hand was the star of the seated portion of the show. – Brian Horwitz

54. Habit – September 20, Oklahoma City, OK

After hearing Hail, Hail in the beginning of the set, it was great to get a second dose of No Code here. It was a request that led to Ed giving a heartfelt speech about how people should reach out to friends when battling substance abuse. He said it happens to anybody, happens to good people, and perhaps Ed was thinking about Chris and Taylor at this point. While the song was tuned a step down compared to the studio version, it didn’t prevent the band from going wild on the second interlude. Everyone was firing on all cylinders at the same time, like a harmonious freight train barreling to the sun. That ending spun out of control, causing Ed to do some of his Pete Townshend windmill jumps, which are usually saved for big moments. I sat on Mike’s side and our whole entire section was headbanging and shouting along with Ed and Jeff. There were a lot of rarities on this night, which proves the point, never miss the second-to-last show. – Shannon McGoey

53. Wash – May 9, Phoenix, AZ

Many, MANY years ago, I attended my first Phoenix show with my good friend Ron. Despite an uncertainty that we would get there on time owing to a torrential downpour for an hour-plus before the show, slowing our drive significantly, we made it. Yes, you read that right – rain in the desert, and a lot of it. Fast forward a couple decades, and we were about to take in a fourth PJ show in the desert. Killing time before the band came on, we were making guesses as to what they would open with. Many usual suspects got mentioned, but I ventured a crazy guess: “Remember that typhoon back in 2000? Wouldn’t it be great if they opened with Wash? I think they will.” Not three minutes later, I was proven right! I’m rather certain there’s never been a time Wash has been played that isn’t special, but in the desert? After a two-year delay? “Oh, please, let it rain today…” felt like Ed was referencing teardrops of joy, not raindrops of despair. Every moment more soulful than the last, Mike flexed his subtle bluesy prowess with such ethereal skill that we forgot where we even were for the last half of the song. Just surreal. – Aaron Redmond

52. Once – May 16, Fresno, CA

During Josh Klinghoffer’s PluralOne set, he gave the crowd a heads up that Matt was still unwell and wouldn’t be back for the show. In the main set Eddie made a comment saying “we have been through some great drummers,” which really tipped me off to what was coming while I sat up high in my bleacher seat. My assumption came true when Ed made the reveal “…on the drum kit, Mr. Dave Krusen!” The place erupted. Once felt as if it were back in its original form, and it was like Dave had never left. His style was clear from the first few beats. His fills were incredible, and he put his stamp down on Once. I didn’t need the Master/Slave intro to get me into the mood, I was back in 1991 all over again. Ed wasn’t feeling well that night, but he got such a boost with Dave there, as did the rest of the band. What I remember most from the night was how much the band was connected, especially the Ten tracks. I had traveled about 8,000 miles with my wife from Australia to be there that night. Side note: my wife had brought a bag to the show that was too big, so I had to catch a bus 30 minutes back to the hotel and arrived back just 10 minutes before Josh hit the stage, but it was so worth it. – Jon McFarlane

51. In My Tree – June 28, Frankfurt, GER

Many fans were surprised to see that shows were shortened significantly this year. Most shows didn’t go over 25 songs, and there were even some festival sets where only 20 were played. These shortened shows meant that there was less of a chance for fans to hear more deep cuts. However, many agree that the show in Frankfurt, Germany was one of the best this year. The show featured many songs that had not been played yet on tour, including fan favorite In My Tree. The classic No Code track had only been played as a brief snippet during Daughter in San Diego, so it was exciting to finally see a full band performance for the first time since 2018. New touring member Josh Klinghoffer joined in on percussion which made its signature drum intro sound much stronger. Unfortunately, Josh and Matt did not have an extended drum outro similar to the one that Josh and Richard Stuverud had during W.M.A. earlier this year. Although this would ultimately prove to be the only performance of the song in 2022, it stands out as one of the better performances of the song in recent years. Every band member is in full form, nobody misses a note. I am sure that many would agree that the song should be played much more in 2023. – Kieran Fino-Saunders

Wow! We’ve completed the first half of this mega-list! A lot of great moments featured in this one that could’ve easily been argued for anyone’s top 50. Heck, some of these could have been in your top 10. But now we move on to the top half of this list, where all of those same themes of elation and emotion escalate to an even higher level. We will be fortunate enough to hear from folks who were directly connected to either a song’s request or even just a performance in general. Those last 50 were great, but this next group will define what it was like to be at a Pearl Jam show in 2022.

Randy Sobel

Concertpedia Managing Editor & LO4L Host

The first time I heard Yield, I didn’t know it at the time but it changed my life. 10 years later, I saw Pearl Jam for the first time at Madison Square Garden and haven’t looked back. I’m still holding out hope that W.M.A. will one day be played as a full song more consistently in setlists rather than just as a tag off of Daughter, and you won’t ever find a bigger homer for the band’s Hartford shows than me. Top 10 Pearl Jam crowd, fight me on it!

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