This was the first of the rescheduled 2020 shows and the first North American arena show since May of 2016. After Never Destination, Ed greets the crowd and says “Well, thank you for your patience,” followed by a standing ovation…
Show Covered by Podcast
Main Set: Oceans, Retrograde, Never Destination, Corduroy, Dance of the Clairvoyants, Amongst The Waves, Even Flow, Who Ever Said/((I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction), Quick Escape, Long Road, Given To Fly, Superblood Wolfmoon, Daughter/(In My Tree), Seven O'Clock, Jeremy, Porch
encore 1: Lightning Bolt, Better Man/(Save It For Later), Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, River Cross, Footsteps, Once, Alive
This was the first of the rescheduled 2020 shows and the first North American arena show since May of 2016. After Never Destination, Ed greets the crowd and says “Well, thank you for your patience,” followed by a standing ovation from the crowd. Corduroy has an interesting riffy lead-in that had never been played before. After Dance of the Clairvoyants, Ed talks about paying tribute to the history connected with the band in San Diego:
Because of our location…we’re choosing songs that have something to do with the ocean…even if they don’t mention it in the words…well half of ‘em were written in the ocean anyway.
During Amongst The Waves, Ed points out to a crowd member and asks for people to help them out. Who Ever Said is especially tight, synth sounds amazing from Klinghoffer. Who Ever Said has a Rolling Stones “Satisfaction” tag, the first instance in Pearl Jam history. Ed pays tribute to Taylor Hawkins before Quick Escape:
You put all of these lights together and they still wouldn’t match up to the light that poured from within that guy. He emitted something very special. I’m so mad for your loss. But it just gives us another chance to say how much we appreciated you as well.
There’s a request from a guy named Mike whose brother Stan died in a 2016 accident, Ed says he can relate – his brothers and mom and uncle and nephews are here tonight:
We lost a brother…four of us boys…and a sister in Texas…we lost him pretty quick, and it fucked us up…but we got through it together. Last time we played here, he was working up in the rigging. That was the penultimate time I saw him, last time was my 50th. There’s a plaque here up in the rafters with his name on it”
This leads to a rare main set version of Long Road. Lights up on cell phones in the crowd. Ed says near the end “I’ll save you a seat”. GTF has the lyric “…came to San Diego, smoked a joint in a tree…,” after which Ed talks about teachers, joking that Stevie Ray Vaughan was Mike’s guitar teacher. Ed’s guitar teacher is in attendance, he can’t see him face to face because of COVID protocol, so he guides the spotlight to him. He jokes “I’m not gonna talk this much at the other shows…this feels like home so…” The Daughter tag is In My Tree (!), followed by a call and response. Ed talks about Jeff and Stone playing together for 39 years, says they should do a podcast together about it, and jokes that they never thought they’d live to 39. He tells a story about bullying leading into Jeremy, saying the song was somewhat based on things he witnessed in junior high school in the area. Porch closes the set, with Ed reflecting light into the crowd on his guitar pickguard.
After the break, Ed says he’s sorry he couldn’t visit all the people he knows here, and says Jeff is the smart one because he has a house in San Diego now. He mentions some local record stores, and continues, talking about his high school:
The proximity of my high school to the ocean pretty much guaranteed you weren’t gonna graduate. (jokingly mocking) Now kids, don’t leave school or you’ll turn into drug dealers and addicts…or…or…Republicans!
Prior to Lightning Bolt, Ed tells a story about having trouble writing the chorus to the song:
I had my headphones on and my notebook, and I was so close I had written the whole fucking song. But I couldn’t come up with the line of the chorus. It was like… she’s a what? I just couldn’t figure out what the fuck she was and I wasn’t going to give up. Then my phone buzzed and it must’ve been from Hawaii, and I looked at it but couldn’t answer it because I was singing. I looked over and it was a call from Gerry Lopez (surfer). And I was like that’s it! She’s a Lightning Bolt!
Nice jam at the end of Lightning Bolt with the lighting effects resembling shooting stars. After the song, Ed spotlights his mom in the crowd, mentioning she went to SDSU undergrad in 1989, and graduated with her Masters in 1992. Elderly Woman is played for the back of the audience. River Cross is played with the full band, intensely powerful with Ed emoting while playing on pump organ. Midway through, a Ukrainian flag goes up on the big screen. The reverse Mamasan Trilogy, Footsteps, Once, and Alive, closes out the night, the first time it’s been done in this order since 2011! Karen Vedder is shown fist pumping to Alive. Ed closes out the show thanking Jack Irons and then Stone and Jeff, adding “catch some good waves, keep this place beautiful…we love you.”
Big thank you to Aaron Redmond, Brooke Krause and Amy Cook Lancaster for providing updates throughout the night!