October 3, 2012 – Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA, USA

Show at a Glance

  • Number of Songs: 19
  • Show Length:


Main Set: Do The Evolution, Animal, Corduroy, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Wishlist, Got Some, Unthought Known, Given To Fly, Even Flow, Just Breathe, Down, Green Disease, Black, Once, Come Back, Porch

Encore 1: Better Man, Alive, Baba O’Riley

Pearl Jam Show Notes 10/3/2012:

The final show of the year is a corporate gig for Oracle employees, part of the Oracle OpenWorld conference held at Treasure Island in San Francisco. This massive tech conference included a multi-day music fest, tonight featuring X and Kings of Leon alongside PJ. Some enterprising PJ fans found a way in by obtaining badges from conference goers who weren’t going to the concert part of the proceedings, creating a crowd mixture of both the faithful and the more casual. The sound isn’t perfect, as Stone’s guitar seems quiet on Evolution and Animal, but Ed’s in fine screaming voice tonight. Jeff’s bass has the word “FREE” scrawled on it, possibly a nod to one of his heroes, Andy Fraser from the English band Free. Ed attempts to give the audience some lines during Animal, but it doesn’t quite catch and he moves on pretty quickly. Corduroy’s outro seems to connect better, as Ed leads a clap before Mike and Matt throw down in expert fashion. He then greets the crowd:

“It’s nice to be here with you celebrating the fruits of your labor…I think we thought we were playing some guy named Larry’s backyard, but it’s a big yard and he’s got a lot of friends…” 

Small Town is dedicated to the 50,000 conference attendees. Wishlist is a setlist addition for Mark, who “can only stay for a little bit because has to work early in the morning.” Unthought Known is a lovely version that Ed sets up by saying “this song was written while staring at a big moon in the sky, and it’s nice to be able to play it and see the muse right there…” Given to Fly is dedicated to the gold-medal-winning US women’s soccer team, who are in attendance. After a pulverizing Even Flow solo from Mike, Ed mentions the corporate nature of the gig and intros Just Breathe by saying:

“…outside of his kids, there’s nothing, Mike McCready, I don’t think he’d rather do than play guitar like that all night long. All day long. So yes, he would do that for free.  But even though he’d do that for free, we are getting paid tonight. And we’re grateful because there’s a lot we can do in addition to good things in our communities, we get to play for some people, something we’d do anyways… we can turn this into something really nice for people who really, really need it. So for that we are grateful and thank you for having us. And one of the things is, there is a close race in Washington state, fight for right for gay marriages to take place in Washington state. We ‘d like to dedicate this to couples in love. Of the same sex, of opposite sex, of tons of sex…this is called Just Breathe…”

Green Disease sounds fantastic with Jeff and Matt propelling the song’s forward-leaning rhythm throughout. Mike’s Black solo features a snippet of a Spanish-guitar-inspired flourish near the end. Once sounds a bit rough, as again Stone’s guitar sound seems to be having issues. Prior to Come Back, Ed gives attention to the Wounded Warriors Project and the mental health issues the soldiers are facing on their return home. Jeff and Matt stand out on an inspired, swirling jam on Porch. After the break, Ed mentions they aren’t the last band on the bill tonight, that X will be coming up next. Ed again tries to give the crowd something, the Better Man chorus, but again it doesn’t quite take and he playfully says “…you should stop. I mean, really quit while you’re ahead,” to laughter. There’s no tag, the band just jams on the outro a bit longer. Alive and Baba close things out with Ed really pushing it on the Baba screams to finish with great energy. By the end of the song, he’s yelling “X is next! X is next” to keep the crowd in place for X’s upcoming set. Later on, Ed pops up during their set to sing on Devil Doll.

Tom Gregory

Horizon Leg Patron

Ed was once asked why he sings about such dark subject matter and his response, which I'm paraphrasing, was something like that if you give yourself a way to express these emotions, maybe you can make some sense of them. By giving them a name and a shape and a rhythm you can maybe even gain some perspective or even mastery over them. Or maybe at least you won't feel quite as alone. That's was this music does for us. And beyond that internal relationship to the music, you discover this giant, wonderful community of people that somehow loves them just as deeply as you do. First you connect with the songs, the heart, the musicianship, and then you connect with everyone else who feels that same way too. As Ed sang at Pinkpop while scanning that vast, mud soaked crowd during Porch "it's a beautiful thing".

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