It has finally come to this. The Bridge School Series finale is here as we tackle the last Bridge show in the band’s history that took place back in 2014. This show is a mixture of many things that have made these shows great to cover for the last year and a half – staple songs, a few rarer tracks for serious collectors and many special guests on this one including a returning Chris Cornell and for the last time, Uncle Neil Young. Thanks to everyone for tuning into this series for the past 18 months, they were fun little pivots through their history that in some points were the beginning of an era or end of one. There have been songs featured in these shows that we may possibly never cover again, and that was one of the biggest reasons as to why we wanted to do this. If you’ve missed any episodes in the series, they are all available within our Patreon archive. If you’re reading this, let us know what your favorite Bridge episode or show has been!
Pearl Bridge School Series Episodes
Recapping Pearl Jam's Bridge School Performances
Welcome the the penultimate episode in our Bridge School series! As the finish line is up on the horizon, we tackle the first of the most recent set of shows that took place at the end of the 2014 Lightning Bolt run. There aren’t too many surprises in this one. Only one song from the new record that sounds exactly like every other performance of it, a shocking Bridge debut of a hit, an inappropriate but approved cover for the setting, and a guest appearance from Chris Cornell which we’ll have strong opinions on. Enjoy the show, and if you ride a pony, make sure you fuck that pony!
A brand new Bridge School episode for you all this month! We are getting down to the last of them and to finish up the 2010 year, we’re covering a live debut of an extremely rare side. Riot Act b-side Other Side is played for the first of its three times on this night. Most other highlights from this show mirror what they did on the first night – Neil Young appears, we get a weird orchestra version of Black, they play Just Breathe and a few other things. Night 1 is the superior setlist, but this show has its moments as well, including the last time to date that they’ve ever played Drifting. Comment below if you enjoyed the show!
Check out this month’s brand new Bridge School show from the first night of 2010! While 2003 and 2006 were stuck in a little bit of the Bridge rut, this show brings us back to classic performances that make the benefit what it is. We get three songs that are live debuts (one an original), a guest appearance from Neil Young and an alternate version of a song in the same vein as Corduroy from 1996. One of the better Bridge shows in their catalog, take a listen and enjoy!
Welcome to the 14th installment of our continuous Bridge School episodic series! We’re getting down to the wire now, in the next 4 months we’ll be finished with Bridge School and on to something else! But this is yet another enjoyable show with some rarities and twists on crowd favorites. Around The Bend makes an appearance for the serious collectors, Lukin gets the very rare acoustic treatment, and once again Neil Young forces himself to stay seated for another crowd pleasing version of Throw Your Hatred Down. Do us a favor! If you listened to the episode, please like this post so we know who’s all tuned in! Enjoy another bonus, you guys deserve it!
Welcome to the brand new Bridge School episode! We’ve made it to 2006 which means only 3 years remain. In this show we’ll get a little taste of a great Crazy Mary, an experimental Better Man and a guest role from none other than Neil Young to play the live debut of Throw Your Hatred Down. Enjoy the show!
For this installment of the Bridge School Series we’re doing something a little different – covering Ed’s solo shows from 2004. They are quick sets featuring some rarely heard songs, a few popular hits and covers and one children’s tune that gets a little out of control. Enjoy the show and happy new year!
Sandwiched in between Benaroya and Santa Barbara, the band stopped over at The Bridge School for 2 short acoustic sets in 2003. After a lackluster night one, could they recapture some of the magic on night two? And what exactly did Ol’ Dick Cheney have? We talk about the range of covers (Masters of War, Crazy Mary, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away) and even a Bridge debut (Down). There might even be an appearance from Young Neil himself. Enjoy this Patreon-exclusive episode and check back later this week for our Evolution Series episode on Release! Thanks everyone!
It’s that time of the month again! We continue on with our year + long Bridge School series here with the first show from 2003. It is a short 7 song show that occurred in a very busy week for Pearl Jam sandwiched in between Benaroya and the Santa Barbara shows. It’s clear that they were playing a lot of the same songs these nights, including Johnny Cash cover 25 Minutes to Go, Masters of War and then brand new song Man of the Hour. However, this isn’t one of their more impressive efforts from the Bridge shows. As mentioned, it is a shorter set than usual, they had been playing the event every other year and the excitement of the other shows surrounding this time period made for more interesting conversation. Can you believe that we did an episode in under 40 minutes? I can’t, this will feel like a breeze compared to everything else we do. Even though we don’t love this show all that much, we have enough to say about it. Add it to the stats. Enjoy!
Another month means another Bridge School installment! We take up part 2 of the 2001 shows. Night 1 was a little rusty, it was their first time performing since the Binaural tour and emotions were a little high since the country was still grieving 9/11. But night 2 the gloves were off a little bit and they came out of the gate roaring, first with a rendition of The Kids Are Alright. And later in the set we are treated to a brand new song in I Am Mine and the live debut of Low Light! We’ll talk about both song’s evolutions and how we hear these songs on the live stage 19 years later. Enjoy this one!
Hey everyone! Welcome to the 8th episode of our year and change long Bridge School series and this month we begin the 2001 shows. It was their first show since the unforgettable Key Arena performance in November of the prior year as the band was taking some time off to grieve from the tragedy of Roskilde.
Unfortunately in the time between, another tragedy struck on a much bigger landscape as the terrorist attacks from 9/11 took place only a month and a half before this performance. While the band displayed some rustiness, the show found its groove midway through as we were witness to a handful of debuts such as Last Soldier, Driftin and a John Lennon cover that would become a staple of the 2003 anti-war setlists Gimme Some Truth.
And of course once again, our good friend Marikor gets another dedication and heartfelt moment from Ed during Last Kiss. Check out the show and let us know what you guys think!
On a crisp Halloween night with Stone Gossard playing the role as some sort of bat man and Mike going incognito, the band plays the second night of the 1999 benefit thus being their final show in the decade that propelled them to stardom. With the band in good spirits, they would break out a small set featuring mostly common Bridge material except for one brand new song that would end up being the first single off Binaural Nothing As It Seems. While the band takes a more electric than usual approach to some of these tracks, they are clearly at the top of their game comfortable enough to perform some extended jams off some of their most popular songs such as Daughter and Better Man. And we also get a sweet moment between Ed and a Bridge School student during Last Kiss that revealed a soft side to Ed. Next month, we’re on to 2001! Longer sets and lots more surprises! Looking forward to keeping this series moving. Let us know what you think!
Hey folks, it’s the end of another month which means we owe you all another show from the Bridge School Series. Since we’re in chronological order here, we start with the band’s penultimate show of the decade. In this episode we talk about how successful the year 1999 was for them even without being on tour and that’s all due to the rise of Last Kiss’ popularity. That as well as another late 90’s era cover song Soldier of Love are both played in this one. Also, we get the first ever appearance of a Binaural song live with the debut of Thin Air. We’ll talk about what the band was doing to transition into 2000 and a brand new album, the first featuring Matt Cameron. Two things we forgot to mention, I don’t think we picked a Bridge School moment (for me it’s Soldier of Love) and also the fan club single Driftin was written on Ed’s plane ticket on the flight home from this show. Strangest Tribe also written this year and released on the same single. Apologies for any audio issues on this one. Hope you enjoy as always.
Hi Patrons! Sorry this took a little bit longer to go out this week as we mentioned in the weekly episode that it would be out on Thursday, but with the recent events happening in the US we were a little bit distracted and figured it was more important to focus on those events rather than ones of our own. But we promised one episode a month and we snuck it in 4 (EST) hours before we hit June so at least we hit our quota. If you checked out our last Bridge School episode, it was the 1996 night 1 show featuring the alternate Corduroy and great versions of Off He Goes and Sometimes. The night 2 setlist is much of the same, but with one huge topic that has basically been a long-form talking point since this show started. We get the first bluesy (ahem, “riffy”) intro of Porch. We’ll talk about how its origins tie in with something The Who used to do and why it might’ve stuck around in latter years of the band’s performances. We’ll also spend time on the hand written setlist which curiously looks like a certain font that was printed on the newest album.
Enjoy the show!
We’re back with our fourth installment of the Bridge School shows and while we talked about a lot of interesting songs and topics in the first three, this show may be the best of the bunch. The conversation here is rightfully dominated by the alternate version of Corduroy as it is the moment everyone remembers fondly from this show. How they took such a prominent arena song and were able to make changes to it – chances that almost no other band would take on one of their most popular songs. Along with Corduroy we get outstanding versions of Off He Goes, Sometimes, Daughter with a Song X tag and Brendan O’Brien joining the band on keys for all of it. Enjoy the episode, let us know what you think of this alternate version of Corduroy and we’ll share it on the Night 2 episode next month!
We’ve reached our third installment of our Bridge School Series finishing up the classic two night stay from 1994. This preview for Vitalogy with Jack getting his second tryout with the band features early and eclectic versions of the new tracks.
Not For You is played in a way that it’s never been done before and Immortality is shared for the first time since the famous Orpheum show including brand new lyrics that we are used to today. This 7-song set also features the first stage rendition of Bee Girl in the encore following night 1’s lead of using an unplayed deep cut when they did Let Me Sleep.
And of course you get all of the expected Bridge songs – Black, Elderly Woman and Daughter. Let us know what you think in the comments!
We continue our series with the second ever Bridge School performance for the band in 94. Hear us break down the first live version of Daniel Johnston song Walking The Cow, an early version of Corduroy before the album was released, a rare appearance of Let Me Sleep and Jack Irons official tryout with the band. Thanks for subscribing and enjoy!
This is our first episode in our year running Bridge School series and we’re starting right from the top in 1992. This was at the height of the band’s fame on a platform that they had strayed away from for some time – one that featured a relaxed, acoustic atmosphere. What started off a little slow grew from the passion within the show as Ed took center stage to steer the wheel. Bridge School shows are most known for their surprises and this show had no lack of them. This show introduced us to the first performances of Daughter and I Am A Patriot, which could possibly be the first time Eddie played guitar on stage as a member of Pearl Jam, and also a very rare rendition of Angel with Dave A on guitar. Check out this episode where we break down the 7-song set in one of the band’s most memorable eras.