October 12, 2013 – First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY, USA

Show Notes:

The second night of the Lightning Bolt tour was the band’s fourth performance in the city of Buffalo. For the second straight night, they open the show with brand new track Pendulum. They also go back to the slow burn…

Show Notes: 

The second night of the Lightning Bolt tour was the band’s fourth performance in the city of Buffalo. For the second straight night, they open the show with brand new track Pendulum. They also go back to the slow burn open, following up with Low Light and Sometimes. Ed holds out the last note on Low Light for an eternity, while Sometimes gets somewhat of an extended intro. Do The Evolution caps off an energetic section featuring old and newer tracks with Ed engaging the crowd in a call and response similar to what the band receives on their South American tours. My Father’s Son is played for the first time live and gets off to a false start before the band figures it out. Also debuting at this show is Swallowed Whole. Ed tells the story of how I Got Shit was written during the Mirror Ball sessions, saying Neil Young told him to write a song and he responded:

“‘I don’t got one, I got shit.’ Neil said ‘I Got Shit, that’s the song!’”

This leads to an incredibly fun performance of the Merkinball track. Present Tense, State Of Love and Trust, and Porch are an excellent closing section to end the main set. In the encore, Ed compliments the Buffalo Sabres logo, leading to a ‘Go Leafs Go’ chant from the fans who traveled from Toronto. Ed jokingly responded, saying he couldn’t hear them because he lost his hearing in 1995. After a cool down featuring two brand new, melodic songs from the new album, the rest of the show is dominated by the Vs. record. Elderly Woman is played for the fans in the back and even has a separate drum kit facing their direction that Matt hops on, potentially the first instance featuring this setup. The rare Rats follows and the set finishes up with an atmospheric sounding Rearviewmirror. After pondering whether they should call the residents ‘Buffalonians’ or ‘Buffolites’, Go rips open the 2nd encore. Bread and butter closes the night, featuring Alive, Baba O’Riley, and another Vs. song, Indifference. Ed finishes things out saying “thanks for making it a great night for us, it’s all your fault!”


October 11, 2013 – CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Show Notes:

On the first night of the North American leg of the Lightning Bolt Tour, 5 new songs make their debut. Mike is holding a bow a la Jimmy Page to begin the show, and he uses it to create the…

Show Notes: 

On the first night of the North American leg of the Lightning Bolt Tour, 5 new songs make their debut. Mike is holding a bow a la Jimmy Page to begin the show, and he uses it to create the otherworldly effects on Pendulum. Lightning Bolt and Mind Your Manners ramp up the energy early on. Untitled is changed slightly to honor Roberto Clemente (Pirates legend who died in a plane crash while performing humanitarian efforts): “I could be there in 21 minutes or so.” Ed adds “…there’s a lot to be said for Pittsburgh…” into MFC. Faithfull sees Ed check on the crowd for the first time, and he dedicates Sirens to a guy they knew from earlier in their careers who did a radio interview with them on a bridge, they were sitting with their legs dangling over the bridge, and he died in a tragic accident soon after the interview. Ed mentions that he still thinks about him even if he isn’t right there in front of them. Unemployable is played for the only time on the North American tour and for the last time to date, and dedicated to members of Congress, in hopes they would soon be unemployable. Daughter is played without a tag, but Ed tells a great story about Franco Harris:

When I grew up, the best running back at the time was a guy named Franco Harris, and everyone loved him and wanted to claim him as their own. Not just the African-American community, but also the Italians, since his dad was Italian. What I loved the most was the Irish community here took him in but called him Frank O’Harris!

Infallible and Let the Records Play are debuted, and both sound very crisp in the same vein as they are on the album. The main set closes with another great Unthought Known and Rearviewmirror, as the crowd catches a much-needed breath. After a shaky Speed of Sound, Ed jokes that they’re not going to split the band up in Pittsburgh, we’ll get through this, leading into the debut of Yellow Moon. After a beautiful Footsteps, Jason Grilli (pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates) is invited on stage and gives a passionate, increasingly unhinged speech about how much he loves Pittsburgh and how he will pitch his balls off for them next year. His intro song during the games is Whipping, which follows, and he stays on stage and dances like a maniac. The first encore comes to an end with Porch leading the crowd to another crescendo. The second encore starts with Ed saying:

 I was getting nervous about our first gig, but I happened to be talking to Bruce Springsteen about a few things, he said, ‘It’s Pittsburgh, you’re going to have a smoking crowd’ and he was right, the Boss was right! Maybe when you only come once every 7 years, maybe that’s why.

The run to the finish starts with another mighty rendition of Black, with the crowd helping out on vocals. Ed goes and stands behind Mike during his solo, even putting his ear to Mike’s amp at one point, soaking it all in. Rockin’ In the Free World lyrics are changed to “there are colors in the street, all black and yellow…” Mike ends the night with a tender Ledbetter outro.


July 19, 2013 – Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL, USA

Show Notes:

The band makes their first appearance at the ballpark where Ed spent his youth watching games. The weight of the moment is not lost on them, as you can see Ed getting choked up as he sings the “oh dear…

Show Notes: 

The band makes their first appearance at the ballpark where Ed spent his youth watching games. The weight of the moment is not lost on them, as you can see Ed getting choked up as he sings the “oh dear dad” lyric in Release. Hold On is played for only the 3rd time. Ed addresses the crowd after Low Light:

“It’s one of those shows that was getting organized around this time last year, but it feels like we’ve been waiting a lifetime for it. Of all the places in Chicago…this isn’t just the crown jewel of Chicago, it’s the crown jewel of the whole planet Earth. It’s exactly as I pictured it, including some potential weather that we’ll have to get through as a team tonight. So we’re pacing ourselves and we hope you do the same. With all due respect to the gentleman who plays here tomorrow, they’re gonna have to kick us off the stage tonight.”

An emotionally charged Come Back is dedicated to a woman named Sarah who died at the age of 30. With the threat of thunderstorms impending, Ed addresses the crowd again:

“We’re gonna do this next one, and then the next one, and another one, and then three more, four more. More and more and more. But there might be shifts in weather that could hit us hard. There’s electrical equipment on the stage that doesn’t make it safe to be out here, but we’re gonna do one more and then take a little break and be right back.”

Lyrics of Elderly Woman are changed to “…glad I saw this place, thank you John for taking me…” as a nod to his uncle who brought him to Cubs games as a child. Ed says that the bad weather will only last a half hour, but it will take a half hour to get everyone to safety, reassuring everyone that the curfew has been extended. After three grueling hours of hard rain, the band finally takes the stage again around 11:45. Ed comes out wearing a Jose Cardenal jersey and puts a twist on a famous quote used at the friendly confines:

“Ernie Banks used to say let’s play two, I think we can say let’s play ‘til two!”

He tells a story about how Banks asked him to write a Cubs anthem, All The Way, which he then plays. Memorable Cubs highlights are played on the video screen during the performance. At the end of the song, Ed brings out Mr. Cub to sing along. Ernie Banks speaks:

“It’s a beautiful day, let’s play two! I’m happy that you’re in my house, it’s the most beautiful place. I love it, I could sleep here. This is Eddie’s glove he had when he was five and I’m taking it because I’m gonna keep it.”

The band comes back out and rips into All Night, a tongue-in-cheek way of foreshadowing what’s to come. Ed implores the crowd to sing Do The Evolution “South American style” and they comply. Corduroy’s bridge is extended, with the crowd singing “everything has chains…” while the band jams straight through it. Two brand new songs off the forthcoming Lightning Bolt album are played, Mind Your Manners and Lightning Bolt, with the latter making its live debut. Lightning Bolt is an instant hit with the crowd, featuring a powerful, long lasting solo off the axe of Mike McCready. After cracking a few jokes about Mike’s testicles, Ed asks “Four Balls Michael” if he wants to try one out, leading to an overpowering rendition of Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption solo. Naturally, the only way to follow that up would be to break out an accordion to play…Bugs! Ed has fun with it, as the crowd remain in disbelief of what they are seeing. Rearviewmirror ends the main set in a big way, the bridge guitar parts are reminiscent of Pete Townshend and Matt Cameron caps it off with an incredible drum solo.

To begin the encore, Ed introduces Brendan O’Brien to play keys on the debut of Future Days. The Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns combination is a special moment, only the third time they’ve been packaged together by PJ. McCready is once again a major highlight, providing a soul crushing solo. Over the Wasted Reprise bed, Ed mentions watching the Cubs on a black and white TV, adding that when he went to the stadium for the first time, he saw all the colors of the field and it was like his field of dreams. Strapped for time in the wee hours of the night, much of the back end of the set is cut. Black segues into Rockin in the Free World to cap off one of the most memorable shows in Pearl Jam’s catalog. A show that began at 7:30 PM and ended at 2 AM.


July 16, 2013 – Budweiser Gardens, London, ONT, CAN

Show Notes:

This pre-Wrigley warm-up gig, at the relatively intimate Budweiser Gardens Arena (formerly the John Labatt Centre) where they first visited during the ’05 Canadian jaunt, ratchets up the energy with the first Present Tense opener since 2005. Things stay relatively…

Show Notes: 

This pre-Wrigley warm-up gig, at the relatively intimate Budweiser Gardens Arena (formerly the John Labatt Centre) where they first visited during the ’05 Canadian jaunt, ratchets up the energy with the first Present Tense opener since 2005. Things stay relatively mellow early, as the band follows up with a heartfelt Nothingman and crowd favorite Elderly Woman. Gears shift with a brief intro tag romp of The Clash’s stomp London Calling into a Corduroy that features an extended jam in the bridge and the first of several excellent Mike solos of the night. The first and only debut of the night is the bottom-driven Mind Your Manners; despite a couple of mic problems for Ed, it gets a solid reception. The remainder of the main set includes back-to-back rarities of Sad and Alone. Mike rides the band’s collective energy with some emotionally rich solos on Even Flow, a passionate Black, and some dueling guitar with Stone on Porch. During Porch, oversized light bulbs in a red and green glow are dropped from the rafters. The first encore kicks hard and fast with Last Exit, and quickly moves into a mellower zone with Parachutes and Man of the Hour.  The second encore features a terrific Smile, backed by a surprise late show Brain of J. The night comes to a close, lights up, with Indifference. A fun and energetic warm up, setting the table for the rest of the year.


April 6, 2013 – Lollapalooza, Parque O’Higgins, Santiago, CHL

Show Notes:

Ed changes the third “Oh…dear Dad…” in Release to “Oh dear Red…can you see this now…” He encourages the crowd to join in during Do the Evolution, calling out “C’mon! Louder than Buenos Aires!” After Corduroy, the crowd begins the…

Show Notes: 

Ed changes the third “Oh…dear Dad…” in Release to “Oh dear Red…can you see this now…” He encourages the crowd to join in during Do the Evolution, calling out “C’mon! Louder than Buenos Aires!” After Corduroy, the crowd begins the “Olé” chant, and Ed asks the crowd “Como estas?” followed by “Estoy bien.” He adds “Chile, you can call me!” to Not For You, finishing the song off with the Modern Girl tag. He also pays a compliment to Chile, their pretty country and people. Towards the end of Daughter, he asks Kille to turn the lights up and gets the crowd to join him for It’s O.K. by singing “Esta bien” and proceeds to sing the rest of it in Spanish, again asking them to be louder than Buenos Aires. Elderly Woman starts with “una, dos, tres, una, dos, tres” and they deliver a beautiful rendition with Stone sounding perfect on the acoustic. After the break, Ed says it’s a special day and drapes the Chilean flag over Mike’s shoulders, and they sing Happy Birthday to him. Ed recognises a guy in the crowd who had joined them on stage previously, and invites him up on stage to play with them again. The fan, Juan Pablo, joins them, Ed asks him not to break his guitar, and they bust out Sonic Reducer. Perry Farrell enters for Rockin’ in the Free World, on the tambourine and back up vocals, while fireworks go off in the background. Josh Homme also puts in an appearance for the last bit of RITFW while Eddie scans the crowd with a set of binoculars. Perry calls out “Pearl Jam!” as Mike plays the opening riff for Yellow Ledbetter. Ed closes the night wishing the audience well in his broken Spanish.


April 3, 2013 – Constanera Sur, Buenos Aires, ARG

Show Notes:

Headlining the Pepsi Music Festival, the energy reaches a fever pitch early as Even Flow and Lukin make rare early appearances, the second and third songs in the set. After Even Flow, the crowd keeps doing the ‘whoa’s, emulating the…

Show Notes: 

Headlining the Pepsi Music Festival, the energy reaches a fever pitch early as Even Flow and Lukin make rare early appearances, the second and third songs in the set. After Even Flow, the crowd keeps doing the ‘whoa’s, emulating the guitar parts with the band looking on in amazement. Inspired, during In Hiding Ed sings along to the guitar melody of the pre-chorus. The crowd continues to take over the show, stretching their voices for Jeremy, Hail, Hail, and Given To Fly, with the latter needing some crowd control as Ed implores everyone to take two steps back. Daughter is tagged with It’s O.K., but with a new spin on it as Ed changes the lyrics to “Esta Bien” and sings the entire part in Spanish. The moment is not lost on the crowd, as they express their appreciation loudly and repeatedly. Their participation on Better Man causes Ed to pause mid-song, taking the moment to thank them: “It sounds great up here. It means a lot that you would respond like this. We all grew up very small, and none of us thought this would ever happen in our lives. We would’ve been happy to come here and share this kind of music with you. I can’t tell you how much it means.” Rearviewmirror has a new twist to the intro and ends the set on a massive adrenaline rush. The encore kicks back in with the quintessential South American song, Do The Evolution, as the crowd keeps up the momentum from the main set. Ed takes a pause during Just Breathe as well, sending condolences to those who’d lost loved ones during a recent natural disaster:

“Right before we came here there was a big storm. We heard there were some people who were lost. I know a lot of lives changed and power was lost. Just seems like a big old fucking mess that no one deserved, you know? I forgot to say before, I know some of them are your neighbors and it might’ve affected you or might’ve affected your family or obviously parts of your community. We’ve been through some stuff ourselves and that’s just a part of growing up and getting old, the only alternative is not getting old. You have to get through it and you will get through it. We’re thinking about you as you get through it, I hope it goes smooth and by summertime you’re good to go.” The night finishes off with an impassioned Black, I Believe In Miracles, and the end of set bread and butter, Alive, Rockin’ In The Free World, and Yellow Ledbetter, sending everyone home happy. A fan’s wallet is tossed up on stage during Ledbetter, Ed has some fun skimming through credit cards (and possibly a prophylactic), as everyone has a big laugh to end one of the most dynamic South American shows in their history.


March 31, 2013 – Lollapalooza, Jockey Club, São Paulo, BRA

Show Notes:

Small Town is jovial and vowel-heavy to open, getting the enormous crowd warmed up before an energetic Why Go. Ed encourages chants from the audience prior to Mike’s clear and crisp Corduroy solo. Stone is tapped into the energy this…

Show Notes: 

Small Town is jovial and vowel-heavy to open, getting the enormous crowd warmed up before an energetic Why Go. Ed encourages chants from the audience prior to Mike’s clear and crisp Corduroy solo. Stone is tapped into the energy this night as well, as indicated by his rhythm and dance moves. Ed checks in with everyone on how they’re doing, speaks Portuguese briefly, and offers a “chocolate egg called Olé”. Lights go out and flip on again to a short succession of screams into Do the Evolution. Ed takes a moment during Wishlist to look up from his solo to engage the audience in a sing and clap along. The crowd rolls like a sea of flowing arms during Even Flow, Mike’s solo is long and aggressive with a markedly ‘70’s sound. Nothingman ends with a passionate last verse. More soccer chants before Daughter, and Ed walks the side extensions of the stage to pay a visit to the vast crowd. Ed begins World Wide Suicide with some major guitar distortion. Ed thanks the crowd with a Portuguese accent, rather than in Portuguese, discusses making a new album, and asks for help singing Jeremy. Entire band is soaked from the heat by State. Lengthy, anthemic RVM bridge with an “I won’t forget” repetition added midway, and a drum solo to round things out. Stone goes hard on the outro and the strobe lights add to the atmosphere. 6 “Obrigado”s end the main set. Ed thanks the Flaming Lips, Queens of the Stone Age, Puscifer, Perfect Circle, Maynard, and “Red Wine.” Mike and Jeff play off each other during Given to Fly. There’s a bit of call-and-response with the crowd on Not For You, and Stone closes out with a great solo which Ed transitions into Modern Girl. Black is beautiful, with Stone making his way over to jam on the outro with Mike. The audience shows massive appreciation with perfect “doo doo doo’s” and Ed agrees. I Believe in Miracles is dedicated to the Ramones and a “hey ho, let’s go” chant segues into Go. Baba gets a wild response, a super combo with Matt’s drumming and Mike’s guitar, and some classic tambourine antics. Ed thanks the crowd “very, very, very much” and gives props for being one of the safest and best crowds to play for. The show is brought to a close with Yellow Ledbetter, after which he exchanges his wine for a beer and a Brazilian flag before a bow and a goodbye.