July 19, 2013 – Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL, USA
Show at a Glance
- Venue: Wrigley Field
- Location: Chicago, IL
- Number of Songs: 33
- Show Length: 3:00
Pre Set: Release, Nothingman, Present Tense, Hold On, Low Light, Come Back, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
Main Set: All The Way, All Night, Do The Evolution, Setting Forth, Corduroy, Faithfull, Mind Your Manners, Lightning Bolt, State Of Love And Trust, Wishlist, Even Flow, Leatherman, Eruption, Bugs, Why Go, Unthought Known, Rearviewmirror
Encore 1: Future Days, Mother, Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns, Porch, Wasted Reprise, Life Wasted, Black, Rockin’ In The Free World
Pearl Jam Show Notes 7/19/2013:
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.
Share Your Memories
What a show – absolutely legendary. As a Chicago local and a Cubs fan, this was absolutely a surreal day, a dream come true. I could write a book about that day, but suffice it to say – it was quite the muggy day, posters were a nightmare to get, a friend forgot the tickets for he and his wife (that turned out okay, though she would later get painted with beer and vomit, while seven months pregnant…) and we were all but exhausted by the time the band even came on. The energy came back to us in the blink of an eye from the first note; this was instant history being made before our eyes. I’ll never forget Future Days, Ernie, having rain blow on us for hours, my wife literally reading a book for two hours, or the sheer spectacle of watching the evacuation, then repopulation, of the field. Amazing experience.