Forever Faithfull: Memories From The Road featuring Mark Kirby

By: Mark Kirby | March 1, 2023

Mark Kirby Retraces Pearl Jam Memories From The Road

Forever Faithfull is a series derived from daily Facebook posts on the Pearl Jam Podcast Community group. These tour stories were shared by Mark Kirby, and feature memories that go all the way back to 1991.

7/21/1991 – State Of Love And Trust – Chicago, IL

(Performance unavailable on bootleg)

We all have that one song that causes our eyebrows to raise, give us goosebumps and demands our attention the first time we hear it. For me, that song was State Of Love And Trust. The year was 1991 and I was obsessed with Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Soul Asylum. Both were playing at the Cabaret Metro for some weekend anniversary. My friend and I made the drive to Chicago to see the show. Unbeknownst to us, Pearl Jam was also part of the celebration. I had no idea who they were. They played a few songs and I was not impressed. Then they started in on State Of Love And Trust. My eyebrows raised, goosebumps formed, and Pearl Jam had my full attention.

11/27/1991 – Cincinnati Gardens – Cincinnati, OH

(Performance unavailable on bootleg)

Oh The Gardens!!! Not the one in NYC, but the more famous Gardens in Cincinnati! The Cincinnati Gardens was a must stop for most bands wanting to play in the Cincinnati area. It was a FANTASTIC place to see a concert. Back in 1991, one of my best friends had an older brother who was in charge of concessions there. He would allow us to set-up a free standing beer stand and sell beer during events being held. We would buy the beer, cups, taps, etc. We split the profits 60 for us, 40 for the venue, and we kept all tips. One perk of this little gig was we got to meet all sorts of athletes and artists. And on this day it was no different. I was decked out in my 1990 Cincinnati Reds World Series Champions shirt and Cincinnati Reds Baseball Hat. A couple of hours before the concert started, I walked back behind the stage, just waiting for any band member to come out. Just so happens, Eddie walks by and says to me “Reds! They suck.” And he laughs. He then continues to tell me how he is a Cubs fan. So he and I talked baseball for about 3 minutes and then he kept on walking. We both agreed that we did not like the St Louis Cardinals. There is no particular song attached to this moment. Just my favorite Pearl Jam moment.

11/16/1993 – Dissident – New Orleans, LA

One thing that gets overlooked is Eddie’s ability to tell a story. He’s a phenomenal story teller, and Dissident is one of the best stories he tells. The 11/16/93 concert was my 14th Pearl Jam show and I was absolutely PUMPED for this concert. After two years of Ten, I was more than ready for new music. And to make things extra special, Vs. was released about 1 month earlier. So with a new wardrobe (flannel and knee length shorts) in hand, my girlfriend and I headed to New Orleans to see one of the best concerts of my life.

Sure, Dissident has lost a little luster over the years, but when I hear it live I’m transported back to 1993. Dave A, Mike, and Eddie are at their best during this performance.

9/21/1996 – In My Tree – Toronto, ONT, CA

Some of my favorite songs by Pearl Jam are when they sing about isolation. I first heard In My Tree live in Toronto and was blown away. Jack Irons was the drummer for the No Code tour, and what better way to showcase his talents than In My Tree. The song has certainly evolved over the years when played live. I prefer the early live versions of this song, and this version is definitely my favorite.

9/22/1996 – Who You Are – Toledo, OH

My ability to travel and see Pearl Jam (and other concerts) was greatly reduced after 1996. The 9/22/96 concert was absolutely amazing because it was one of the last times I got to hear Who You Are live. As we all know, Irons left the band in early ’98, and Pearl Jam didn’t play Who You Are again until 2008. But Irons is so strong on this song, and the Middle Eastern vibe is simply amazing. It was so nice to see Pearl Jam experiment and move away from what they were known for.

Mark Kirby

In 1991, my friends and I went to Chicago to see Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks, and my favorite band at the time, Ned's Atomic Dustbin. Pearl Jam just happened to be on the concert bill that weekend. I’d never heard of them before. They played State of Love and Trust about mid-set, and they’ve been my favorite band ever since.

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