June 30, 2012 – Main Square Festival, La Citadelle, Arras, FRA

Show at a Glance

  • Number of Songs: 23
  • Show Length: 1:55


Main Set: Release, Go, Severed Hand, Do The Evolution, Better Man, Low Light, Amongst The Waves, Even Flow, Wishlist, Lukin, Corduroy, Nothingman, Arms Aloft, Unthought Known, The Fixer, Rearviewmirror

Encore 1: Given To Fly, Breath, Just Breathe, Black/(We Belong Together), Jeremy, Alive, Yellow Ledbetter

Pearl Jam Show Notes 6/30/2012:

After playing this festival two years earlier, PJ returns to headline the weekend. Ed’s voice, despite having played in Belgium the night before, sounds great on Release to open. The pacing of these first few songs is perfect and almost slowed down from the frenetic pace that can sometimes be expected. It seems counterintuitive to call Go ‘slower’, but it is not at the breakneck pace that the song usually reaches, taking nothing away from the intensity. Ed thanks Florence and the Machine for:

“bringing the sunshine…literally and figuratively. And she also spoke incredibly great French, of which I will not even attempt to do.  We’re just going to keep playing…”

Ed tees up Low Light with “…this is just for this time of the evening. It’s just the perfect light for this song,” As Mike begins his Even Flow solo, Ed directs the crowd to “check this shit out right here…” Tonight’s Lukin joke is Ed imploring the crowd, “everyone sing!” They tear right into Corduroy without missing a beat, and the ending jam is one of the absolute highlights of the show.  Ed addresses the crowd after to give a bit of a break from the pace.

“…there’s a lot of flags from all kinds of different places here. It’s exciting to see. It’s nice to see a global community getting along. I wish the bankers and politicians could see how it all could work. We were going to play a quiet song, but I don’t know, the band in the house next to us, they might be louder than us. Maybe we should come back to the quiet one…we’ll try it. We’ll need your voices singing along to drown them out…” 

The close proximity of the festival, perhaps, leaves bands within earshot, however, the crowd obliges with their voices.  He talks about Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros before Arms Aloft and how it’s been 10 years since Joe passed. Unthought Known is “especially good under an open sky…” After Given to Fly, Ed gives a bit of a history lesson:

Mr. Mike McCready, he wrote that part. All those years ago…we’ve been playing a long time, but before we even started, when I was still living in a gutter, writing songs in my bedroom, these two, Mr. Jeff Ament and Mr. Stone Gossard, were in a band. They’ve been in a band for almost 30 years. And if you’ve ever been in a band, any kind of relationship, for 30 years, that’s really incredible. Something to look up to as a monument. The new guy in the group, he’s been with us for 10 years, Mr. Boom Gaspar on the B3. Where are you Boom? Smoking pot on the job? And then years ago, before we were a group, or after Jeff and Stone’s second group, they got together and were putting together some songs, some of them ended up on a record called Temple of the Dog, some of them ended up on our first record, called…I can’t remember. But the first song that Jeff and Stone and this here drummer here played was this next one. This was the first song that Matt Cameron ever played with our guys here. Mr. Matt Cameron, who’s not only touring the world with our band but also another incredible band called Soundgarden. He’s officially the hardest working man in show business. Although that’s not what we call this. This is a song called Breath…”

After Breath, Ed segues “from Breath to Just Breathe…” Ed checks on the crowd’s ability to hear, as the other stage is likely coming through, and decides that if the crowd forgot the band’s first record as well, they’ll reintroduce them, beginning with an epic Black, capped off with We Belong Together. He encourages everyone to sing on Jeremy, which is highlighted not only by the crowd joining in, but Jeff’s amazing bass playing. “Can I just say this is the most memorable bottle of bordeaux I’ve had in my entire life,” offers Ed before Alive, and “…this is how we say au revoir” introduces Mike on Yellow Ledbetter. Ed adds a quick “I wanna stay all night” right after the first “I don’t want to stay” line. A huge ovation and Ed closes out the night:

“…merci beaucoup.  We’ll see you again I hope. Have a great weekend. Have a great life. Have a great rest of the night. Let’s make it so the world don’t come to an end. We’ll see you again I hope. Thank you. And we want to thank the other band, I don’t know who they are, but I just want to thank them for being part of the show. You guys go all night, have a great time, thanks for having us be part of it, cheers, good night, we love you. Au Revoir!

Nick Smith

Writer & Contirbutor

I still remember the night as a 14 year old when a friend gave me a CD to listen to and the first notes of “Once” were so powerful it took hours to move on to “Even Flow.” Needless to say I was hooked for life. Since the age of 18, when I skipped school twice to get tickets, my never ending quest to see the band that changed my life as much as I could was on. Pearl Jam has been the constant companion on this crazy trip called life. Still hoping for a swig off the wine bottle, Bugs, and to be at a Buenos Aires show. I’d totally give the tambourine away to a kid, maybe mine someday.

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