Evolution Series: #21 “Love Boat Captain”

It’s time to evolve again! In our first Evolution Series episode about a song written after the year 2000, we are digging into one of the band’s most personal and emotional songs in Love Boat Captain. It’s a song about one of music’s worst tragedy’s that the band almost didn’t come back from, and the song has stood as grieving moment memorializing the nine lives lost in Roskilde. We’ll talk about versions where the band uses it as a tribute, and uses the crowd’s participation to lift them up. But we can’t forget about Boom! We’ll go into full detail about how this song was his gateway into the band and why Ed had always dubbed him as their Love Boat Captain. Lest we forget, we also have the modern era jammy versions of this song that we’ll talk about in full detail as well! Get ready for 140 minutes of great storytelling and extensive research all about one song that may have changed everything.

Evolution Series: #20 “Dirty Frank”

Happy holidays everyone! Just like last year, we’re dropping a surprise Evolution episode right in the middle of the holiday party. Chasers, shut yo mouth! We’re just talking about Dirty Frank! Since Frank had a big revitalization with the Earthlings this year, we thought this would be as good a time as ever to tell the story. We’re breaking down one of the most requested songs in their history and telling the story of why and how this became a cult classic. Enjoy!

Hoping to do many more of these for 2023!

Evolution Series: #19 “W.M.A.”

It’s Evolution Baby! Time to dig real deep into a Pearl Jam live track, but more importantly it’s time to dig into one that made an impact in 2022, and that’s W.M.A. There are a few stories to be told here. There’s the origin story which clearly stems from police officer bias, that gave them one of their first true socio-political songs out of the many that would follow. Then there is the story about the scattered full versions in the early nineties that of course had the original identity when featuring Dave A, and even three better than excellent Jack Irons performances. And then for 13 years the only way we’d hear this song would be through Daughter tags. But the song had it’s redemption arc, even if it was broken down into shorter lifespans, and that will lead us all the way to Oakland and Amsterdam this year where the song was brought back to the high caliber level that we remember it being. “It’s the best thing they/we do” – you and us on this episodic series. See you real soon for another.

Evolution Series: #18 “Nothingman”

It’s time to get back into the Evolution Series! We’ve been promising this for months and we’re glad to have held off on it, because the story of the song has changed within this past year. The song we’re talking about is Nothingman and of course that moment that changed the perception of the song was this year back in Oakland. With Richard Stuverud subbing in for Cameron, Ed told the story of how and when the song was written with Stuverud and Jeff helping out on the demo. That makes for a great tie-in to the whole story, but it only scratches the surface of what we’ll discuss. The song was left off of setlists for the majority of the Vitalogy and No Code tours, but got a nice little bump once a certain trilogy came into play in 1998. The song would gradually turn into a fan favorite and become one of their best live sing-alongs. Tune in to hear the best renditions, and some of the stories that make this song special.

Check out the end of the episode to find out which song we’ll cover next in the Evolution Series!

Evolution Series: #17 “Crazy Mary”

Ahh, our first Evolution episode of 2022! This episode features the evolution of our first cover, the Victoria Williams-penned Crazy Mary. We’ll talk about how it came to be that Pearl Jam recorded this for the Sweet Relief benefit and how early versions of the song included Victoria’s presence. While the song was held off on the live stage for a while after 1992, it started to sprout back up as tags and teases in 1998, including one of my favorites as a Better Man tag. In 2000, the song is brought back, but clearly without the presence yet of the man who would truly create this song’s identity – Boom Gaspar. When Boom joined the band in 2003, they were searching for a signature song for him. They had Love Boat Captain, but they needed to start integrating him on songs that were already setlist staples, and the rest is history. We’ll get into the duels, the long solos, sharing wine bottles, the jams, and a rather scary moment in Philadelphia. Many great versions are discussed and loved here! No L-O-I-T-E-R-I-N-G allowed, give it a listen!

Evolution Series: #16 “Let Me Sleep”

Happy Holidays! Bet you didn’t see this coming. I know we promised that Crazy Mary would be next on the list, but we figured we’d take a festive detour to cover a song that’s only been played 8 times in their history. Believe it or not, Let Me Sleep does have a pretty interesting Evolution. A story of lore will tell us that the song’s creation happened earlier than we anticipated, and that is a story we re-tell here. The song would be played once in 1994, and then not again in 2006, when it was featured on the Immagine En Cornice DVD, however that version wasn’t actually live in front of an audience! It would go 613 shows before being legitimately played again. The story of the song actually has a lot of depth, and a big piece to this episode is hearing that story unravel as time passes on. It isn’t just a Christmas song, but a look into what life is like for others who aren’t as fortunate to be celebrating the holiday in the presence of loved ones. We’ll talk all 8 versions and watch it evolve!

Evolution Series: #15 “Given To Fly”

**This Evolution episode is free to all liveon4legs.com users! For more from this series, subscribe to our Patreon to listen to episodes on Immortality, In My Tree, Release and many more!**

“50 million years ago, a large hyena crawled into its way into the water and it would become the whale. It’s Evolution, baby!”

Welcome to the 15th installment of our highly popular mini-series where we take a song and dig deep into its origin story and how the song has grown live from tour to tour. This episode is a biggie because we’re talking about Given To Fly – our first Yield song of the series. A staple of any setlist, memorable or standard, Given To Fly came into the game sounding like nothing that Pearl Jam had ever done before. Sure, In My Tree, Present Tense and maybe one or two Vitalogy songs had the patented soaring aspect that GTF thrives on, but Given To Fly was truly the first of its kind. A pop song with an edge that featured cathartic crowd participation moments. We’ll talk about how GTF not only evolved over time within the song’s pacing, and even a little pandering, but also how the band evolved around the song. Once it became a fan favorite, the outlook of setlist construction and song utilization for tours moving forward were drastically changed. Why? FLY! Tune in to find out! Stay tuned to the end of the episode for a reveal of what the next Evolution episode we’re covering is going to be! Hint: think a little outside the box, but nothing too crazy.

Evolution Series: #14 “Hard To Imagine”

It’s Evolution Baaaaaybaaaaay! We’re excited to bring to you our 14th installment of the Evolution series as voted on by you the Patrons. This episode we’ll cover Hard To Imagine. The song has such a unique and humble beginning, starting out as just a little Stone teaser noodle, evolving into an improv that would later become a more polished version of the song. Over the years Hard to Imagine had gone long spurts without being played, but it was also one of those ultimate chaser songs. We’ll get into the song’s elusiveness and why the band were reluctant to put it on 3 different albums, but also why they were finally able to accept it as being an incredible, euphoric track that elicits such a powerful emotional response.

Evolution Series: #13 “Present Tense”

It’s Evolution BAYBAY! It’s that time again to go fully in depth with a song’s live history and talk about the versions that make a song stand out over time. This episode we’ll evolve with Present Tense! You guys voted for it, and we’ve been wanting to do this one for a while, so get ready as we dig into every crevice of the song. We’ll start by talking about No Code‘s impact, or lack thereof, and how potentially the #10 track off a record that didn’t really land could get overlooked. But it’s one that the band seemed to always feel, even to the point that Ed was using it as a healing process for himself. We’ll work through the years to find out the exact moment, and boy is there ever one, where Present Tense finally broke through and became that crowd favorite it was always meant to be.

Evolution Series: #12 “Footsteps”

It’s evolution baybay! The Evolution episodes are easily some of our favorites to work on, and this episode was no different. Since you guys made your picks in a secret ballot, after tallying the votes Footsteps came out the winner! And you picked a great one! In this episode, we’ll go through the origins of the song, starting with its place on the Gossman Project demo, and how it got into the hands of Chris Cornell around the same time that Ed received the Mamasan tape. The song was played as a part of the Mamasan trio very early on and gained some notoriety with fans with its appearance as a b-side on the Jeremy single. As the song grew over time, we got to witness the addition of the harmonica and a grander, more theatrical performance of the song that was played on big stages in acoustic settings and ballparks. Don’t even think about reaching me, I’ll be listening to this episode!

Evolution Series: #11 “Release”

I’ll wait up in the dark for you to speak to meeeeee! Welcome to the newest edition into the Hall of Evolution episodes as we now add Release to the pantheon! Are you new to Patreon and haven’t listened to an Evolution episode before? The premise is quite simple. We take a deep dive into a song and look at how it’s grown from the original debut up until how we view it in our current era. This episode will be a little bit of a different storytelling presence than say an Immortality or Rearviewmirror, where so much of the discussion was based off of how performances of the song changed musically. We don’t really get much change to the arrangement of Release: no tags, no “fast Release” like you had with a song like Wash. But what you do get is a change in emotional connection. From Ed’s connection to his father bringing a spiritual aspect to the song that many have held a similar connection to, as well as the song being many people’s first that they’ve ever heard at a Pearl Jam show, the song might have only been played 172 times at this point, but it feels like almost each and every one of those performances is significant in some manner.

Evolution Series: #10 “Rearviewmirror”

This is a re-release of the Patreon exclusive Evolution Series episode on Rearviewmirror to be distributed on all platforms. We have opened up the vault for all listeners for anyone who has wanted to join our Patreon, but has not pulled the trigger yet. This is exactly what’s in store. If you like this episode and want more, we have 16 more available through Patreon, which will soon include the release of Nothingman coming next week. To join for as low as $1 a month, head over to patreon.com/liveon4legs, or the Patreon app, or Liveon4legs.com and click the orange ‘become a Patron’ button to subscribe and enjoy the extra content! There’s plenty to go around!

It’s time to emancipate! In our 10th installment of our live song evolution series we’ll discuss the 11th most played song in the band’s catalog – Rearviewmirror! We’ll talk about this song’s humble origins, going from a little random jingle that Ed has in his pocket for some time to being Ed’s first major musical writing contribution to the band, and it being a pivotal track for Vs. The live evolution is interesting, because of course it all begins with Dave A. (who infamously throws his sticks at the end of the recording) and shows some struggle in the very early stages before this song revs its engine and finds its power. We’ll talk in thorough detail about the Atlanta 94 and SNL versions that are among the best, the spacey and lengthy bridges that were started with Jack and polished by Matt, and an absolutely epic version from Buenos Aires in 2005 that takes the song in so many different directions. Don’t give thanks or apologize, just enjoy the episode!

Evolution Series: #9 “Immortality”

It’s Evolution, baby! In this episode we take on the task of dissecting the evolution of Immortality – a song that does not have a single bad version to its name. We’ll go through the early origins of the song and the time period in which it was written, why it was written, and that one powerful version of it from the Orpheum Theater that still takes people’s breath away. The performances from that point on have changed drastically, but its always been a song you could feel in the room, whether it’s the emotional reverb from Mike’s guitar or the Keith Moon-style drumming from Jack. We dig deep into classic versions of this song and take it from when it was a big fish in the small theaters to nowadays, where it fills the atmosphere at legendary venues the likes of Wrigley Field, and coming full circle at Fenway Park.

Evolution Series: #8 “In My Tree”

The newest installment in our Evolution Series features popular No Code track In My Tree. We’ll break down the song’s early stages with Jack Irons’ presence on drums and how the song transitioned when Matt Cameron took over. In 2003, after almost being forgotten, the song would go through a major change live, beginning in Fargo, North Dakota of all places, leading to an unforgettable performance at the Live At The Garden show. We break down some of the best versions of the song and talk about the influence of the drummers, and why this seldom-played No Code song has become such a favorite for fans over the years. Enjoy!

Evolution Series: #7 “Porch”

1-2-3-4, we’re back with our first Evolution episode of 2020! We’ve been promising this one for a while, and we’ve finally gotten around to doing Porch! We’ll talk about the early versions where the song was used as a platform on television for Ed to get his viewpoints out on being pro-choice, as well as of course the antics of Ed during the early days of Drop In The Park and Pinkpop, and before my co-host kills me, of course we play Atlanta 94. We’ll also talk about the transformation Porch went through in the modern era of the band where they went to an alternate, riffy intro. Thanks to Patron Brad Piasecki for joining me on this one!

Evolution Series: #6 “Wash”

Hello Patrons! In this episode we will break down the live history of Wash. From its early days of being a b-side and a regular opener, to becoming one of their more uncommon song performances…from Speed Wash to Bridge School, until delays so long without playing the song that Ed had to write the lyrics on a pizza box! We tackle the best versions of Wash throughout the next 50 minutes, a perfect episode for a rainy day!

Evolution Series: #5 “Corduroy”

Happy Patron’s day everyone! As a thank you to being a contributor to our show, we have a new Evolution episode out for your consumption today featuring one of Pearl Jam’s best songs Corduroy. John hooks up with patron Patrick Boegel to dive into Corduroy’s past and present, from the song’s identity developing with Jack Irons, the unique Bridge School versions, and the versions in current day where Ed brings in a call and response. Enjoy the episode! It’s Evolution BayBay!

Evolution Series: #4 “State of Love and Trust”

In this episode of the ongoing Evolution Series, Randy and Chris break down the live history of State of Love and Trust. From the slow groove that Dave Krusen developed with the song, to Dave A.’s monster rhythm and hard-hitting grind, we dig deep back into the annals of the Pearl Jam catalog to focus on the versions of the song that made this an instant crowd favorite. From Unplugged to Drop In The Park with the birth of ‘no’ added in, we cover all of the bases in this episode. We’ll also discuss how the song changed once the band grew and how it became a song that was all about speed, with less of the attitude of the early 90’s version.

Evolution Series: #3 “Alive”

Today we’re opening up the vault to release, for the first time on our public accounts, an Evolution series episode that is part of our Patreon subscription series! The plan for this week is to still get a fresh weekly episode in featuring the Springfield 1994 show, but to fulfill our weekly Wednesday episode spot, we’ve decided to present you with something you may not have heard before – our Evolution Series episode on Alive! This was the third episode in our Patreon series that was released almost two years ago. It’s pretty raw, production value-wise, for what we’ve become on this show, but it’s the content that matters! We tell the story about how Alive was performed as their most popular song in the early onset of this band’s lifespan, and how ultimately the song soured on the band as time grew, even to one situation that caused the song not to be played for an entire tour. But, the song absolutely has its redemption in the end, breaking a curse, and it becomes the end-of-show anthem that brings the crowd to a frenzy.

Listen to the Episode:

Evolution Series: #2 “Leash”

Hello Patrons! First post in a while. I know we promised some new exclusive episodes for the platform, and we’re finally on track to releasing some! Get ready for more episodes from our Evolution Series! Instead of breaking down a set list from a specific show, we’re looking back into the history of how certain songs were played live, the fans thirst for them and how they’ve evolved musically over the years. On our free platforms we released Yellow Ledbetter today, but for you guys you get a brand new episode that is exclusive to Patreon’s platform. This episode features the evolution of Leash and how it went from angry youth anthem in the early 90’s to the band’s waning interest in it and the fans’ excitement to bring it back. ‘Play Leash, You Pussies’ was a popular phrase over the years and we’ll talk about how that became popularized during the song’s 11-year hiatus. Keep your eye out for more episodes to drop! Looking to record 1-2 a month just for the Patreon people. We thank you for your dedication to this podcast, your help throughout the last year has kept us going.