Episode 163: Noblesville, IN – 8/17/1998

We go back in time to the beginning of the second leg of 1998 in this episode covering the first show out of Noblesville, Indiana. The first leg of the North American run had it’s ups and downs and learning curves seeing as it was the first tour that Matt Cameron took over at the kit. Which meant that Matt had to learn over 60 songs in an extremely short amount of time in order to make this work. Having a month to rest and refocus in between legs, there is a renewed energy at the start of this leg. We’ll talk about how Matt was able to find his organic style and how it was interpreted into Pearl Jam songs different from Jack Irons. We’ll also talk about good versions of Immortality, Brain of J, Wishlist, Alive, and a mention of the Bill Clinton scandal that was all over the news in 1998.

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Episode 162: Worcester, MA – 10/15/2013

Not Boston, but Woostah! This episode hits up an early show from the Lightning Bolt tour in which the band was playing their first of two nights in the Massachusetts town. Most Boston shows are going to give you something memorable like a special crowd or a deep dive into the back catalog. This show has all of those things. It’s a great crowd, and Fatal is played for the first time in years. But with the hosts not having attended this one in person, it is a bit of a struggle to grab onto an overall narrative for this 32-song set. Is it the brand new album songs that the band continues to adjust to on the live stage? Is it the 20-song main set that lasts about a dollar short of 2 hours? Is it Ed being so drunk that he forgets how to spell L-O-I-T-E-R-I-N-G in Crazy Mary? Those are all nice talking points, but when you put everything together, what kind of show are you looking at in hindsight? Don’t let that detract you from what this episode has to offer, because although we struggle with pieces of it, we ultimately enjoy this one. So listen in for discussion on great versions of Crazy Mary, Yellow Moon, Lightning Bolt, Unthought Known, Corduroy and Sonic Reducer.

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Episode 161: Toronto, ONT – 9/19/2005

The 2022 season kicks off with a Patreon request straight from the 2005 Canadian tour leg. We go to Canada’s biggest city in Toronto to cover a show with a clear narrative from top to bottom that had the ultimate payoff at the end. Pearl Jam arrived into town as U2 completed a four-night stay to kick off the third leg of their Vertigo Tour, which meant an opportunity that allowed for Ed to appear on stage with them opened the door for Bono to make a guest appearance during this show. Make no bones about it, we let it be known our thoughts and feelings of U2 and Bono as a whole. You may share them or you may not, but ultimately a night packed with deep cut tributes to the pioneering arena rock titans is going to be memorable for many. But after about 83 or so U2 references weaved in and out of songs and speeches, it had to end with Bono blathering in some sort of self-inspired religious tongues during Rockin’ In The Free World. Would you expect it any other way? When U2 isn’t the forefront of conversation, we’ll get to talk about a strong show of mainly hits that features a special performance of Harvest Moon in the encore. And for all of you Jeff Ament fans, we kick off our year with a lovefest to the greatest bass player around.

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Patreon Exclusive: Cow Palace – Daly City, CA – 12/31/1991

Happy New Year everyone! What’s a better way to kick off 2022 than to relive one of two occasions where the band has played on New Year’s Eve. As a matter of fact, the 1992 NYE show was the first Patreon exclusive we ever did so it makes sense that we tackle the 1991 show for this year! This was one of the very few shows where Nirvana was on the bill instead of the Smashing Pumpkins on the RHCP tour. If you were wondering if there were a rift between the bands having to deal with each other backstage, you wouldn’t be wrong. We’re gonna spend a good chunk of this episode discussing how Pearl Jam and Nirvana’s trajectories at this point in time were very different, yet Pearl Jam would end up rising faster than you’d think. It’s a 7-song set with a ton of energy, possibly the largest crowd PJ had played in front of in their year and change long existence.

Episode 160: The Showbox – 12/6/2002

We end our 2021 Hometown Series run with the 2002 Showbox show that was released as a DVD. This took place at the beginning of the Riot Act era so we get three debuts from the album as well as a near OTOTO that’s festive for this time of year. Don’t Believe In Christmas, originally written by The Sonics, was featured as a Christmas single that year and closes out the show. We saved it for this time of year so it could be a special holiday treat for you all! Along with showcasing many of the new tracks, a major theme from this show was the incoming Iraq war and how that was impacting the band, mainly Ed. We get to see it in the tag for Daughter where he took a rendition of War: What Is It Good For and shook it to it’s core. The intensity behind his emotional outbreak is one of the angriest displays we’ve ever seen from Ed at a show, and we’ll discuss that in full detail. The political statements would continue throughout the night with the debut of Ed donning a George W. Bush mask during Bu$hleaguer, Insignificance getting a big moment and Yellow Ledbetter getting a few relevant lyrical changes.

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Episode 159: Clarkston, MI – 6/26/2003

What happens when a venue dedicated to corporate sponsorship doles out tickets to non-Ten Club fans in the first ten rows of the building? The band gets to play an extra night allowing cheap lawn seats to fan club members, that’s what. In an act of defiance in Clarkston (or Detroit, depending on who you are) Pearl Jam took the stage on the second of two nights and decided to experiment instead of busting out some of the standard favorites. This experiment lead to a whopping seven songs off of Vitalogy that were played and four from No Code, with the No Code tracks in particular standing out the most. This was in a time where In My Tree was barely played, so when it was brought back in rare instances, the band would perform an alternate version stretching out the song’s soaring elements. This is a version we don’t get to chat about often, so get ready for us to take a few minutes on it. Rarities would be strategically placed throughout this main set as the pace and energy maintained consistent. Songs like Sleight of Hand, Down and Leatherman that don’t usually get the call were played, with the latter of those beginning the Man Trilogy. A great show, a great bootleg. Thanks to our Patron Clay Davis for requesting this one.

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Episode 158: Safeco Field – 8/8/2018

We’re nearing the end of our Hometown Series and a show that absolutely needed to be apart of that conversation gets the spotlight in this episode. This one covers the first night of the 2018 Home Shows – a two night stay at the ballpark formerly known as Safeco Field that fundraised $11 million dollars to combat homelessness in Seattle. This show is a true band homecoming and appreciation for their roots as throughout the night, Ed would tell some of the most poignant stories he’s ever told, giving each band member a moment in the spotlight and sharing the long road that it took for them to be where they are today. Ed’s most prominent and pertinent story of the night takes place before Even Flow. He shares the origins of the song which has a direct connection to the true meaning of why they’re raising money to fight homelessness. You get to see a vulnerable side of this band that doesn’t normally come out on stage at most shows and it takes you on a journey through their personal experiences and how they’ve interwoven them into what defines Pearl Jam as a band. There are incredible performances and big surprises from this show, and the Colin Powell rule comes into effect as we get to talk about a topic that might otherwise not be relevant – The Beatles and the Get Back movie. We go into great detail about what makes the film so good, and connecting it to Pearl Jam, we fantasize about a world where we are introduced to a documentary about the Vs. and Vitalogy sessions. It’s worth the listen!

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Episode 157: Albany, NY – 5/12/2006

The 2006 tour is seen as Pearl Jam’s last massive rigorous year in their touring history. Supporting the Self Titled, or better known as Avocado record, they were finding their groove with new songs while also emptying the tank of all their songs with long droughts of not being played. The Albany show that we cover in this episode takes place just over a week after the album’s release, and while nine of those thirteen songs were showcased, the band went through and did some digging deep into the back catalog to bring back a few that hadn’t seen the live stage in a number of years – Red Mosquito, that had been played on the previous tour year but held off for 40 straight shows, Satan’s Bed, which was haphazardly brought back at State College in 2003 but played for the first legitimate time since 1996, and Rats which had only been played twice in the Matt Cameron era. Rats is the big one from this set that most fans will remember since it had gone 224 shows on the shelf. Later that month, the band would end up adhering to another popular drought request, Leash, and then eventually the elusive Dirty Frank. This show is defined by its rarities just as much as its defined by the brand new songs energizing them. Wasted Reprise/Life Wasted combo opening the show was something they didn’t break out very often, and after this era songs like Marker In The Sand, Army Reserve and Gone were pushed aside. We’ll get to talk extensively about some of these tracks and how fresh they felt being played for only a single digit amount of times till that point. Thanks to Horizon Leg Patron Zach Fields for requesting this show!

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Patreon Exclusive: CBGB’s – New York, NY – 11/8/1991

This episode covers the band’s lone appearance at the pinnacle of New York City club venues. In November of 1991 while touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam took a quick detour to play the legendary CBGB’s for a short, low attended set. It was their only appearance at the famed punk venue. It’s an 8-song set with a very unique opener in Black along with the standard fare off of Ten from 1991. Check it out to hear our coverage on the show, and maybe a quick word from a former member of Pearl Jam? You’ll just have to find out.

Episode 156: Oakland, CA – 11/14/1997

1997 was somewhat of a quiet year for Pearl Jam, at least on the touring side of things. Busy recording their fifth studio album, Yield, they kept a low  profile and took a break from having to deal with their continued Ticketmaster boycott. It wasn’t until November that Pearl Jam would play a 4-night stint of shows in the Bay Area as the opening act for The Rolling Stones. In this episode we’ll discuss the first night of the four show run and take a glimpse into the transitional time period for them. This show is interesting mainly because Pearl Jam is not quite the focal point. While a big stage is built for the Stones’ elaborate set-up, Pearl Jam was confined to a smaller section of the stage which crammed up their space and didn’t allow them to build a connection with the large stadium crowd. If you watch the YouTube video, you would never be able to tell that the band was playing in a football stadium. But the Stones invited them along for these shows in order to entice a younger crowd and sell tickets. This was originally set for a two night stay, but since these shows were in such high demand they continued to tack on dates. Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews and Sheryl Crow only play for two nights a piece on this tour, and Pearl Jam’s set lasted 20 minutes longer. That’s being in high demand right there! After debuting some of the Yield songs at a fan club show in Santa Cruz two nights prior (billed as The Honking Seals), the first night of this run featured three key album tracks being played for the second time. Given To Fly displayed it’s ability to soar in an outdoor venue and benefited from the Jack beat that is routinely identified with the song, Wishlist showed a bit of trepidation as Ed busts out the e-bow for the first time in front of a large crowd, and Do The Evolution was an early indication that the fans were in for something fresh and raw on the new album. But as their stage time was held to only an hour due to being the opener, most of this set has your standard, mid-90’s Pearl Jam fare.

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Episode 155: Salt Lake City, UT – 11/2/1995

In this episode, we venture into a part of the country we have yet to touch – Salt Lake City, Utah! As the band’s Ticketmaster boycott prevented them from playing marquee venues in 1995, they often found themselves in challenging scenarios playing shows in obscure places. While the capital of the 45th state may not be totally obscure, it’s strange to look back and say they did a two night run in Salt Lake City. But there’s a reason for that. During June of the original tour run, they had to postpone their show slated to take place at the original outdoor amphitheater in SLC due to weather concerns. The band would say they’d return and play twice as many songs, which led to this excellent November stretch packed with five memorable shows.

The Utah shows are seen for being somewhat of a gateway from the Vitalogy era into No Code. During the first night, they’d debut Red Mosquito, and at this show, Brain Of J. would make it’s live debut. We get a chance to look into the changes made in the song and decipher why this was held back and re-recorded for Yield in it’s form most common to us. We’ll also get a ton of Vitalogy era Jack Irons infused jam sessions to talk about, including extended versions of Not For You, Corduroy and Immortality.

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Episode 154: Key Arena – 12/6/2013

We’re back yet again at the Key Arena to continue our year long Seattle Hometown series. This show in 2013 was big. It was the tour closer for a tour that reinvigorated a lot of energy back into setlists bringing back songs that they hadn’t played in years and changing up format in order to fulfil longer shows. Since this was the closer in Seattle, they knew that they were going to have to bring their a-game arsenal. A whopping 36 songs were played making it an instantly memorable evening. A few talking points during this show include an appreciation for Pendulum as the consistent opening track for this tour as well as an appreciation for the 3-song slowburn startup that frequented setlists this year. We’ll dig into how 2013 was a big year for rarities and at this show they brought out one of the rarest of the rare. Let Me Sleep was played once back in 1994 at a Bridge School show, it took them 613 shows before playing it again on this night. Also special from this show is a trio of songs from the Singles soundtrack played in a row for the only time. With 36 songs, it has a been stage atmosphere and while a podcast may not do the visuals justice, the lasting images of Ed and Mike dueling on Better Man and Ed being lifted up on one of the orbs are the big points to remember from this show. Thanks to our Patron, Drew Vipond, for making the request!

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Episode 153: Mountain View, CA – 6/1/2003

If you were to take a guess as to what venue Pearl Jam has frequented the most over the last 30 years, would you think Shoreline Amphitheatre is the correct answer? If not, then you’re wrong. 17 of the performances in the San Francisco area amphitheater came from the Bridge School benefits, but this episode will happen to cover a show played there in 2003. As of most nights from this era, there are some politically motivated moments seeped into this evening. From a pro-activism speech during Porch to a few references to some of the bay area war protests that happened that February, it’s not difficult to see what’s on the band’s mind. However, it being the second leg of this US run following the Nassau Coliseum incident, things are a lot more composed. As long as people didn’t fuck with The (Dixie) Chicks, Ed was in good spirits. Tune into this episode to check out great versions of Long Road, You Are, Daughter, Thumbing My Way, Present Tense, Love Boat Captain and an out of this world Crazy Mary. Potentially the best of all-time? One host’s opinion may reflect that. Thanks to our Patron Ryan Morden for joining us and selecting this show for us to cover!

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Episode 152: Hartford, CT – 9/13/1998

This episode takes a look into a show on the Yield tour from Hartford, CT that was the follow-up show to one from Madison Square Garden that many consider to be among the best of all time. While much of this episode is Randy stepping up to his soapbox to profess his love for shows in his home state, it’s also taking a key critical factor in Pearl Jam touring and asking the important question – is the band OK with having a down show immediately after playing one for the ages? With Hartford being sandwiched in between two big cities, you’d think it would be an opportunity for the band to possibly take the night off. Whether they do or not is a discussion in itself, but you’ll have to listen in to hear what Stone thought about this show in particular.

We’ll react to Stone’s quote and try to put the pieces together as to why maybe this isn’t a show that many people go back to from the era. It certainly has moments. Breath, after famously being brought back for the first time since 1994 at MSG, is played once again. Alive and Porch at the end present a situation where Ed had to manage the security team, because how dare those Connecticut fans dance in the aisles. And there are great versions of Do The Evolution, Daughter, Spin The Black Circle and Brain Of J all packed in. Was this a lull show? You’ll just have to tune in to find out!

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Patreon Exclusive: Crocodile Cafe – Seattle, WA – 10/10/1998

Ah, it feels good to have exclusive content up again! This one is a shorty but a very good, occasionally forgotten about show from the end of 1998. Pearl Jam was featured as a surprise guest of Cheap Trick’s during a three night stay at the small Crocodile Cafe venue in Seattle. What ensued was a setlist of 10 songs, mostly ones featuring Ed on guitar, raw and heavy on percussion. With Matt Cameron’s first year officially in the books, we get to witness his comfort zone with these songs after a full tour of playing them.

Episode 151: Austin City Limits – 10/5/2014

A festival show is on the docket as we take a look back at the first night Pearl Jam performed at Austin City Limits in 2014. ACL is always an eclectic festival weekend, but this year had the band headlining alongside Eminem and Outkast, which on paper doesn’t seem to be their scene. But the reunited Replacements would go on before them, which would lead to a nice tribute during the Daughter tag. While this is kind of what you’d expect from your average festival sets, there are moments worth going back to in this such as the extended intro version of Love Boat Captain, a touching dedication during the Come Back performance, and we get a Danny Clinch appearance on Red Mosquito. With apologies to all Texans who’s state finally has representation on our podcast for the first time in three years, but also, someone might’ve called them sensitive.

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Episode 150: Key Arena, Seattle, WA – 9/21/2009

We’re heading back to an era that has gone nearly untouched in the Live On 4 Legs pantheon. In 2009, the Backspacer album was released and subsequently toured for. Although somewhat polarizing in retrospect, people thought highly of the album at the time and considered it to be Pearl Jam’s return to their “true rock ‘n roll roots.” Yet of the eleven tracks the album bares, the band rarely goes back to many of those songs that were getting attention then. As a podcast, these songs have seen minimal coverage possibly thanks to that. This episode will continue the Seattle hometown series featuring a show that was considered to be the Backspacer era’s maiden voyage taking place only a day after the record was released. As mentioned, a lot of music critics and journalists hopped back aboard the Pearl Jam bandwagon when this album came out. Was it due to the album being exclusively released at a big box store like Target? Or could it possibly have been because the George W. Bush administration was out of office and the album seeing a fresh, positive outlook for the first time since Yield? Whatever the case was, the band was clearly feeling good about their recent production, continuously pushing songs such as Got Some and The Fixer along with the family oriented love song Just Breathe. But this era also hosts a few of those songs that have absolutely disappeared from the Pearl Jam live repertoire such as lead-off track Gonna See My Friend, Johnny Guitar and Ed solo track The End which we’ll cover the debuts for in this episode. But this era also led the way for a few classics that we continue to hear today such as the aforementioned Just Breathe and Unthought Known. Since we are coming off a month where Gigaton songs were finally played for the first time in 18 months, we’ll make some comparisons to how these new songs fit in with the setlist to how the Backspacer songs ended up. Seven O’Clock is seemingly on the projection of an Unthought Known made to be a nightly hit, but what songs can we compare Retrograde and River Cross to? All of that, plus a few good personal stories mixed in for this one.

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Episode 149: Randall’s Island, NY – 9/29/1996

On it’s 25th anniversary, we present you with an episode on what’s considered to be a top 10 Pearl Jam show of all-time- Randall’s Island! Having to book non-Ticketmaster venues, this muddy, massive open field was their best option in order to play in New York City. In with that marks a 32-song instant classic that many northeasterners have noted to be their first ever Pearl Jam show. Ed made the crowd a promise after playing the previous night that this would be the best played and longest show in their history, and they certainly made good on their promise. The show didn’t go off without it’s issues as very early on there was a desperate plea for crowd control. A performance of Animal was stopped midway through in order to calm things down, but the situation continued to be addressed during the first chunk of songs. Also in this show, we get the last ever appearance of No Jeremy, a rare rendition of Rats played by Jack Irons, Long Road in the encore, and so much more that made this night memorable. However, the most memorable moment is likely this version of Porch where Ed duct taped his entire body, jumped into the crowd and gave one of the most iconic speeches in the history of the band.

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Episode 148: Toronto, ONT, CA – 9/21/1996

Last month we gave a lot of love to the 30th anniversary of Ten, which by no means was meant to ignore the 25th anniversary of No Code. This episode gives love to the record and the era as we dig into a revved up show from Toronto that was essentially the tour starter. Coming off their memorable David Letterman performance the night before, the band looked forward to playing their brand new songs in front of a crowd that wasn’t their hometown. The result? A 22-song banger of a show that had the band at the top of their game. The new songs such as Hail Hail, In My Tree and Habit blast through the speakers, but it’s also some of the Vitalogy era stuff that Jack Irons absolutely thrives on such as Tremor Christ and Immortality. We go a little old school LO4L on this one and get in depth with every individual performance!

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Episode 147: Key Arena – Seattle, WA – 12/8/2002

In this episode, we continue our year long 30th anniversary Seattle hometown series with a tune up show from 2002 that took place shortly before the long Riot Act tour in the proceeding year. The band was slowly returning to the public eye for the first time since the end of the tumultuous Binaural tour, and in the two years since that run, the world had completely changed. In the wake of 9/11 was an impending war with Afghanistan that would transition into a war with Iraq that the band vehemently opposed, and would express their opposition to on the Riot Act record. The Riot Act songs are in their infancy of live performances with most of them only being played in between two and five times. We’ll spend some time talking about the crowd’s reaction to these songs and why some of them took a lot quicker to attach themselves to (I Am Mine, Save You, Love Boat Captain) while others maybe didn’t click as much at first (Ghost, Thumbing My Way). But we’ll also get an early appearance of the George W. Bush mask routine during Bu$hleaguer. Another big talking point of the episode is about The Ramones and their presence in the music world at the time. Earlier that year, Eddie, donning a newly buzzed mohawk, inducted The Ramones into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. It came a year after the passing of Joey, and two months later, Dee Dee would die from a heroin overdose. With Johnny’s health in decline, artists at the time were eager to share how The Ramones had influenced them over the years with Ed at the forefront of all of it. We’ll talk about their impact on the music world and how many artists were looking to keep their legacy alive after losing two original members in such a short amount of time.

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