October 2, 2021 – Ohana Encore Festival, Dana Point, CA, USA

Show Notes:

Pearl Jam gets right down to business on the final night of Ohana with a series of 7 straight rockers, starting with Superblood Wolfmoon through Quick Escape (the gem of the live Gigaton songs so far, so much energy and…

Show Notes: 

Pearl Jam gets right down to business on the final night of Ohana with a series of 7 straight rockers, starting with Superblood Wolfmoon through Quick Escape (the gem of the live Gigaton songs so far, so much energy and power). Before Lukin, Ed talks about the recent laws being passed in Texas, and how women’s rights are being affected. Wishlist has the Rolling Stones’ Waiting on a Friend tag again, and in a very touching moment, Given to Fly is dedicated to Mikey, a 15 year old with EB who is in attendance. Seven O’Clock is another Gigaton highlight (as Ed mentioned during night 1, it’s “a song with a lot of words,” and this night he nails it). Crowd is UP for Not For You. For the second night in a row, Mike crushes the Even Flow solo, including playing a few measures with his teeth again. Take The Long Way returns, a tight, compact performance, and it’s followed by a beautiful Unthought Known (made even more beautiful by the surroundings). No Daughter tag, just an inspired call and response. Brandi Carlile joins the band for the second time on this tour, for the cover of her song Again Today. After the break, Boom is quietly playing Wasted Reprise in the background, and Ed speaks about how special the festival was this year, mentioning several local folks who helped make it all happen, including the Mayor of Dana Point, who played a role in helping evacuate Afghan refugees during the recent turmoil. Life Wasted and a high-energy version of Alive follow. The band ends the show with a version of Rockin’ in the Free World that has perhaps the most bizarre group of special guests ever assembled on stage with the band: Andrew Watt, Sleater-Kinney, Kelly Slater, Randy Johnson, Chad Smith, John McEnroe, Mikey (the aforementioned 15 year old), Taylor Hawkins, Patti Smith, Brandi Carlile and Tim Robbins. The jam climaxes with Taylor and Matt both pounding the living daylights out of the kit, and Chad Smith eventually joins in on the fun.


October 1, 2021 – Ohana Encore Festival, Dana Point, CA, USA

Show Notes:

Low Light opener is a little unexpected, after Gigaton-heavy opens both shows prior. Matt drives a gentle rhythm. Ed mentions how getting back out playing has taken a little getting used to the last couple of shows, but seeing everyone…

Show Notes: 

Low Light opener is a little unexpected, after Gigaton-heavy opens both shows prior. Matt drives a gentle rhythm. Ed mentions how getting back out playing has taken a little getting used to the last couple of shows, but seeing everyone has made them feel comfortable. Dance of the Clairvoyants is the first Gigaton track of the night and continues to groove, with Stone playing fluid bass, Mike’s guitar riff sounding electrifying, and Josh adding color on synths and backing vocals. The band sounds crisp and in sync on Never Destination, with Ed delivering a passionate vocal. After a strong Do the Evolution which featured two succinct, funk-flared solos from Stone, Ed talks about being concerned for everyone’s well-being and safety, remarking how great it’s been to see everyone again, and how well everyone has been treating one another and how reassuring it’s been to them. He introduces the next song as being written by Stone, saying both he and Mike just had anniversaries, and it’s a rare occasion that all the spouses are in attendance, and Buckle Up is debuted. Even Flow is paced well by Jeff and Matt, leading into a blistering Mike solo, which has him playing with his pick in his mouth. Seven O’Clock is next, as the Gigaton songs are more sprinkled throughout the set tonight. Nothingman is a crowd pleaser, with everyone singing at the top of their lungs during the “into the sun” chorus. SOLAT follows with Stone, Jeff, and Mike delivering a classic performance.  Mike stretches out the solo when Ed misses his entry point to the final verse. Who Ever Said is the second debut of the evening, and sounds crisp and well-rehearsed. Ed is animated throughout, and reaches a fervent peak in the second verse. The deep cut of the night is next, with Ed saying “every once in a while, with a little push, Jeff can be persuaded to sing this one,” leading to Sweet Lew. Jeff is decked out in a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Western Conference All-Star basketball jersey. Ed and Josh alternate between providing backing vocals on the chorus and dribbling basketballs. Better Man is tagged with People Have the Power again. The main set is punctuated by an absolutely ferocious Rearviewmirror, Mike throws himself to his knees at his pedal board for the bulk of his solo as Jeff, Matt, and Stone gather at the drum riser to set a groove-filled pocket for him, just a thunderous show stopper. The encore begins with Ed mentioning that we were picking out a few songs, and we think you’ll really like them, but first we ask for your indulgence on a little prayer. Ed waltzes over to the pump organ as the rest of the band takes a seat, and River Cross is finally debuted, played by the full band. Garden is a surprise setlist addition and sounds wonderful, tight and full, Mike colors his solos in spectacular fashion. Alive is next, met with a mix of excitement and confusion as it was still early in the evening. As the last verse is delivered, Ed says “…it feels different singing these words than it did before…” Mike starts Yellow Ledbetter before Ed waves him off, Josh joins at the front of the stage with his guitar, and the band launches into All Along the Watchtower. Yellow Ledbetter closes the night with Mike providing a thoughtful, less bombastic solo.


September 26, 2021 – Ohana Festival, Dana Point, CA, USA

Show Notes:

Pearl Jam’s second show back is the proverbial exclamation point on the weekend’s festivities, closing Ohana on a Sunday night. It feels like the band is eager to perform their new songs and this night drove that point home firmly,…

Show Notes: 

Pearl Jam’s second show back is the proverbial exclamation point on the weekend’s festivities, closing Ohana on a Sunday night. It feels like the band is eager to perform their new songs and this night drove that point home firmly, as five of the first six songs of the evening hailed from Gigaton, including the opener, the live debut of Retrograde, a gentle yet soaring build into the oceanside evening air.  Dance of the Clairvoyants follows, transitioning well from the atmospheric outro of Retrograde. Quick Escape is already becoming an explosive crowd pleaser, it feels drenched with years of setlist veteran status, giving fans everything they wanted from Mike, Stone and Jeff. The guitar and bass onslaught in the culminating jam is harmonic disharmony. Ed quickly addresses the crowd, saying “if it feels good out there, it feels great up here…we’ve been looking forward to this for a long, long time,” leading to Seven O’Clock. Like Retrograde, it bends towards the soaring energy through its peak and climax. Alright, introduced by Ed as a beautiful song written by his friend and bassist Jeff Ament, is the second debut of the evening. It’s gorgeous in the open air, and showcases the atmospheric elements Josh Klinghoffer will provide for the new songs. Daughter with Stone notably on his duo-tone harkens back to the Binaural era sound wise. Red Mosquito makes its third consecutive Pearl Jam set with Danny Clinch on harmonica. Superblood Wolfmoon KICKS live, expect it to be a mainstay during the Gigaton shows. Josh plays Ed’s guitar parts on this, freeing up Ed to emote and dance around during the entire song. Before I Got Shit, Ed shows off a guitar he got from Joan Jett, and turns it over to show her signature. Matt Cameron absolutely crushes Immortality with a blistering percussion display. The main set culminates with Ed referencing a statement he overheard Brandi Carlile make, that this day was blessed with “Power Bitches” on stage. Ed, being a man, shows a “signed” authorization from Brandi giving her permission for him to say this. Brandi joins the band on stage, sharing vocals on a powerful Better Man. After the break, Ed takes a drink from his bottle, saying you “can’t do that ‘drink a bottle and pass it around’ thing anymore, unless it’s Purell,” hinting at Crazy Mary, before mentioning his participation in the Global Citizen vaccine awareness concert back in the spring, saying:

I stayed near the ocean up north near Santa Monica, and I got outside, and when you went through Venice it got really intense, and since then I heard that all those people were relocated, and I could never find out the details on where and how they were relocated, but I just keep thinking about them and I really hope they’re okay and healthy and able to get whatever assistance they needed to get back on their feet, so I’m gonna drink to their resilience, and dedicate this one to them…

California has been dealing with extreme homelessness issues in several city areas, and it resulted in people being removed. Let Me Sleep is played for only the 8th time ever. Ed remarks about a nice note and picture he was given from a girl named Nicole, with a request for Black, and dedicates it to her and her mom and dad. Mike’s solo is poignant and emotive, gaining the rapt attention of Earthling producer Andrew Watt, who’s watching from the side of the stage. Just as the band was hitting its stride on Crazy Mary, the song is stopped so that a fan can get some medical attention just in front of Mike’s stage side. The band picks up right where they left off, and Boom gets to lay out the entire solo on the B3. Alive closes out the evening, and features both an array of band hiccups and one of the more explosive endings to a Pearl Jam show ever. Someone (or perhaps everyone) is slightly off time in the buildup of the intro before the first verse. The ship is seemingly righted, and then Ed jumps up a full verse, and the band gathers around Matt’s drum kit. Hashing it out, Ed realizes he messed up and can be audibly heard saying into his microphone, “…oh I fucked it up! I owe each of you guys $100.” He addresses his blunder hysterically to the front of the house, with a sarcastic, self-effacing acknowledgement: “Who, me? Never….” As the band fires into the distinctive outro jam, McCready points to Andrew Watt, walks towards him, lifts his guitar over his shoulders, and places it around Watt’s neck. Watt then, with the joy of a million fans given the opportunity of a lifetime, absolutely slays the solo as the band extends the jam out feverishly, ultimately handing the guitar back to Mike for the final few moments.


September 18, 2021 – Sea.Hear.Now Festival, Asbury Park, NJ, USA

Show Covered by Podcast

Show Notes:

After 1,110 days, Pearl Jam returns. 20 minutes before show time, the band’s tour bus and trailer drive down the beach, making its way to the stage. Right from the start, they debut 3 songs off Gigaton, starting with Dance…

Show Notes: 

After 1,110 days, Pearl Jam returns. 20 minutes before show time, the band’s tour bus and trailer drive down the beach, making its way to the stage. Right from the start, they debut 3 songs off Gigaton, starting with Dance Of The Clairvoyants, with Stone on bass and Jeff on guitar and keyboards, and Ed using a loop track at the end to sing around. Quick Escape and Seven O’Clock debut next, both immediate standouts, it’s evident that the band LOVE the new songs. Stone and Mike both have fantastic solos on Quick Escape, Ed puts on a guitar halfway through. Ed changes the line in Seven O’Clock, saying “…we had sitting bullshit as our fucking president.” Afterwards, he tells the first of many heartfelt stories of the night:

Good evening, Asbury Park…we got the moon lighting up the ocean…someone said I thought maybe we were nervous as the day got closer because six months ago it seemed like we would be in the clear, and then as the day got closer, it wasn’t…nothing was, or is guaranteed. I was getting a little bit nervous and thinking about everybody’s safety, and what we’ve been through as a band, you know, safety first, like every band up here, we care about you so fucking much…but then another reason to be nervous is we haven’t played as a group for three fucking years…we’re so glad you made it, we’re happy we could make it, we’re all gonna make it together

Corduroy has a very emphatic and timely “absolutely everything’s changed” lyric swap. Ed, again:

A year and a half ago, we were ready to play, and we were excited to play, and we had new songs to play, we were gonna start touring quite a bit, that was one of the inside jokes of naming the record, we called it Gigaton, it’s a unit of measurement, but you can also say gig-a-ton, we thought we were gonna be on the road quite a bit, and then the extraordinary and unthinkable happened…with all we’ve been through, it’s Sea Hear Now, all of us, but be here…now, in the present tense

Josh Klinghoffer is also introduced as part of the touring band, leading into a faithful Present Tense, highlighted by the crowd and Jeff, who hasn’t lost a step during the ending jam. Following the debut of Never Destination, Ed jokes about helping his daughter with Calculus by calling a tutor, but adds:

But my problem lately has been with English, and that’s because I’ve had such a difficult time thinking about how to communicate…the question that we have, why aren’t we able to come together more closely when we’re faced with such huge challenges, like climate change, and the pandemic, as a country and as a planet…this is what we need to be united, not divided…I think we all feel sometimes, and I wish we could reach out to our neighbor, and I wish we could understand our differences, and I wish we could come together and fight, you know, as if aliens were coming down from the universe, like an alien virus comes in and infects us all, and English was failing me, so I went to simple math, I’m gonna try out my equation on you, so multiply love, add hope, subtract fear, and end division

Even Flow feels rejuvenated, with a new groove and feel. Ed makes a mistake on the first verse and calls himself out on it. Mike’s solo builds at a very steady pace, getting more electric towards the end, dropping to his knees, slashing at the strings. Before Wishlist, Ed talks about the last three years, saying “stay in touch with the people you love,” and mentions the recent losses of Charlie Watts and Norm MacDonald. Wishlist is halted due to a crowd issue, Ed checks in to make sure everyone is okay before restarting, but it feels fresh and new, and is tagged with the Rolling Stones’ Waiting On A Friend, with lyrics changed to “wishing on a friend.” Superblood Wolfmoon gets its live debut next, Ed shouting and emoting throughout, the band taking it to another level than on record, and Ed gets the crowd clapping a la Do the Evolution at the end. Festival organizer and photographer Danny Clinch is invited out to play harmonica on Red Mosquito, bookending the 3-year absence nicely (he had played at the last Fenway show in 2018). Stone powers an intense, extended W.M.A. tag. The final Gigaton track to debut is Take the Long Way, punctuated by Mike’s heroics. Small Town is uplifting and cathartic. Stone thumps his chest as Given to Fly soars. Prior to Better Man, Ed relates the story of Bruce Springsteen’s 2020 DUI arrest in New Jersey, questioning the wisdom of the officers involved. Patti Smith’s People Have The Power is tagged on it, making its first appearance at a PJ show since 2010. Ed teases a couple of rafter climbs during Porch, only going up one step though. After the break, Ed introduces “some of Asbury’s finest local singers,” Jason, Alexander, Josh, and Michelle, and with piano accompaniment, they combine for a lovely version of Springsteen’s “My City Of Ruins,” which Ed had done solo but never before at a PJ show. Ed dedicates the second verse to Anita, a unique and special performance. Jeff and Stone jam together during the Alive solo, which also includes some of Voodoo Child at the very end. Lenny Kaye (from Patti Smith’s band) joins for a closing, celebratory Rockin’ in the Free World, the band having a blast and clearly glad to be back. Mike, masked up, takes the final solo down by the front row playing in front of a fan in a wheelchair. Light Years, Retrograde, Do the Evolution, River Cross, All Along The Watchtower, Unthought Known, and Down were all on the setlist but scratched for time.