Episode 273: Brooklyn, NY – 10/18/2013

This episode is jam packed with stories and breakdown from the first night of Pearl Jam’s two show stint at the Barclays Center in Brookyln from 2013. We invite a very special guest onto the pod, the former COO of Barclays and the Brooklyn Nets, Fred Mangione. Fred gives us an angle that we haven’t discussed a lot from the professional landscape – the business side of booking concerts. As a diehard fan of the band himself, Fred will talk about when the Barclays Center opened, there was stiff competition to pull acts away from Madison Square Garden, the biggest destination for entertainment acts in New York City. He’ll talk about how they managed to get Pearl Jam to pivot from their usual location to land them on the Lightning Bolt tour. We’ll also get to hear the story about how they were originally set to play in Brooklyn for 2016, as well as the details of how the band’s attendance record was broken thanks to The Boss.

Continuing with this month’s theme of focusing on shows that the hosts attended, Randy will talk about his stories from this night… or lack thereof. Riding solo at this show, we’ll start a conversation about how memories can tend to fade over time without having anyone to share them with. Going to shows alone is great, you get to dictate when you get in the building, you don’t care if you embarrass yourself if you sing a little louder and you can focus on your own fun. That’s all great in the present, but when looking back over a decade later, those memories tend to fade a little bit because you never created a bond with a friend going through the same experiences that you did. Now, it’s probably impossible to forget everything. We’ll spend some time talking about songs like Crown Of Thorns and Oceans where the memories have been kept fresh over the years.

There are no Gear Guru segments this week. Why you ask? Because the whole entire show is a Gear Guru segment! Javier joins Randy to help break down this show, and he’ll go in depth on songs like Release, Infallible and Yellow Moon.


Episode 272: Columbia, SC – 4/21/2016

We take a trip to what is now eight years in the past (extremely hard to fathom!) to cover Pearl Jam’s show in Columbia, South Carolina. There are two major themes heading into this show. Firstly, this show was originally intended to take place a day after a show in Raleigh, North Carolina, which was canceled in protest of the state’s HB2 law. The other big storyline heading into the show was the untimely death of rock ‘n’ roll legend, Prince, that was announced earlier in the day. With heavy hearts, the band set forth to pay tribute to a man who had given so much of his life to music, as Ed would call him, the most amazing guitar player he’d ever seen.

This is another show where we get to talk about John’s adventures and stories, so we’ll dig deep into the two top stories that dominated conversation on this night. It was a set with a shared balance of the deep cuts like Oceans, Light Years, Marker In The Sand, Sleight Of Hand and All Those Yesterdays mixed in with massive showstopping performances of Lightning Bolt, Immortality, I Got Id, Rearviewmirror, Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns and more. But one of the more peculiar things about this set is an OTOTO (one time, one time only) performance of the Into The Wild track, Rise. Done as a birthday dedicated to his mom Karen, this song has not been seen at a Pearl Jam show since.

We’ll dig deeper into a few songs during our Gear Guru segments where Javier will break down Lightning Bolt rarity, Infallible, and for the first time ever give a full breakdown of Crown Of Thorns.


Episode 271: Atlanta, GA – 9/22/2012

We’ve had a very busy week! Album announcement? Check! Debut single announcement? Check! Tour announcement? Oh you better believe it, check! So of course there was a lot to react to during this time period, which we did with two episodes focusing on all of the great stuff that lies ahead. While the normal weekly episode may have been pushed back a day, there was no way that we weren’t going to get to Atlanta 2012 this week.

This one is personal in many ways for John. It was his first show in 14 years, but he would tell you that more importantly, this is the last time to date that Pearl Jam has visited Atlanta. Twelve years have gone by without returning to the city the featured one of the greatest Pearl Jam shows of all time in 1994. It seems a little befuddling, right? While much of this episode focuses on stories of being there and experiencing them for the first time in over a decade, there is a lot of questions to be asked as to why the band has ignored the ATL, and perhaps a plea or two to try and convince them to go back in the near future.

We have some solid performances of Better Man, Porch and Corduroy in this show, and Javier’s segments this week will focus on Why Go as well as an interesting effect added to a cover of The Clash song Know Your Rights. It’s tour time people, get excited. It’s the best!


Episode 270: Nashville, TN – 9/16/2022

As we await details on Pearl Jam’s forthcoming twelfth studio album, the month of February will be dedicated to covering shows that Randy and John have attended in the past. First up, we’re gonna dig into the Nashville show from the Gigaton tour that they both were in attendance for. The weekend was a huge party as Pearl Jam was center stage on Broadway, but the run including Louisville and St. Louis was the first time they played three shows in a row since 2006. Feeling big energy from a crowd who was game all night and playing in an arena with impeccable acoustics, the band constructed a set jam packed full of show stoppers and great stories to live up to the hype of playing in Music City.

Randy and John have differing angles when it comes to their personal experiences on this night. For Randy, it was his fourth show out of six during that run with heavy hitting shows such as Toronto, MSG, Camden and St. Louis surrounding this night. He’ll talk about how some of the memories from this night tended to fade until relistening and rewatching the events that took place. For John, this was his first show since 2016, so after a six-year hiatus he was ready to jump back in and be a part of the atmosphere again. They, and everyone else who attended this show, were treated to a setlist that featured massive moments such as Nothingman as an opener for only the second time, an incredible back-to-back featuring Black and Present Tense, Rats thanks to that night’s tour poster, a mind blowing Immortality, a heavy hearted River Cross and many more moments that make this show stand out.

The Gear Guru segments for this show will focus on the aforementioned version of Immortality, and we’ll even get a little demo from Javier! And he’ll also discuss the 1958 Flying V that came from the Gibson Vault that Mike used on both Alive and Ledbetter.


Episode 269: Columbus, OH – 5/6/2010

This episode is a very spiritual affair that will have us look deep into the depths of Pearl Jam as a “religion” of sorts. We’re discussing Columbus 2010, and during one of Ed’s speeches he talks about it being national prayer day and considering turning the band into a religion in order to be tax exempt, and have Stone as their Jesus! So the episode is somewhat molded around the theme of the fanbase celebrating the band as if it were a religion, and how our experiences with the music also creates a common bond with others throughout our community. They even tie performances into this theme such as Faithfull, Marker In The Sand, and of course Alive.

While we read from the old testament of Pearl Jam, we are visited by a holy spirit in this show in the form of Mike McCready. During the pre-set, Mike came out and played a two-song solo set, something that he almost never does. Digging into a Stones cover of Dead Flowers and an original song written for his son, we’ll talk about his efforts and why a solo record could work really well for him. Another big topic from this show stems from an unsolved mystery of a fan local to the Columbus area. Brian Shaffer disappeared while out with friends in April of 2006, and 18 years later this has remained a cold case. Ed raises awareness to the situation, and it’s something that has remained a pinned thread on the Ten Club forum to this day. The band plays a haunting version of Come Back in his honor that makes for one of the most powerful moments at this show.

Thanks to our Patron, Travis Howell, for requesting this show and joining us to tell his story. Javier will join this episode to talk about how much he loves the sound of the 2010 tour (which is not very much at all) and will focus on Amongst The Waves and Marker In The Sand.


Episode 268: Melbourne, AUS – 11/16/2006

With some rumors swirling about Pearl Jam playing Australia this year for the first time since 2014, we thought now would be as good of a time as any to get into a show from down under. 2006 was the last time they played Australia without the help of the Big Day Out festival. For Melbourne, they were treated to three great shows in the same fashion that they had done in previous years, such as 1995 and 1998. While the performances are great from this show, there is one thing that will make this one go down in the annals of Pearl Jam history, and that is… Ed’s butt cheeks.

Yes, you read that right. Three nights in Melbourne means that shenanigans are bound to be had both after the shows and on the off day, which Ed had partaken in. During his escapades, he was informed of a traditional Australian drinking game in which you take a 50 cent coin, wedge it between your butt cheeks and then try and walk with it over to a cup and see if you can drop it in. In the spirit of a night three, Ed plays the game on stage to pretty hilarious results. Also, Stone takes a crack (ha….) at it as well.

Aside from that, we have some great performances at this show. We’ll end up talking about Jeff a lot who is prominent in the mix on such songs like Hail, Hail and Even Flow, and Javier’s segments this week will focus heavily on the Telecaster sound during World Wide Suicide and Save You, as well as Mike’s Ibanez (not Gibson) Flying V on Present Tense. Big thank you to our Patron, William Rees, who submitted this episode request and joins us to tell his story

 


Episode 267: Prague, CZ – 9/22/2006

This episode is manhandled by a recurring theme in which Pearl Jam has never attempted prior or since. On a 2006 night in Prague following a very memorable series of shows in Italy, the band balanced a main set sprint with a first encore where five songs all connected. As we are used to sometimes seeing the songs Better Man, Nothingman and Leatherman used together in what has been dubbed “The Man Trilogy”, on this night the trilogy expanded it’s tribe by adding in Dead Man and Man Of The Hour into what we dub as The Man Pentology. This is a one off instance which was never repeated in this group of five again, and we’re excited to share it with you because it’s things like this that seem to get forgotten about over time. Especially at a show that was not played in America.

As mentioned, this is one of the fastest main sets you’ll ever witness from the modern era clocking in at an hour and 8 minutes. When sets tend to trail on the faster side, that’s all thanks to Matt Cameron’s furious pace that he brought to the table during shows in this era. Songs like Sad, Daughter and Marker In The Sand were all revved up more than usual, and even the songs that already have that identity  such as Last Exit, Whipping and Animal were all amped up a little more than usual. We’ll work quick through this set, but not before taking a moment to feature some of our favorite songs, including a few Filthy Fills tossed in there.

Check out this week’s Gear Guru segments with Javier where he’ll break down a phaser that McCready uses on Life Wasted, to talking about a pedal no longer featured on Stone’s board that was implemented in this version of Insignificance.


Episode 266: Birmingham, AL – 4/9/2003

The coldest show in Pearl Jam history located in East Troy, Wisconsin was so cold that it was dubbed the nickname ‘The Ice Bowl’. When you think of cold weather areas, Wisconsin makes a lot of sense to have held the coldest show ever. But the second coldest show? If you had Birmingham, Alabama on your bingo card, I will assume you’ve cheated. Yes, you’ve heard correctly. On a cold night in April of 2003, Pearl Jam played in front of a smaller capacity crowd in 40 degree weather… in deep south Alabama. It’s kind of crazy to say aloud, but the storyline for this show is how both band and crowd react to the situation, and the put together a very good show despite all that transpired. Our Patron Tasker Hewitt will join us for the episode to talk about his experience of being in the crowd on that night.

The weather isn’t the complete story here, because had they of sold well for original venue Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena, they wouldn’t have had to worry about the rough temperatures. The original plan was for them to play in the same arena which they played in 1998, a larger capacity building than the amphitheater they’d end up moving to, but tickets were not in very high demand and that’s what forced the switch. This led to a great crowd full of hardcore fans that all filled up the GA ready to make it a memorable night. In ways it was. They have some great stretches of songs in which the band purposefully made sure that the crowd stay energetic, the best example being a stretch of Even Flow, Daughter and Better Man played as the 4th 5th and 6th songs of the night. There are some great moments in this set. We’ll spend a lot of time on songs such as Thumbing My Way and Animal, and Black will be a massive discussion point as well.

But if there is one thing to take away from this night, it’s the way they ended this show. After Yellow Ledbetter, the band still has their instruments strapped in. A tease of Sweet Home Alabama from McCready at the end of Ledbetter would potentially make this crowd think there was more ahead. Instead, it was one of the weirdest troll jobs in the history of this band. Matt clicks his sticks four times, the band strums one note, and everyone walks off as if everything was normal. We’ll get into this at full detail and try to figure out what the hell was going on.

Javier returns to the show this week for segments focusing on both Even Flow and Black!


Episode 265: Camden, NJ – 9/1/2000

Welcome to the unofficial sixth season of Live On 4 Legs Podcast! While 2024 is gearing up to be a massive year for Pearl Jam and we plan to be there covering it every step of the way, we’re still very excited to get you guys the weekly episodes covering all of your favorite shows throughout the history of this band. We’re going to kick off the new year with a great show from the Binaural tour in 2000 located in Camden, New Jersey. This show took place near the end of the first North American leg, which had it’s ups and downs due to it’s proximity to the date of the Roskilde tragedy. By this point, the band had kind of found their own way out of the funk and strung together some excellent shows down the home stretch.

This Camden show is a standout due to it’s remarkable run from the middle of the main set straight through to the end. It kicks off with an electrifying Given To Fly, features a version of Better Man which we’ll have tons of talking points about the tag, Present Tense’s “twinkle”, Spin The Black Circle’s sheer speed and Black’s ability to melt your soul. It was not the best show for Ed’s voice, but everyone powered through it and the band had his back in times which he struggled. Another storyline from this night was the contingent of fans who brought signs for Breath with them, very similar to the moment at MSG on the previous tour, and for the only time during this entire tour year the band makes a setlist adjustment in order to play it.

Also, what 80’s metal songs were tagged at the end of Yellow Ledbetter? Stay tuned, the answer may surprise you… or may not. You can pretty much look that up.


Episode 264: Chicago, IL – 9/7/2023

It’s our final episode for the 2023 season, and what better way to close out than finishing with a show from this tour year. In the last episode, we covered the night one show from Chicago, and this episode will take us to the second night at the United Center. This show had a lot to live up to in many people’s eyes as night one was considered, at least by our panelists, as an instant classic show. The second night had to follow up on all of the stories, rarities and energy that made night one so special. And in ways it certainly did live up to it, but perhaps did it fail to capture the same magic as the show on September 5th did? We polled our social media followers and asked them what they thought the more impactful show was, and we’ll share the result on the episode.

There are a couple of big takeaways from this show. They involved the local sports teams into the night a little more and featured a version of Present Tense coming off the popularity of The Last Dance, and they also made an announcement that the Blackhawks would be retiring Chris Chelios’ number. The rarities were once again in the mix as this crowd was treated to some of the more difficult songs to catch at a Pearl Jam show nowadays – Tremor Christ, Green Disease and Marker In The Sand. But there is a big elephant in the room to address that took a stranglehold over the second half of the show, and that is the contingent of Ten songs played. Compared to night one where Gigaton led the clubhouse with 4 songs off the album played, there were a whopping 8 songs from the Ten record on this night. Of course the majority of your crowd is going to love Ten, in this scenario the question needs to be asked – how much is enough?

We’re joined in this episode by our Gear Guru Javier Hervas, not just for a few sprinkled in segments, but for the entire episode! Javier and Randy sat with each other at this show and will share all of the stories of hanging out with friends, finding good records, taking shots of Malort, and of course, the performances. This includes a story about a nickname given to Randy by another fan at this show that a few people out there would probably not want to stick. All the answers will be found in the episode that we have made.


Episode 263: Chicago, IL – 9/5/2023

Let’s finish off the year strong by covering the two night stay from this year’s Chicago shows! We’ll talk extensively about night 1 in this episode and discuss why this was in fact a true instant classic in the Pearl Jam catalog. It had a perfect mix of everything you want from a Pearl Jam show – electric performances, great crowd connection, incredible storytelling and of course ones for the serious collectors. Randy was at this show, which means he’ll do his own fair share of storytelling about the moments that made a profound impact on him, and a little of the journey that took him from Connecticut to Chicago. Including one horrifying story about a bathroom in a Chicago dive bar…

Being in Chicago, the show is of course a homecoming party for Ed. But this was the first instance where they played a show outside of Wrigley Field since 2009. So now you have a much more intimate crowd, how does the night go down? Well for starters, Release is going to end up being your opener, because that’s always what happens there. Then you’ll get a Bulls or Cubs reference, a few stories about his days living there as a child and maybe some shout outs to friends. Those things happened, but the night wasn’t about any of that. It was a night to pay homage to family. Having attended his Aunt Sandy’s funeral the day prior, Ed was feeling nostalgic for going back on some of the memories he had of his grandmother’s apartment growing up. The story that unfolded from revisiting the old stomping grounds was an emotional high point on a night where there were many. We also got a Rearviewmirror dedication for beloved community member Frans Von Franquemont who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.

The Gear Guru warms up for his big full episode appearance next week by gushing over a rare type of pedal that Mike McCready used for Retrograde that was heard in the song Higher Ground, and talking about the bag of tricks Mike doled out in this edition of Even Flow.


Episode 262: Vancouver, BC, CAN – 9/4/1993

This episode is our fifth and final in our run of celebrating 30 years of the Vs. era. We’ve decided to go backwards a little bit and veer away from the November/December shows by covering one from Vancouver when they opened up for Neil Young back in September from that year. After five years, this is our first opportunity to discuss a show that emanated from the Seattle’s neighbor to the north, so we’ll take some time to dig into the history of shows from there and find something special about each of them. For this show in 1993, it’s only 16 songs, and suffers a bit from really bad acoustics in a big football stadium that did not meet expectations of ticket sales. Although Pearl Jam and Ed seemed ripe to take a jab at the place every opportunity they got, they made the most of it and gave the crowd a preview of half the Vs. record which was still over a month away from being released. This show was also the follow up to the legendary performances of Animal and Rockin’ In The Free World at the VMA’s, so we’ll talk a little about the immediate impact of those two moments.


Episode 261: Las Vegas, NV – 12/1/1993

It’s Groundhog Day… again! For the fifth time in seven episodes (and it’ll be sixth in eight next week before getting to some 2023 shows) we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Vs. tour. The tour certainly had it’s ups and downs, and while the last two episodes could be considered some of the down moments, this second night in Vegas is the follow up to a show that’s pound for pound one of the best on this tour. The first night in Vegas featured a reunion of Green River, and the moment where Jeff and Stone joined Mark Arm and Steve Turner for the first time since 1987 seemed to re-energize the band.

As they only had two more dates before ending the tour on a triple header back home in Seattle, you’re able to tell that a little bit of the weight was lifted off their backs. It had been a year of growing pains, but on most nights they were able to put aside their struggle with fame to spend 90 minutes giving the crowd a show to remember. All of the positive energy was radiant on stage at this show with Jeff doing his signature zips and leaps across the stage and Ed’s voice having that trademark ferocity for the era. We’ll dig deep into songs like Go, Glorified G, Daughter, Garden, Blood, Porch and others that were the highlights from this night.

We’ll also react to the news announced by Matt Cameron that the new album is mixed and ready, and the Gear Guru segments this week will dig into an intro for Daughter that had a very 80s, Tears For Fears or Police sound to it, and will get into Mike’s experimental, Sonic Youth inspired sound on the Porch solo.

 


Episode 260: Nacogdoches, TX – 11/20/1993

Let’s stick in 1993 for this episode and head over to Nacogdoches, Texas, a show that takes place only days after Ed’s arrest in New Orleans that we talked about last week. This show yet again presents all of the trials and tribulations of being on tour in 1993. After playing nearly non-stop, and spending their off days working on and recording brand new music, the rigorous travel had finally gotten to the health of Dave Abbruzzese where he is needed to rush to the emergency room after the main set. This left for the band to improvise an encore without drums.

We invite one of the most knowledgeable Pearl Jam minds onto the show that wrote THE book chronicling the history and timeline of Pearl Jam in PJ20, Jonathan Cohen. Jonathan joins us to give a little bit of context to the era and why the band had a difficult time dealing with their skyrocketing popularity, and what they did to seek the advice of rock ‘n’ roll’s elder statesmen to help guide them through. We’ll also talk a little bit about Pearl Jam’s 2024 plans and what you can expect from a new album year!

We’ll spend some time on some interesting setlist decisions from this show, including the choice to open with the Daughter/Glorified G combination, Sonic Reducer in the middle of the main set and of course the decisions made without Dave on hand. The Gear Guru segments will break down both Yellow Ledbetter and Footsteps that were performed without drums at this show.

 


Episode 259: New Orleans, LA – 11/17/1993

As we continue our ode to the 30 years of the Vs. tour this November, we’re stopping at a show that’s known for both what happened during the concert, and then what happened in the aftermath. The show is an unforgettable night from this tour highlighted by a very early rendition of Crazy Mary in which original songwriter, Victoria Williams, joins them to play guitar and sing, and long-time Pearl Jam producer, Brendan O’Brien, is called upon to play the B3. It’s a moment that’s etched in history, but perhaps gets overshadowed by the events that took place the following night. After a dispute with a fan in a New Orleans bar, Eddie Vedder was arrested for public drunkenness and disturbing the peace after spitting in the man’s face. We’ll take the early portion of the episode to discuss about the incident as we’ll invite the 1993 American League Cy Young award winner, Jack McDowell, onto the show, who was there during the occurrence.

We’ll talk to Jack about his relationship with Eddie and how they met through their ex-wives, how Pearl Jam got his band V.I.E.W. bumped off a gig at CBGB’s, how he and Ed convinced TV reporters that Ed was a White Sox call-up, and of course the New Orleans situation. Get to hear what he thought of the whole ordeal and how his night ended up after getting into it with the friend of the agitator that Ed had to deal with. There was only so much time that we had to share of his interview in this episode, but check out Patreon this week for the director’s cut of the interview featuring stories about his band’s V.I.E.W. and stickfigure, Pearl Jam’s relationship with baseball and his current frustrations with baseball analytics that he likes to write songs about.

As for the show, there are excellent performances that we’ll get to dig into from Why Go, Footsteps, Porch, Rats, Blood and of course, Crazy Mary. We’ll also discuss Release being an OTOTO Daughter tag and a wild sequence that featured Ed singing lyrics from Michael Jackson song “Ben” into a fierce, unrelenting rendition of Blood. Our Gear Guru segments this week will focus on some of the slide guitar features of Rats, and of course, the contrast of this version of Crazy Mary compared to what we know of it now.


Episode 258: San Diego, CA – 11/3/1993

1993 could be considered as one of the most important years in the history of Pearl Jam. Vs. sold over a million copies in a week, their popularity was skyrocketing to unprecedented heights where mainstream news sources like TIME Magazine wanted in on the hype. Believe it or not, we haven’t dabbled in many 1993 shows on this podcast. That’s why this entire month is dedicated to the tour year where we’ll talk about some great shows that may get overlooked next to the all-timers such as Indio, Mudfest and others. This episode will take us to Ed’s hometown in San Diego for the second of a two night stint that displayed the power and authenticity of the band in their sophomore year.

A lot of the conversation here will be about Dave A and how comfortable he felt behind the kit during this time period. His heavy, bombastic style brought even more power and ferocity to the songs that had already claimed that identity. But he also made a song such as Release feel like a triumphant, exhilarating live experience that elevated every band member to match his intensity. The big story of this show comes within one of the most polished improv performances they’d ever attempt with a song that is known as Hold Me. We’ll get into a deep discussion on how locked in the band was at this time that they were able to make these improvs feel like well rehearsed songs that could’ve been confused as b-sides. Porch and Once are also major highlights of this show to tune in for.

Our Gear Guru segments this week feature Javier getting into whether Stone is using a Fuzz Pedal on Jeremy, how electric guitar works for a song like Small Town and what made the improv come all together to feel complete. Javier has a brand new single out called La Distancia under the artist name Panamericana. You can find the song on Apple Music and Spotify streaming platforms. Please go check it out!


Episode 257: Charlottesville, VA – 10/29/2013

One of the many reasons of how Pearl Jam has developed such a large following within their fanbase traveling near and far to their shows is that every single show is going to offer you something completely different than their last. Nearly everyone has a wish list of songs that they think they’ll never hear live, but keep hope alive that some day they will finally be in the building on the night they play one. Those rarities are cherished by this community, and if you happen to be at the right show at the right time, you may see multiple rare tracks that they may not play on the rest of the tour. Charlottesville 2013 was that kind of show. With 3 dates left before the end of the east coast run that year, the band unloaded on songs from all different eras that automatically made this one of the most talked about shows of the year.

The sets in 2013 were starting to grow longer without the appearance of an opener. Most shows pushed the 3-hour mark and delved into well beyond 30 songs played for each individual night. Charlottesville had a total of 35 songs that were played, and among the big talking points were songs like In My Tree, Grievance, Glorified G, Big Wave, Sad and the first appearance of Thumbing My Way since 2006. Those six performances alone created enough talking points for this to be recognized perhaps under the “instant classic” moniker. But there are many discussions to be had in this episode that could spell some of those pre-conceived notions. With 19 songs bunched in to a main set that lasted an hour and 25 minutes, there will be a lot of discussion here on how some of the flow and pacing felt a little bit off when attempting this enormous task. We’ll discuss how that compares to the more recent era where there are less songs played, but more time to give each one it’s moment to shine in a more methodical way.

We’ll hear from you guys on what type of Pearl Jam shows that you prefer to see, and we’ll get three excellent segments from the Gear Guru this week – Stone’s fingerpicking on Release, Mike using a monstrous Gretsch guitar on Glorified G, and he’ll dig into why this version of Whipping desperately needed to be aborted towards the end.


Episode 256: Hartford, CT – 10/25/2013

This episode has been a long time coming. On its 10th anniversary, we are covering an absolute classic Pearl Jam show from Hartford, Connecticut in 2013. Randy has talked a lot about this show in the past, and this episode will be a platform for him to share his memories of his experience, and perhaps get up on a soapbox a little bit. This show is living proof that this small city in Connecticut is one of the best Pearl Jam crowds you can find. We’ll talk about that extensively throughout the episode, but what you’ll witness is every time the crowd cheers, Ed is completely beside himself. One massive standing ovation after Last Exit perfectly set the tone for what this night would end up being.

While the crowd certainly is the #1 theme, it does share the #1 spot with the other important theme from this show. Less than a year after the fatal tragedy happened at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT, this was Ed’s first moment to be able to react publicly to what had took place. After meeting with fathers of kids who were killed earlier that day, he gave an impassioned speech standing up for gun control and pleading the crowd to continue being loud about it. Songs like Long Road and Come Back reflect the mood of this theme.

Another theme that derives from Hartford shows is over one song that has connected the band to the city since 2010. What was once an OTOTO (one time, one time only) performance was now being brought back for a second time – the Van Halen rocker Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love. This song will set up a bit of a contentious discussion in this episode about the idea of them playing it. On one side you’ll hear praise for the band giving this city some special love for making it a theme, on the other side you’ll notice pushback for covering a band they have no business covering. And if you enjoy that conversation, you’ll probably love the segue into Got Some as well.

Gear Guru segments this week will focus on Lighting Bolt era songs Let The Records Play and Yellow Moon, as well as a little Jeff Ament talk focusing on his fretless bass from Alone.


Episode 255: Slim’s – 5/13/1993

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Pearl Jam’s sophomore record, Vs., in this episode we’re going back to where it all started. In the spring of 1993, the band set out to record the new record in the Northern California town of San Rafael. The process took two months to lay down all the tracks. At the end of the session, a surprise show was planned under the moniker of the David J. Gunn Band at a small San Francisco area venue called Slim’s. It was on this night that the 500+ in attendance, both indoors and out, witnessed the dawning of the Vs. era.

Nearly everything off of the album debuted, plus other songs that would end up being Lost Dogs or on Vitalogy. Animal, Go, Blood, Dissident, W.M.A., Rats, Rearviewmirror appeared for the first time in their infant stages, alongside Whipping and a little Bad Radio song titled Better Man. Hard To Imagine also claimed it’s live debuted after being noodled and an improv all throughout the 1992 tour. An abridged version of Dirty Frank was played upon request, as was Alone that was also considered a deep cut by this point. While the beloved songs from Ten were played, they felt like an afterthought with all of the new material showcased.

This is considered to be the first true surprise show in the history of the band, and with that came stories of how this show was almost canceled on multiple occasions and may not have happened if Cyndi Lauper was still set to perform that night. To give us the historical context of this show, we’ve invited on a Pearl Jam community legend, Kathy Davis, who watched this show from an open window. If you don’t know Kathy, you should. She was a band archivist going all the way back to this era in 1993 putting together her zine called Footsteps. She’d later help take over with Two Feet Thick after Five Horizons parted ways. Her retelling of the night and how it all came about is more than enough reason to listen to this episode!


Episode 254: Ohana Encore – 10/2/2021

After a long year and a half battle of the world in a lockdown due to Covid-19, concerts were starting to slowly trickle back in by the end of 2021. Pearl Jam had missed their big opportunity to showcase Gigaton on a promotional tour in 2020, so when the opportunity to play four festival shows arose, with careful consideration they finally decided to kick off the new era. Three of the four shows took place at Eddie Vedder’s curated Ohana Festival, which was originally set for one date until a second weekend was added with Pearl Jam headlining both nights. The show we’re covering here is the final night of this run, which means it was a massive celebration with the band, the fans and all of the artists and friends that attended.

Celebration is the theme for this night as every song felt like it had an injection of fun and enthusiasm. There wasn’t a single low energy song featured on the set, and knowing it was the last night, they brought their a-game to create some memorable moments, especially Michael F. McCready (I’ll leave it to you to figure out what the “F” stands for). Songs like Even Flow and Black had explosive elements to them, even more so than usual, while some highlights came as a complete surprise. For those who know the personalities on this podcast, you may be aware that there is one song on the rarer side that has followed Randy around throughout the years – All Night. For those dying to hear an answer on this, you’ll be fulfilled and shocked by the conversation brought to the table. But the big highlight of the night came from Rockin’ In The Free World where the wildest cast of characters (Taylor Hawkins, Brandi Carlile, Sleater-Kinney, Kelly Slater, John McEnroe, Patti Smith, Tim Robbins, Randy Johnson among others) throw a big time party where not one person stays six feet away from another.

This week we invite our friend and Patron, Dakota Duvall, to the show to get his request fulfilled and tell his story about why he chose this show to get covered. And our Gear Guru segments for this week will focus on Quick Escape, Seven O’Clock and Life Wasted.