June 18, 2018 – O2 Arena, London, ENG

Show Notes:

After Small Town, Ed, looking at the upper tiers, says “You’re taller than I remember…you’ve grown! Or we’ve shrunk…” Ed’s vocals sound thrashed early on, but any thoughts that the band were taking it easy were quickly put to rest…

Show Notes: 

After Small Town, Ed, looking at the upper tiers, says “You’re taller than I remember…you’ve grown! Or we’ve shrunk…” Ed’s vocals sound thrashed early on, but any thoughts that the band were taking it easy were quickly put to rest with blistering renditions of Animal and Brain of J. After the latter, Ed addressed his vocal issues, saying that after over 25 years of being a band they’re getting deeper with honesty and truth, “although it’s not very presidential,” explaining that he’d seen two throat doctors earlier in the day. He jokingly says he offered one of the doctors “an extra £10,000 if I could sing like Adele” to which the doctor replied “fuck that, that’s a million dollar voice. But for fifty quid I can make you sound like Liam Gallagher.” He intimates that “the sad songs might sound a little sadder, the angry songs might sound a little bit madder” and that he might need a little help with the happy songs. During Wishlist, Ed changes the lyrics to “I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as JP”, a reference to Jimmy Page, who spent part of the show watching from a monitor on Stone’s side of the stage. After Deep, Ed talks about coming to the U.K. to mix Ten in Surrey, and how he and his brothers were so influenced by the music, film and literature of the U.K., citing Monty Python, The Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Jam. While strumming the opening chords of Love Boat Captain, he takes aim at Trump’s immigration policies: “I’d like to send this one out to a guy in the White House back in the United States. I wish he’d hear it, but he doesn’t listen to music, he doesn’t read books. Can someone tweet this to him?” As Mike begins his intro solo, Ed is heard shouting “..Mike, get the aggression out!” before two shouts of “Fuck you!” WMA is tagged on Daughter, with the changed lyrics of “police man…border man” and “border man stopped my brother today”. After the break, Ed thanks the crowd and jokes that he’s drinking plenty of grape flavored cough syrup. He then speaks about the Given to Live charity, some of whom walked 160 miles to the show in order to raise funds, and dedicates Off He Goes to them as it’s a song “about travelling.” The crowd is understandably given the lead for the first two verses of Better Man, as Ed’s voice is getting worse. Following Last Kiss, which was performed to those seated behind the stage, Ed is clearly heard saying “Black, I want to do Black then the rest,” just as Jeff is being passed his 12 string bass, presumably for Jeremy. Despite the vocal issues, the crowd are still treated to powerful renditions of Black and Alive before a strained closer of Rockin’ in the Free World, where it is evident Ed is struggling to sing. Following the song, Ed thanks the crowd, and with his voice cracking he adds “I don’t know when we’ll be back, but we love ya. Goodnight.”

Written by: Alex Hoggard


July 11, 2014 – Milton Keynes Bowl, Milton Keynes, ENG

Show Notes:

Ed opens the evening with an acoustic, pre-set Porch before the opener, hardcore band OFF!. Perhaps inspired by them, PJ opens with quickfire versions of Pendulum and Wash. Ed acknowledges the crowd during Nothingman with “I can see you in…

Show Notes: 

Ed opens the evening with an acoustic, pre-set Porch before the opener, hardcore band OFF!. Perhaps inspired by them, PJ opens with quickfire versions of Pendulum and Wash. Ed acknowledges the crowd during Nothingman with “I can see you in the sun”. Black returns to the early part of the set for the first time since Stockholm, tagged with Ed questioning “Did we belong together? Did we belong?” During Brain of J., Ed says to the crowd “Look out for your neighbor,” and after the song he again checks on them, adding “…it’s getting a little tight up here. It’s all good if you’re all good. Is everybody looking out for their neighbor? Please.” Comatose is cut short, with Ed pointing something out in the crowd to security, “right here, right here. We’re going to have to stop for a second.” Trying to settle things down, he says:

“I’m gonna say hello, good evening and cheers. I was going to do it in a minute after some fast songs. Is everybody okay there?”

He then pokes fun at the local crowd, asking:

“Would you like some tea? How many lumps?”

Save You is for “to a friend of ours called Rabbit”. During Hail, Hail, Ed is again heard sounding concerned for the crowd, shouting “Look out!” during the song. He compares the weather in Milton Keynes to Seattle; having rained earlier in the day, he now thinks it’s turned into “a beautiful Seattle day” and thanks the crowd for coming out. Again turning his attention to crowd trouble, he observes:

“That gentleman there has no business doing that on top of the crowd, when you’re heavier than three or four of the people under you it’s a problem,”

This prompts chants of “you fat bastard,” leading Ed to tease:

“‘You fat bastard’? Is that what you’re saying? Hey dude, you don’t need to insult him, we’re just trying to tell him to keep his feet on the ground, his head in the sky…and his food on his plate.”

Toasting Chrissie Hynde, he declares:

“tonight will be a long one, but work with me, maybe let females be the ones to float on top, no big giant with the boots. If you’re small enough to think I could kick your ass, you’re fine!”

He then shouts, “all I’m saying is mind your manners!” which leads the band into…Mind Your Manners. After Lightning Bolt, Ed asks the crowd “a man told me you can get four pints for £20, is that true?” which is followed by booing. Attempting to explain the cost, Ed says “you’re paying extra because a man carries it to you…it’s a posh gig, this one!” Before Nothing As It Seems, he says “a stranger told me we haven’t played this song in Europe for fourteen years, so here’s to a total stranger!” He tells a story about the band’s first visit to the U.K. to mix Ten. He explains how a woman who worked at the studio told him she thought Black was “brilliant” after discovering Ed had written it, he was pleased with the praise until she told Stone he was “brilliant” after cutting a slice of bread, which proved to be a lesson in humility. He then thanks Stone and Jeff, “who were the bosses at the time, still now!” Before Even Flow, Ed jokes “this song was written in ancient times”.

Returning to stage after the break, Ed makes a “special toast” to his younger brother who turned 40 the day before, then saying “my tallest brother turned 45 today.” He explains how Simon Townshend “came to Seattle and we played this song, and we’d like to play it for you”. He then invites Simon onto stage to play I’m The Answer, making its PJ debut. Before the song, he adds that Matt Cameron’s brother Pete is 54 today and leads the crowd in a rendition of Happy Birthday. During the intro of Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns, Ed remarks “the moon, the sky…you know Andy would’ve loved it”. Bad Radio’s Believe You Me is played for the first time since 2005, tagged onto Crown of Thorns. Porch returns for a full-band performance, after which Ed introduces the band and jokes “thanks for keeping us up so late”. He adds:

“We paid the rent, but we will be evicted – we’re staying until we are!”

Rain is prefaced with “we learnt this song in case we needed it, we didn’t but we’ll still play it anyway,” Dhani Harrison joins on stage to play along. Daughter is tagged with War, during which Ed makes a passionate plea that people stop engaging in wars:

“We don’t pay our taxes for them to spend it on dropping bombs on children.”

Rockin’ In The Free World closes the show with assistance from OFF! and Ray Cameron. Ed thanks the crowd for “giving us wings so we could fly” and shouts “Mookie Blaylock!” twice, before leaving with “thanks for all that energy, use your powers for good.”


July 8, 2014, First Direct Arena, Leeds, ENG

Show Notes:

Ed, with a huge grin on his face, greets the crowd with “Good evening!” There’s an incident in the crowd during Once that Ed alerts security to during the song. Following Mind Your Manners, a smirking Ed jokingly begins reading…

Show Notes: 

Ed, with a huge grin on his face, greets the crowd with “Good evening!” There’s an incident in the crowd during Once that Ed alerts security to during the song. Following Mind Your Manners, a smirking Ed jokingly begins reading from a sheet in Dutch, mentioning Werchter, before ripping it and saying “Ah, fuck this, it’s good to be here in Leeds.” After Wishlist, Ed takes a phone from a fan, and a basketball is thrown up on stage, which he passes back to Matt, saying “We’re getting all kinds of gifts tonight!” He compliments a t-shirt he has seen in the crowd and a “nice blouse” that his wife “would look good in…Mike McCready would look good in that blouse!” Turning to take aim at Mike, Ed asks:

“Did you ever get naked in Leeds? I know there’s a bunch of places you used to get naked in…”, Mike takes to the mic and says, “Only in Germany…maybe in England…Dublin for sure!”

This goes down to much laughter from the band and crowd. Ghost is given its European debut and is followed by an apology as Ed states, “I fucked that song up, I went into the last verse quicker…it’s my fault, so I’m going to take a picture of me fucking up”. He takes a selfie of him and Jeff, who also gets some of the blame for “fucking up”, on the fan’s phone he placed on the stage earlier and jokes, “My daughter will like that one.” Present Tense is followed by a crowd chant of “Let Jeff sing!” Ed suggests Fernando by Abba as “all you’ve got to do is start it then they’ll sing”. He theatrically breaks into Fernando, and the crowd do take over while Jeff shakes his head no. Following Given to Fly, Ed tells the crowd he “spent a thousand hours in Leeds with the headphones on,” listening to Live At Leeds by The Who. After another chant for Jeff to sing, he takes to the mic to shout “Abba at Leeds!” to which Ed responds, “it wasn’t as popular as The Who’s!”

The band are seated when they return after the break, and Ed begins by introducing his guitar tech Simon to the crowd. He continues, talking about cancer, paying tribute to doctors, nurses, and affected families, stating how it is often “not a fair fight” and explains how he lost his uncle John days before the tour started. Mentioning his Chicago Bears #34 shirt, a regular sight on the tour, he explains that he was wearing it as his uncle passed away, which is why he had been sporting it so often. Man of the Hour is dedicated to a young man called Jonathan who had lost his battle with cancer. Fatal is added to the set after Ed sees a sign from someone who requested it to celebrate their 30th show. The Real Me is the first of the inevitable Who covers of the evening. Porch is nearly 10 minutes long with an extended jam, the band really in a groove. Ed thanks some of the crew, and brings Karen Loria and Matt’s drum tech Neil Hundt on stage and leads the crowd in Happy Birthday for them. Black is transcendent, everyone leaving it all on stage, and Ed gives some insight before the tag:

So crazy, all the incredibly beautiful faces…

from someone who is the loneliest person on Earth,

then all of a sudden this song gets you to all these beautiful faces, it’s crazy…

Leaving Here and Baba O’Riley finish off the Who portion of the program, and Matt’s son Ray plays guitar on All Along The Watchtower. A fantastic show with plenty of rare songs, great performances, and the band in excellent spirits.