October 21, 2013 – Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Show at a Glance

  • Number of Songs: 34
  • Show Length: 2:50


Main Set: Pendulum, Long Road, Low Light, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Why Go, Lightning Bolt, Mind Your Manners, Brain Of J., Animal, Pilate, Even Flow, Infallible, I Got Shit, Wishlist, Sirens, Lukin, Not For You/(Modern Girl), Let The Records Play, Spin The Black Circle, Rearviewmirror

Encore 1: Man Of The Hour, Off He Goes, Yellow Moon, Mother, Given To Fly, Unthought Known, ½ Full, Leash, I Believe In Miracles, Porch

Encore 2: Crazy Mary, Alive, Sonic Reducer, Indifference

Pearl Jam Show Notes 10/21/2013:

Ed is wearing his “Rocky” shirt, which was also seen during the historic 2009 run at the Spectrum. Low Light returns with the line “…all I feel is fucking calm,” as well as the extended vocal outro.  The audience is ready on the first chorus of Small Town to take over and keep it going throughout the entirety of the song, Ed’s “this is going to be a good one tonight, keep going” are all the encouragement they need. Released just 10 days prior, the title track off the new album Lightning Bolt already feels like a classic and is not out of place following a song that is 23 years its senior. Following Animal, Ed has the lights come up to see everyone. He continues:

“…for about the 20th time in a similar situation we get to say these words, ‘Hello Philadelphia’…nice place you got here. You were probably there when we tore down the Spectrum…fuck it, let’s tear this one down too. Slowly, piece by piece. Up amongst the flags and championships there’s a whole lot of speakers and we got a lot of speakers up here. We got Matt Cameron on the drum kit, I say we pace ourselves and have a nice long evening of it.” 

After Even Flow, Ed points out “Michael motherfucking McCready on guitar.” The layers of guitar sounds shine on the next Lightning Bolt track, Infallible. Ed has a bit of a lyrical flub but catches himself and rights the ship. Without skipping a beat, they complete Merkinball with I Got Id, which will always sound like Neil Young on guitar and tonight is no exception. The familiar chords of Wishlist are next, with a lyrical change to “…I wish I was the city of brotherly love’s hands upraised to the sky,” and “…as fortunate as Philly.” The song finishes with Ed’s E-bow and a return of the improved lyrical ending:

“I wish to wish for nothing…my only desire, desirelessness. My only wish is to wish for nothing. ‘Cause who could ask for more than this?“ 

He continues once the song finishes and tells of a flashback he had while putting powder on his nails before the show to a time when he was 15, taking speed called “Black Beauties” and how he named that guitar “Black Beauty.” He goes on to say:

“I’m not sure about the successful-musician-doing-drugs thing. What more could you ask for than what you give us here tonight? To be up here playing loud, loud music with some of your best friends for a bunch of friends you don’t really know but you feel like you do. We are just so grateful, thank you. Thanks for keeping me off the drugs.”  

This leads into a fantastic Sirens. Lukin is introduced as a “quiet singalong” and right off the last beat Matt continues right into Not For You. Ed jokes that the next two songs “are about the same goddamn thing,” with Let the Records Play followed by Spin the Black Circle, Mike’s running around in circles the entire song. A punishing 8 minute Rearviewmirror closes out a fantastic first set. Out of the break, the band is seated and Ed offers a quick “…cheers to you, Philadelphia.”  He then turns around and asks how the back is doing, commenting:

“Now even that is 20-30 times more people who came to see us the first time at JC Dobbs…we could only dream of a crowd like that. I like the Ramones fan with the ‘Gabba Gabba Hey’ sign…can we get him a better seat? I’d like to see that sign right next to Stone. You can’t like, solve all the world’s problems, but that would be a good one right there…start small. Last time we were here we had 99 problems, we’d only have 98.”  

He then talks about a friend of his, a train conductor who lost a good friend by suicide, pointing out that the friend was a veteran, and that they should be taken care of and that if anyone knows one to check in, given the epidemic rate of suicide for veterans, and dedicates Man of the Hour to the friend. Ed can be heard cracking a bit at the end, an emotional performance. Ed remains seated while the rest of the band stands for a stellar rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Mother,” with the crowd answering the “should we trust the government” question as one might expect, and Ed gives a quick “thanks, Roger, for letting us borrow your song.” Mike plays the ½ Full solo behind his head, Ed using his guitar to reflect a spotlight around the arena during the “won’t someone save the world” portion. He then introduces Andy and Jordan, who had the ‘Gabba Gabba Hey’ sign, noting that this is Jordan’s first rock concert. Ed assures him that they are all like this and they dedicate I Believe in Miracles to them and “everyone else in the back.” Coming out of the final break, Ed says:

“If you’re not leaving we’re not leaving. When you can stand here and see everyone in the back moving as much as everyone in the front and the sides you’re on to something good. Goddamnit, thanks a lot Philadelphia once again.”

He continues, introducing the band, including Boom, whose brother Keith flew in for the show on his birthday. Then, a fan up front says it’s his 18th birthday today, to which Ed teases:

“…you’re going to be drinking some of this right now…don’t film him for litigation purposes. All cameras are off…no fucking cell phones, don’t fucking tweet that shit of him getting his first drink, getting me in trouble…[I’ll] fucking find you…happy birthday Keith, happy birthday Jake, happy birthday Crazy Mary.” 

Crazy Mary features the audience taking over the “…quite a crowd…” line and singing throughout. Following the song the crowd serenades Boom and Ed gives him another shout out.  The last chorus of Alive is changed to “Philadelphia, we’re all still alive,” and the crowd immediately begins the outro chant. Before leaving, Ed closes out the show with:

“Alright, thanks very much…thank you in the back, thank you in the topside, middle, front back, the whole thing…we should just spend the night…much love, we’ll see you soon. Thanks, love you. Take care of each other. Beautiful. Good night.”

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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