Top 100 Pearl Jam Live Songs of The 2022 Tour Part 4 – Top 25

By: Randy Sobel | December 20, 2022

We’ve finally made it. This is the list of 25 that our podcast community has declared as the absolute best of the year. It’s a diverse group of songs that are all here for different reasons – amazing performances, historical moments, heartfelt tributes and the unforgettable experiences that define what makes Pearl Jam one of the best live acts in the world.

To catch up on everything that got us to where we are here, check out the previous three blogs featuring the other 75 songs on the list.

Part 1: 100-76

Part 2: 75-51

Part 3: 50-26

And now we present to you, the top 25 moments of 2022:

25. Even Flow – June 18, Pinkpop Festival, Landgraaf, NED

Thirty years and ten days after Pearl Jam played their storied concert at the Pinkpop Festival, they returned to the scene of the infamous Porch dive and took a page out of their own playbook. Just like back in 1992, they began the show with Even Flow. While it wasn’t unheard of for Even Flow to take pole position in their first few years, prior to June 2022 they had opened with this song only once since the turn of the millennium, Pittsburgh 2000. It’s been an opener only 25 out of the 871 times it’s been played. On this night, there was an instant connection from the first lines. Thousands of fans belted out “freezin’, rests his head on a pillow made of concrete…again.” They were paying homage to one of their most celebrated shows in their history. Stone had a little extra funk going on this version, the sound reverberating off of Jeff’s bass was perfect, and Mike was playing the usual tricks with his solo, getting his fingers warmed up. Matt holds it all together with masterly precision. Thousands of arms clapped in unison. Ed no longer has to jump in order to bridge that gap with us; they’ve won us over and we are forever a part of the band. And somehow, though it’s been played nearly 900 times, Even Flow never gets old. – Amy Wynn

24. Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns – September 11, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

It had been over 6 years since the Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns duo had been played, also at Madison Square Garden. Ed teased a little bit of Elton John’s Tiny Dancer at the beginning before segueing into Chloe, and this raucous crowd sang along and erupted the minute they heard the keys. You would have thought it was a staple every night. A pair of songs that were written before Pearl Jam existed, just waiting for someone like Boom Gaspar to come along and elevate it to new heights. Ed sang “…Chloe’s just like me, only beautiful…,” going with a low tone for the “beautiful,” and 20,000 people in the Garden took the high note. It sounded almost rehearsed. After Mike’s solo, it’s just Jeff and Matt and you just knew when the band kicked back in that it would be special. I was on the rail, in front of the speaker on Stone’s side, and as Ed sang “…so I’m singing…this is my kind of love…,” I couldn’t even hear his voice through the speaker, the crowd overpowered him. Now THAT is incredible. Ed proclaimed “…that one’s for Andrew…” as another massive moment at the Garden was etched in history. – Dakota Duvall

23. Other Side – September 1, Quebec City, QEC, CAN

Losing our dearest hearts, it’s a high price, and my bill came due this past summer. I lost my first friend, my big brother. My once-upon-a-time brightest beacon, until mental illness robbed him of it all and us of him. Missing someone who’s been there in some capacity your entire life, someone who is a part of you, is nearly impossible to put into words. Jeff Ament’s brilliantly poignant Other Side encapsulates that kind of loss. Painting a picture of grief, of loneliness, of utter heartbreak in incredibly poetic fashion. A rare diamond in their live performances, I remain deeply touched they chose it for Jon in Quebec City. This song has always been special, but it’s become an anthem of comfort to me as I continue to learn to carry the weight of his loss. “I’m not the same without you here…” and I never will be, dear brother. – Erin Mackay

22. Breath – September 14, Camden, NJ

Just being able to be at a Pearl Jam show is very special. Eddie bringing you and your son onstage to introduce you as a contest winner and telling the crowd of 25,000 you picked Breath as the next song is off the charts! Truth be told, while helping with the setlist Ed actually picked the song and was going for a Singles theme with a one-two punch of State of Love and Trust and Breath. Dermot and I just rode the wave where it took us on this one. Played for only the second time on this tour, the crowd wanted it and loved it. Ed crawled across the stage much like he did when he “found his voice.” Mike crushed the solo on a Telecaster, wearing a Soundgarden shirt for extra wow. Ed made Dermot and I look like heroes and for that we are ever thankful. – Richie Berg

21. River Cross – July 14, Krakow, POL

Sometimes, there are special performances where “something” happens. Like, when a song starts out strong but then you notice that members of the band seem to be feeling the song just like the fans. Ed gets agitated, flubs a few lines, swears and storms elsewhere on stage before pouncing back on the mic; guitars, bass, and drums unite to channel the energy into an intense finish, and the view from the stage looks like a mirrorball thanks to the whole crowd sharing the light from their phones. This rendition, dedicated to the world and to Ukraine like others on the tour, was one of those performances where “something” happened. Krakow was the closest city to Ukraine that they visited on this tour, and Poland being the site of hundreds of refugees as Russia continued their invasion meant that there was a lot to be emotional about. It was a truly beautiful moment seeing the cell phone lights out as Ed chants the song’s poignant message: “…share the light, won’t hold us down.” – Eric Stevenson Gonzalez

20. Yellow Ledbetter – May 12, Oakland, CA

With the drummer situation a bit in disarray on the first night of Oakland without Matt Cameron, Ed got creative and went to the crowd to ask if anybody wanted to help. They found a man in the crowd wearing a shirt with all of the drummers’ names on it and pulled him out of the crowd. Here’s what he had to say: It was beyond a dream really, something I could have never even imagined really happening. It was only because of COVID, my favorite drummer wasn’t able to be on tour. I can’t believe that I was lucky enough to be at the show with my daughter, wear a shirt that Mike noticed, and to play a song with my favorite band in the world. I don’t think it would have happened if my daughter wasn’t there getting Eddie’s attention with her excitement and support. To all the fans! This was for all of us! – Josh Arroyo

19. Quick Escape – July 8, Hyde Park, London, UK

In a weekend that included a few nods to British punk rock heritage, the finest of those moments lent itself to this tour-defining performance of Quick Escape. The song was preceded by Ed referencing the new video for the song and its parallel to outer space and Ziggy Stardust. Stone’s guitar sounds fuzzy and thick, perfect for his winding riffs, Jeff’s bass a melodic powerhouse of low end, and Matt was completely in the groove throughout. It’s a standout version of Quick Escape, with Mike’s guitar solo more bendy, psychedelic, and delay-heavy than other versions that favor speed and precision. But the kicker is when the solo helps the song morph into a drum build up and entirely unexpected punk rock outro of the Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen. This wasn’t an Eddie ad-lib moment, it’s a full band, power chord, wall of sound, assault of an outro that was a perfect fit both musically and thematically for Quick Escape. NNNNNOOOOOO FFFUUUTTTTUUURRREEEE FOR MEEEE!!!!!! – CR Warne

18. Sad – September 18, St. Louis, MO

Sad has always been one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs. This song makes my heart race with excitement, but it never resonated until 2021 – then it became personal. Right before Christmas 2020, my Dad had a routine preventative procedure go wrong and ended up with sepsis. He unexpectedly passed away in April 2021. Seven months later, my father-in-law of over 20 years passed away. Thanks to the COVID pandemic, I hadn’t seen either of them since 2019, and never got to say goodbye. I noticed that Sad had been scratched off the Quebec City setlist before they played it in Hamilton. Since I love to design things, I made a Sad request graphic for either Nashville or St. Louis mixing in both photos of the band and my Dads. I shared those around social media and even wrote to a few people that I thought might be able to help get my request get noticed by the band. It became a mission for me and a way to heal a little by keeping my Dad and father-in-law’s memories alive. About 90 minutes into the St. Louis show, Ed stepped up to the mic and said “…this is a request from a woman named Debbie.” I heard this but thought, no, it can’t be me. Then there it was: that distinctive guitar sound. Sad, the song I had cranked so loudly in my car so many times, dreaming of hearing it live. I turned to my husband, a PJ newbie unfamiliar with this song, and said “this is for our dads!” I stared at the arena ceiling for a second, then at the stage with my hand over my mouth teary-eyed and in total awe and disbelief for the first verse, then proceeded to sing as loud as humanly possible. I was so dumbfounded at this surreal moment. Eddie Vedder knew my story and was compelled enough to honor my request in memory of my Dad and father-in-law. It is a moment I will cherish forever. – Debbie Strozier

17. Present Tense – September 16, Nashville, TN

When the band started introducing the ‘sit down’ opening set, the first song that came to mind was Present Tense, especially as the kick-down-the-chairs song. The song itself is perfectly crafted for this part of the set, with its slow build growing into a powerful jam at the end. They would go on to play Present Tense 3 times as the kick-down song on the North American leg of the tour. This was on display in Nashville as they blasted the song into a fury. Under a purple-lit haze, Mike starts the song with the opening electrifying chords, getting the immediate attention of all the roaring fans. Eddie, still propped up on his stool with guitar in hand, recites the opening verses like a bedtime storyteller, gesturing with his hands to give the fans a visual interpretation of the song. “Do you see the way that tree bends?” He holds out his arm and folds it sideways. Mike, now headbanging in the corner, still trying to restrain himself from standing, Eddie, with arms wide open, makes the pronouncement “…makes much more sense…to live in the present tense.” With the lights now brightened to white like a new day is dawning, Eddie waves his hand with a forward rolling motion, “…do you believe that the road ahead…ascends off into a certain white light.” With the intensity rising, Eddie shouts along with everyone in unison, “…are we getting something out of this…all en-fucking trip!” Chaos ensues and Mike pops up off the chair in relief, his foot sending the chair to the back of the stage, and Matt starts the droning drumbeat in synchronization with a strobe light, like a heartbeat, that shakes the bodies of everyone in attendance. Jeff and Stone now move forward and the jam takes over the stage, lights flashing randomly as the band finishes with a fiery whirlwind. A perfect way to open a show, a launching pad for what was to come in Nashville. – Jim Penna

16. Porch – September 11, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

After the Garden faithful had already burst into flames during a mind-blowing version of Present Tense, the follow up had to be something massive. As Porch isn’t known for being played early in the set, this crowd was in complete shock and erupted again once hearing “…what the fuck is this world?” Ed had already acknowledged that he felt the ground shake during Present Tense, which meant there was a ton of movement up in front. It’s easy to be fired up when you’re aware of the significance of the band playing there on that date, which is why Ed had a keen eye on the crowd to make sure that everyone was being safe. There was an incident that caused someone to fall, and Ed slowed things down right away to assess the situation. But once it was taken care of, he called for “more positivity please!” as the crowd all clapped and jumped in unison while singing the build back into the final chorus. From there, this became a communal experience again as the entire arena gave Ed a run for his money, raising the decibels so loud that it became deafening. The show will be forever known for its powerful crowd, and has already received similar praise as the legendary shows that preceded it had achieved.

15. Inside Job – June 28, Frankfurt, DEU

Frankfurt, the show where the band finally cracked it wide open on the European leg and probably the greatest live concert experience of my life. The band, sans Eddie, took to the stage bathed in deep blue light. Matt tapped out the hi-hat rhythm and soon Mike joined, strumming the first chords of Inside Job. The audience was pumped…there’s the rarity factor for it being such an unexpected opener and signaling a special show ahead, but also a collective sense of awe for the building we are sharing and the clarity of the sound mix. You will hear a few of my excited “woohoos” on the bootleg, I was losing my mind. Stone’s guitar sounds washy and thick as he nails the intro lead and you can then hear the crowd erupt again as Eddie takes the stage a couple minutes later just before his first lines at the mic, leather jacket and notebook in hand. What follows is the best live version of Inside Job I’ve ever heard, and I was pleased to be able to verify the performance quality on the bootleg. The song is extremely tight, the dynamics of each section build and gather momentum and you can sense the band is fizzing with excitement knowing it’s the moment of calm before they blow the roof off with the ragers to follow (Animal, Last Exit, Why Go, Mind Your Manners, Corduroy). Inside Job in Frankfurt was an incredibly special moment that I’ll literally treasure in my brain for the rest of my life. – CR Warne

14. Black – June 25, Imola, ITA

Black is one of the band’s most pivotal songs in their catalog and there is almost never a bad time to play it. But the spot in which it’s the most comforting comes in the encore towards the end of the show. Playing it in front of the Italian fans in the only show they’d play in Italy means you’re going to get some electric participation on this. Mid-song, Ed looks to the crowd to comment on how great they sound saying “your lights look like stars.” Not a far cry from a certain Binaural song. But that’s all just the primer setting up for the real story here – Michael David McCready. Black is always a canvas for him to show off not just how great he is, but what mood he’s channeling that night. It started off pretty normal, a little bit atmospheric, but also with just kind of a catchy hammer-on run. Then he starts to let loose, holding out those fired-up high notes while simultaneously convulsing on stage. Sometimes Mike gets the demon inside of him, and that demon had full control over him in Imola. There’s the usual moves, like gathering the feedback from the amps and progressively gaining speed as he goes, but his body is moving as if it were just hit by a tidal wave. He’s now fully possessed and finds his way down to the pedalboard. He takes a second to assess the situation when all of a sudden he starts smashing his guitar directly onto the pedals. Almost carelessly tossing it around in an attempt to create a sound that could only summon the devil himself. It’s a sight to behold. In true Mike fashion, he carries the guitar by one hand and tosses it off to the side. He was finally set free.

13. Who Ever Said – September 16, Nashville, TN

If, on August 30, 2022, you had Who Ever Said slotted to be the most frequently played Gigaton track on the final leg of the tour, you should be acquiring a timeshare in Las Vegas. The opening track to the record found its groove quite unexpectedly, via a down-tuned version that allowed Ed to get more comfortable in the live setting with the complex vocal delivery, which was really his own fault for writing the lyrics and music to this one. Night after night this track picked up steam, and on this Friday evening in Nashville it was a barnburner. It takes a couple of bars for Stone to get into rhythm, but once he and Mike dial in the two-guitar attack they’re a freight train, feeding off beats from both Matt and the underappreciated man in the back, Josh. Ed had been weaving a nod to Satisfaction into the bridge since the opening night of 2022 in San Diego, albeit the Devo version, and on this night he made that reference completely clear. The final verse churns and builds into a thunderous chorus, you can feel the crowd erupt on the pivot into the chorus and outro. Live Pearl Jam at its absolute finest. – Patrick Boegel

12. Long Road – June 30, Rock Werchter Festival, Werchter, BEL

Pearl Jam shows played on June 30th are always emotionally charged due to what happened at Roskilde in 2000. After Jeremy, Eddie made a speech explaining how the event changed them forever and how they have never stopped thinking about the families and communities that lost their dear ones. Having asked the crowd to light their phones and have a moment of silence, Ed started to play the first chords of Long Road. The song is usually played as an opener, but the placement within the last songs of the main set provided a different mood. Given the context, the emotion in Ed’s voice was more palpable than usual, and the band members stayed in the back, showing that the mourning of the lost ones was still on their minds. While Love Boat Captain is the obvious song tied to Roskilde, playing Long Road on the anniversary day was the most appropriate pick. – Aurelien Moureaux

11. Throw Your Hatred Down – July 9, Hyde Park, London, UK

The connection between Johnny Marr and Pearl Jam is not obvious, and if you throw in a Mirrorball song in the mix, what happened in Hyde Park was for sure a one-of-a-kind moment. The former Smiths guitarist joined Pearl Jam for a blistering rendition of the song. The interplay between the guitarists was simply incredible, and the extended jam propelled by Johnny Marr was met with much praise from the crowd. You just have to listen to this live version as words cannot do it justice. – Aurelien Moureaux

10. Footsteps – May 3, San Diego, CA

“Because of our location, we’re choosing songs that have something to do with the ocean. Even if they don’t mention it in the words, well half of ‘em were written in the ocean anyway…” This should have been a massive clue of what was to come as they kicked off the tour in one of Ed’s former stomping grounds in San Diego. The story is basically as old as time, but it always bears repeating: as Stone, Jeff and Mike were looking for a lead singer in late 1990, they passed a demo tape along to Jack Irons, who recommended that Ed audition for them. Ed listened to the tape with the three songs, went surfing and came up with the lyrics and story that made up the Mamasan Trilogy. To see these three songs in order is rare. The last time they did it in the original way was back in December of 1993, but on special occasions they have played it in reverse, mostly because Alive is always played so late in the set. The stars aligned for this to happen, and since you had some big moments in between the speech and the encore, it may have been easy to forget the connection. But when Footsteps creeps in, the anticipation is palpable. It’s not until Ed (unintelligibly) says “alright, here we go! The three songs…,” before strumming into Once that it was confirmed – they were paying tribute to their rich history.

9. Once – May 3, San Diego, CA

There was something special in the San Diego air that night. Maybe it was the profound sense of gratitude from the band to be back on stage after a two-year pause due to the pandemic. Maybe it was the nostalgia of Ed being back home, the place where those first songs were born. Whatever the reason, I will forever be grateful to have been on the rail for such a special show. As the night was coming to the end, the lights lowered, Eddie started playing his harmonica, and we were all treated to my personal favorite song, Footsteps. I was ecstatic and not prepared for what came next. You see, as a newer fan, I had just learned about the Mamasan Trilogy (thanks to Randy and the Pearl Jam Podcast Community group). It was and still is my favorite piece of Pearl Jam history/trivia. So when the band started playing Once and the pieces started coming together that we were getting the reversed Mamasan Trilogy – everyone flipped out. The energy from the audience was intense, and it was the perfect ending to the show. – Brooke Krause

8. Alive – May 3, San Diego, CA

With a quick thanks to San Diego and no time to catch a breath after a blazing Once, the first notes of Alive carry across the crowd at this intimate venue. For the first time in over a decade, the reverse Mamasan is being performed – in the first show of the official Gigaton tour. Though not the first show since the pandemic began, it feels palpably different than those festival shows from the previous fall. Less tentative and oozing with gratitude, Ed is effusive and forthcoming, and the band is playing their hearts out. He had noted earlier that they had spent a couple weeks in San Diego rehearsing, and he makes mention of the wondrous beaches and ocean views, even mentioning wanting to protect these places where he wrote so many of the songs that they’re playing tonight. The number of songs played tonight and the length of the show don’t quite seem to reconcile when it’s all said and done – for Eddie was feeling the love that night, telling many stories, pointing out several guests, and cluing us in to his pandemic fears and frustrations. By the time the encore rolls around, it feels like we’ve all been accepted into the Ed Vedder ‘Circle of Trust’. As would become the theme, he makes repeated mention of how much he appreciates seeing all of our faces after the long, long wait. What more could possibly speak to that, after a deadly two years, than filling the arena with the triumphant anthem that is Alive, looking right into our eyes and singing with every ounce of his soul “…look at you, we’re all still ALIVE!” Powerful. Cathartic. Incredible. Finally, taking a longer-than-usual time to leave the stage, he graces us with “…catch some good waves, keep this place beautiful…we love you.” – Aaron Redmond

7. W.M.A. – July 25, Amsterdam, NED

Pearl Jam statisticians are usually looking at the overall plays, but if you narrow the search to Europe, you can identify songs that had never or barely been played in Europe. W.M.A. was one of them, as it had only been played once here before, in 1993. The fans were then caught by surprise when they heard the first beats of the dual drumming of Matt and Josh. Just add incredible guitar layers by Mike, an intense performance by Eddie, strong collective backup vocals, and you get a highlight of the 2022 European tour. – Aurelien Moureaux

6. Sonic Reducer – September 11, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

The unexpected is what makes live shows elevate. There was no reason to anticipate that this cult fan favorite from the 1992 fan club single would make an appearance this night at Madison Square Garden. And yet it did. I don’t imagine that Cheetah Chrome imagined MSG from Cleveland in Rocket from the Tombs, I am not sure he ever thought about it when the Dead Boys were born in their wake and transplanted to New York City, frequenting the stage at CBGB. The song was the ultimate cover vehicle for Pearl Jam and a mainstay of their live show from late 1992 through the end of their 1994 tour. It was the final song played on that tour at a small theater nestled inside Madison Square Garden, then known as the Paramount. Played only once in 2022, the penultimate song of the main set was an absolute show-stopper that felt like it had been played relentlessly for years. I dare say it would have been hard to find a crowd more primed for this deep cut cover than that of the world’s most famous arena. From Stone’s manic rhythm off the jump to his fiery solo punctuated by Matt’s breakdown into the final verse, the take is electrifying. Crank it up and let the stereo bleed, you can feel Ed try his damndest to be ten feet tall as he delivers the line from the top of his monitors. It was an electronic dream. – Patrick Boegel

5. Rockin’ In The Free World – May 12, Oakland, CA

The room was cool, the house packed. The drum kit was smaller than usual. The guys strolled out to an exuberant crowd. Josh got himself settled on the kit (okay, weird). The band started up and within a note we all knew they were starting with Rockin’ in the Free World. Total excitement! This is backwards. We’re off to an amazing start! These guys…they’ve always got something up their sleeves. They move on to Small Town. I’m waiting for Matt to take over his kit. Josh is doing great on the drums, but where are they hiding Matt? Then Ed starts talking and lets the cat out of the bag. He seems to be a combination of sad and upset and pissed off and worried and apologetic, hoping that this huge mass that’s assembled before them will accept the offering that they have for us. He starts explaining. Audible gasp. Fuck COVID. Fuck not being supportive of one another. What fucked up country are we in anyway? But what better place for their worst nightmare to happen than the Bay Area. The land of tolerance and love. With one member down, they still brought it! And we were there for them. Ed says later that he really needed this, the love that the crowd gave him. And we needed them. – Amy Wynn

4. Nothingman – May 12, Oakland, CA

It had been a long time coming for Richard Stuverud, who’s been writing and performing music for nearly 40 years. As the story goes, when Matt Cameron was sidelined due to COVID, his good friend Jeff Ament gave him a call and asked if he wanted to fill in. What resulted was a dream come true for Richard, performing in front of a crowd of about 20,000 people for the first time in his life. His contributions to Pearl Jam history are important, he and Jeff put together the music for Nothingman. Ed would go on to explain the origin story before performing the song, but here’s what Richard had to say about the experience – “When I saw Nothingman on the list, that’s full circle for me because I recorded the demo version that [was released] many years later on a box set. That was really cool that the band included that demo. But that song’s pretty special. As Eddie went into it that night, just talking about the origins of the song, getting that introduction was like…I’m not gonna lie, man, I was kind of almost crying. It’s just so weird! The song is so visceral and so emotional anyway, it’s just like, holy shit this is totally awesome.”

3. Cold Day In The Sun – May 7, The Forum, Los Angeles, CA

Leading up to the SD/LA shows, with Ohana memories still fresh, we found ourselves wondering how, or even if, the band would honor the memory of Taylor Hawkins. On this, the second night in LA, we got our bittersweet answer. After Immortality, Ed makes mention of several friends of the band in attendance, foremost the family and friends of Taylor. “It’s never easy when you lose someone, and as you get older, you’ll notice it starts happening more and more; it’s just where you and your friends are on the timeline… sometimes, like [with Taylor] it makes it harder because he was someone who truly loved living life on this planet…he never wasted a moment.” He mentions Taylor’s wife and kids by name, getting quite choked up – but he then brightens up. Matt Cameron had a tremendous idea: play a Taylor song! Matt strolls up front with a guitar, regaling the misty-eyed crowd with a wonderful rendition of the Foo Fighters’ Taylor-penned/sung track Cold Day in the Sun. Chad Smith is spied banging on a tambourine, hanging out with Ed and Josh. Matt’s vocals are crisp, the guitars are upbeat and everybody seems to be as one, celebrating Taylor. An apt and wonderful song in his honor. Rest in peace, Taylor. – Aaron Redmond

2. Garden – September 3, Ottawa, ONT, CAN

From its genesis in 1991 as part of the Ten era, Garden had been played live 103 times through April 17, 1994. The band’s first four years of performing represented over 65% of the times they played the song. That is, until the 2022 tour. A run of shows to introduce the album Ten to Europe in the winter of 1992 brings us to the main topic at hand. Until the year 2011 and the unveiling of Pearl Jam Twenty, all we knew of a performance at the Albini Bar in Winterthur, Switzerland on February 19, 1992, was an off-hand reference by Eddie Vedder prior to the beginning of Oceans at the aforementioned Zurich show from June 1992: “it was very small and we took all the plugs out of our instruments and played it very quietly. It was nice.” To this day, all we have of the Albini Bar performance are partial clips of Jeremy and Porch and a raw recording of the band running through Garden. Facts of tape would prove this performance was hardly acoustic. Stone was plugged with a follow body, but the remainder of the band was not. The machinations that brought us to Saturday night, September 3, 2022 at the Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa notwithstanding, fortune favors the patient and lucky. After a groove laden Of the Girl to open, Stone remained on his acoustic, and the next six minutes are pure magic. There is a crisp, reverential stroke to every note Gossard picks from note one to note last, setting a melodic pace to Garden that bleeds with perfection. Jeff and Matt find a synced rhythm to Stone’s melody and it all blends perfectly to Mike’s psychedelic delay drenched accents. Vedder is able to perfectly restrain his vocals with just enough support from the charged crowd. The guitar interplay between Stone and Mike is simply stunning and borderline perfect, as witnessed on the transition from the verse into the solo. Mike elevates just prior to Ed’s final words and delivers one of the most beautiful guitar solos of his career. Subtle and nuanced, completely one with his instrument. Then, the entire building works to deliver the final chorus in and out with Vedder. Thirty years-plus since the Albini Bar, not quite acoustic in the complete sense, we hear an older, wiser, traveled take on this classic and timeless song from the first record. The Albini Bar is a riveting performance in its own right, this night, however, is hands down the best version of Garden the band has ever played. – Patrick Boegel

1. Alive – May 16, Fresno, CA

There were so many memorable moments from Pearl Jam’s 2022 tour, as you’ve read, and any number of them could arguably take the top spot here, but nothing captured the spirit like Dave Krusen’s return to the drum kit at a true Pearl Jam show for the first time since 1991. The mini-set of Ten songs he played on was perfectly structured, from Once and Why Go through Even Flow and Garden, then into Black, then returning for Porch and then into the encore. After Jeremy, Ed commented that hearing Krusen play was taking him back to the basement where they spent 1990 and 1991 rehearsing the Ten material. Alive was the last song of the night Krusen played on, and maybe the last song he ever plays with the band. Any nerves from earlier in the night are gone by this point, Dave looks and feels confident, evidenced by his fills and rolls in the solo. It’s Alive…the song that became more than it originally was, the song that helped define Pearl Jam, that went on a journey and evolved, and now it’s come full circle with the man who was there at the beginning. Pearl Jam doesn’t usually travel in nostalgia, but you can see from the faces on the band members during this performance that they knew it was special, they wanted to give Dave a taste of what he had missed, to let him back in for what ended up only being one night. An unforgettable performance that brought the band’s past and present together. – John Farrar

And that wraps it up for this massive list! Thank you all for reading and following along these last four weeks. The feedback was awesome, and most people didn’t even want to rip our heads off for not having certain songs on the list! As mentioned in part 1, a massive project like this couldn’t be accomplished by just one person. It took a community of dozens who were happy to jump aboard to relive their memories. A big thank you goes out to everyone who submitted a write-up:

John Farrar, Patrick Boegel, Aaron Redmond, Amy Wynn, Aurelien Moureaux, Brooke Krause, CR Warne, Jim Penna, Josh Arroyo, Eric Stevenson Gonzalez, Richie Berg, Erin Mackay, Dakota Duvall, Brian Horwitz, Nadene Roff, Jay W., Axel Picker, Jason Weiss, Mike Cribier, Bradley Piasecki, Kieran Fino-Saunders, Jon McFarlane, Shannon McGoey, Lila Barzegar, Dani T., Nick Smith, Kirk Walton and Clay Davis.

For all of you who love statistics, here’s the breakdown of how many songs represented each show on the list:

Madison Square Garden (6): Sonic Reducer, Porch, Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns, Release, Present Tense, Rearviewmirror

San Diego (5): Alive, Once, Footsteps, Long Road, River Cross

Fresno (5): Alive, Deep, Once, Even Flow, State Of Love And Trust

Frankfurt (5): Inside Job, Fatal, In My Tree, Given To Fly, Indifference

Hyde Park Night 1 (5): Quick Escape, Daughter, Light Years, In Hiding, Better Man

Camden (5): Breath, Inside Job, Do The Evolution, Hard To Imagine, Untitled/MFC

Nashville (5): Who Ever Said, Present Tense, Black, Nothingman, Rats

St. Louis (5): Sad, Retrograde, State Of Love And Trust, I Am Mine, Life Wasted

The Forum Night 2 (4): Cold Day In The Sun, Quick Escape, Leash, Glorified G

Oakland Night 2 (4): Immortality, Mind Your Manners, W.M.A., Throw Your Hatred Down

Amsterdam (4): W.M.A., Hard To Imagine, Nothing As It Seems, Purple Rain

Toronto (4): I Got Id, Hail, Hail, Light Years, Her Majesty

Oakland Night 1 (3): Nothingman, Rockin’ In The Free World, Yellow Ledbetter

Imola (3): Black, Jeremy, Dance Of The Clairvoyants

Hyde Park Night 2 (3): Throw Your Hatred Down, Baba O’Riley, Faithfull

Quebec City (3): Other Side, Off He Goes, Buckle Up

Ottawa (3): Garden, Fuckin’ Up, Alright

Hamilton (3): Yellow Moon, Man Of The Hour, Red Mosquito

The Apollo Theater (3): Keep Me In Your Heart, Footsteps, Sleight Of Hand

Oklahoma City (3): Alone, Garden, Habit

The Forum Night 1 (2): Corduroy, Not For You

Phoenix (2): Smile, Wash

Pinkpop Festival (2): Even Flow, Street Fighting Man

Berlin (2): Porch, Low Light

Budapest (2): Lukin, Brain Of J.

Krakow (2): River Cross, Rearviewmirror

Zurich (1): Crazy Mary

Werchter (1): Long Road

Stockholm (1): Take The Long Way

Copenhagen (1): Love Boat Captain

Paris (1): Satan’s Bed

Louisville (1): Not For You

Denver (1): I Won’t Back Down

Here’s hoping for the best from 2023, a big tour, a new album, and full spread joy throughout this community!

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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