July 12, 2018 – Mad Cool Festival, Valdebebas – IFEMA, Madrid, ESP

Show at a Glance

  • Number of Songs: 24
  • Show Length: 2:05


Main Set: Release, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Given To Fly, Lukin, Corduroy, Why Go, Animal, Even Flow, Mind Your Manners, Lightning Bolt, Eruption, Jeremy, Can’t Deny Me, Do The Evolution, Wasted Reprise, Better Man/(Hunger Strike)(Save It For Later), Porch

Encore 1: Just Breathe, Sirens, Black/(We Belong Together), State Of Love And Trust, Rearviewmirror, Alive, Rockin’ in the Free World

Pearl Jam Show Notes 7/12/2018:

Release builds up very nicely to open. Ed starts a brief callback with the seeming intention of throwing the crowd off guard before rushing into Lukin. Corduroy includes the extra solo from Mike during the new breakdown section. After Why Go, and perhaps referencing the organizational chaos marking the festival’s first day, Ed’s greeting to the crowd in Spanish relates a conversation about the amount of people in attendance:

“A friend told me… ‘No, you don’t understand, the people in Madrid are insane’ and I adore insanity, so here’s a big hug to all my crazy friends.”

Ed speaks in Spanish again before Even Flow, recalling how Mike first played the song in Madrid 26 years earlier to a few hundred people:

“He played amazing that night, but wait ‘til you see him play now.”

Can’t Deny Me is introduced with a dedication to “all the strong women in the audience who will change the world” and a PSA video is shown, featuring actors Luis Tosar and Javier Bardem reminding the men in the audience that “no means no,” eliciting rousing applause: feminism and violence against women are especially prominent issues in Spain at the moment. Ed wraps up Wasted Reprise by adding “Enjoy your last breaths, old men, of racism and sexism, you fuckers are going to die and it’ll die with you.”

Better Man gets the slightly extended version of the Save it for Later tag, Ed repeats “…goin’ hungry…goin’ hungry…” as it starts. Mike, Stone, and Jeff spend the breakdown of Porch in a three-person guitar circle while Ed steps down to the ground and walks down a corridor stretching into the VIP area closest to the stage to mingle with the crowd (hugs and even a kiss included). Just Breathe intro is interrupted by someone from the crowd’s expression of affection, and Ed responds “You’re very nice…I love you, too” before going on to describe the song as about “the big love…as big as the oceans…as big as the Spanish summer sky, as big as the crowd at the Mad Cool Festival,” and invites the crowd to illustrate how big they are by lifting the lights of their phones to be projected on the stage screens, and finally dedicates the song to Bardem and Penélope Cruz. Ed precedes the “We Belong Together” tag on Black with “Lo siento” (I’m sorry), and heads back to the crowd during “State of Love and Trust” for help singing. Possibly pressed for time (a few more bands are still scheduled), and after one more hug for Ed with the crowd, Matt signals a somewhat abrupt end to Alive, and the band immediately transitions into Rockin’ in the Free World to end the set, skipping the second verse, but not without a timely lyrical adaptation (“there’s a million points of light for the immigrant man, open our hearts while we can”) to bring the night to an end.

Eric Stevenson González

Writer & Contributor

Sometime in 1994, a friend lent me two CDs to keep me entertained during a family road trip/vacation: Superunknown and Vs. A little later, Vitalogy became the first album I ever bought myself and the rest was my music history. I've missed a lot of shows in recent years, but 2020 made one thing clear: life is too short to miss Pearl Jam concerts.

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