September 2, 2023 – Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN, USA

Show at a Glance

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


Main Set: Pendulum, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Off He Goes, Nothing As It Seems, Daughter/(Chaise Lounge), Do The Evolution, Last Exit, Once, Who Ever Said/((I Can't Get No) Satisfaction), (Brain Damage)/I Am Mine, Take The Long Way, Even Flow, Severed Hand, In Hiding, Unthought Known, Corduroy, Porch

Encore 1: I Won't Back Down, Last Kiss, Got Some, Jeremy, Better Man/(Save It For Later), Alive, Purple Rain

Pearl Jam Show Notes 9/2/2023:

The crowd is loud early on Pendulum, surprising Ed and jumpstarting the energy in the building on Saturday night, and makes their presence known again on Small Town. Mike starts Nothing As It Seems even though Nothingman was next on the setlist, his chair finding it hard to contain the blasts of sound coming from his guitar. Daughter features the Wet Leg “Chaise Lounge” tag that surfaced in 2022. Evolution is fiery, Stone blazes on the final solo. Last Exit is fast, Matt pounding away during the intro like his life depends on it. Who Ever Said is dedicated to Joe Mauer. Immediately after, Ed starts playing Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage” (“…the lunatic is on the grass…) and they segue right into I Am Mine. This is the first appearance of “Brain Damage” since 2010, when it was used as an intro to Corduroy. Ed introduces Take The Long Way with “…this one’s for the travelers…” Mike goes behind the back for the start of the Even Flow solo and then stalks around his side of the stage like a man possessed for the rest, leading to this exchange:

Ed: “When did you start playing like that? Did it scare you?” Mike: “I’m scared right now…”

After the song, Ed talks about how marijuana is legal in Minnesota now, and that he and Matt smoked a lot in together when they were younger, although they didn’t know each other, being at Cheap Trick and Queen shows at the San Diego Sports Arena. He also mentions Jimmy Buffett (who passed earlier in the day) and cautions against smoking the “AK-47-Afghan-Hindo-Kush-Mega-Bomb-Pull-And-Glow-Ozzy-Osbourne-Paranoia-Purple-Hair-Mega-Bible” if you haven’t practiced, adding “start with Indica and then start a group called the ‘Indica Girls’…this song’s about being offered something that you haven’t done your research on…” and Severed Hand is brought back for the first time since 2018. In Hiding is a request, Ed says. The band convenes to talk, Ed sees a shirt in the front row that says “Pearl Jam is my drug” and asks the fan if they have a request. The request is for Undone, which Ed denies, saying “that’s going to stay undone…” and they go into Unthought Known off Backspacer, making this a main set where every studio album is represented. The end of Corduroy surges, the whole band pushing like it’s the end of the set but then Ed starts Porch. Jeff has some spectacular bass runs during the first verse on Porch, propulsive and fluid. During the break, the crowd brings out the fireflies and Ed is seemingly speechless as he comes out solo. He mentions Dale Crover of the Melvins who recently had to have emergency spinal surgery, and wishes him well, then transitions into talking about EB, talking about a young boy named Charlie who passed away, showing a picture of him with Ed on the big screen and then in his “Puck EB” shirt. A touching moment and Ed leads into I Won’t Back Down, with the crowd taking some of the lead vocals. Ed says “we’re gonna play a quick club show in the back” and they turn around for Last Kiss. Got Some also reappears for the first time since 2018. After Jeremy, Ed, just like on night 1, mentions Stone and Jeff playing together for so long and that there was a local guy who booked Mother Love Bone at the 7th Street Entry (small club in Minneapolis), and that “between Jeff and Stone and Boom and Josh, and a couple of crew guys, there are more people on stage right now than there were in the crowd that evening,” and brings up the booking agent, now an Executive Vice President Booking at LiveNation, Rich Best. Ed starts a call-and-response on Better Man and riffs on the Save it for Later lyrics before kicking in the “…don’t run away” lines. Another band meeting on stage after leads to Stone starting off Alive. More conversation on stage afterwards, Ed says they need some “conflict resolution” about what to play next, but that they can’t leave St. Paul without playing this one, Purple Rain. Josh comes out to sing and play guitar and opening band Deep Sea Diver joins on stage to sing and play tambourines. An energetic show with a stellar crowd.

John Farrar

Content Editor & LO4L Host

I was obsessed with Pearl Jam in the early 90's, and then became a collector of their live bootlegs in the 2000's. I’ve seen them 12 times in 8 different states. I’m continuously blown away by their ability to create transcendent moments in concert. I owe them for my love of vinyl, live music, and so much more. I’m happy to have the podcast and this website as an outlet for that obsession.

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  1. John, great recap!
    I have been a Pearl Jam fan since they arrived. I love all music except rap😜.
    I have never seen them live, and was not even aware of this short tour, but decided I had to go once I found out about it. This is my self proclaimed year of the concerts. My wife has accompanied to 46 of the 52 concerts so far in this 2023 year. My sons have accompanied me on the others. Pearl Jam was a solo adventure. This year I have seen the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Morgan Wallen, Hardy, Zac Bryan , Parker McCollum, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert , Soul Asylum, puddle of mudd, Carrie Underwood, Lainey Wilson and many many more. I am constantly asked which of these concerts in 2023 is my favorite or at least top 3. It is so hard to answer the question, but after seeing Pearl Jam finally after 3 decades and just reading your recap, I will definitely put them in top 3 for my 2023 year of the concert.