May 2, 2016 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA

Show Notes:

Ed mentions that he can feel the stage rocking during the Corduroy outro. Following Given to Fly, Ed notes it’s their 36th time in the city and 10th at the Garden, and continues, “…here with this garden party you never…

Show Notes: 

Ed mentions that he can feel the stage rocking during the Corduroy outro. Following Given to Fly, Ed notes it’s their 36th time in the city and 10th at the Garden, and continues, “…here with this garden party you never know what’s going to happen, like this next thing we didn’t know was going to happen until not too long ago…” He then introduces Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson from Cheap Trick, who were “newly anointed, appointed, indentured” (according to Ed) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, leading to the first full performance of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender.” After the song, Rick Nielsen is seen taking a picture of the crowd to which Ed notes, “this is amazing…Rick’s been at it so long, I didn’t know he’d know how to work an iPhone.” Nothingman begins the “man” trilogy, played for the first time in nearly 5 years, and 10 years since they’ve done it in this order. Before Leatherman, Ed talks about the Leatherman and equates it to Chris McCandless from Into the Wild in the early 1900’s, noting “I know that’s exciting…history.” Ed plays to the crowd during the Save it for Later tag, with a frantic finish. Mike is playing out of his mind on the 2 ½ minute Even Flow solo, and then Matt also takes a solo! Ed throws the mic into the crowd for the finish. Sirens is dedicated to Lance Corporal Tom Rorke who “lost his life tragically last year at the age of 23 and he’s got a lot of family and friends here tonight, like a lot, maybe a hundred of them. He put himself in harm’s way in a dignified manner, and tragically got lost in a crazy accident.” Big moment as the crowd gets loud at the end of Jeremy. Ed slips one “get out of my fuckin’ face” in the middle of Leash. Stone gets a spotlight for both solos in Do the Evolution. After the break, Ed jokes about going to Canada next, and how “they might not even have the internet up there.” You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away is Ed solo with the harmonica. Mike gets soulful on the underrated All or None solo. A fantastic Present Tense leads into both songs from Singles, with the crowd getting another chance to grab the microphone during Breath. Last Kiss’ is played to the back. Surprise guest Sting comes on stage during the first chorus of Driven to Tears and takes over the rest of the song, after which Ed gushes “let’s hear it one more time, that’s incredible…that’s all time favorite singer, favorite bass player, favorite activist, favorite humanist…that was a real honor…what do we do next?” House lights are up for Baba O’Riley, and at one point, Ed chastises someone for not giving a tambourine to a kid, muttering “give it to the kid you fuck.” Mike plays a long, feedback-drenched The Star Spangled Banner tag to close out the evening.

Written by: Nick Smith


May 1, 2016 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA

Show Notes:

Go opens with the classic album version intro. Ed mentions towards the end of the extended Corduroy that “I can feel it rocking,” referring to the infamous 2003 Garden performance. Following Given to Fly, Ed says he was going to…

Show Notes: 

Go opens with the classic album version intro. Ed mentions towards the end of the extended Corduroy that “I can feel it rocking,” referring to the infamous 2003 Garden performance. Following Given to Fly, Ed says he was going to request that the crowd shake the stage again, but it already happened! Low Light features a ridiculously long hold on the last note. Release makes a rare mid-set appearance, dedicated to Jen and Tim. For the last lines of Even Flow, Ed throws the mic to someone in the crowd for the last chorus, getting it back at the end, saying “yeah, you’re in the band man.” Matt is introduced as “the assassin, the thoroughbred, the Lamborghini,” and then Ed points out Kenneth, the fan who sang on Even Flow, on background vocals: “Nice job Kenneth…in about 2 and a half hours you might have to sing a couple because I might be gone…I’m glad I got back up.” An extra line is added to In Hiding, “…cracks along the walls…I was tripping balls.” Rats is dedicated to Enrico Salvatore “Ratso” Rizzo, Dustin Hoffman’s character in Midnight Cowboy. Ed sings some of “Dangerous Business” (from Ishtar, another Hoffman film) before Wishlist, in which Ed gets political during the outro. Before Do The Evolution, Ed says, “Alright this is the song, this is where we get seismic…see if we can feel it,” and almost immediately he mentions they can feel it bouncing. After some South American-style call and response, Evolution goes right into Why Go without missing a literal beat. RVM features some forgive/forget improv by Ed. Out of the first encore break, Ed is sporting a Marathon Man shirt, another Dustin Hoffman film. The End is played for the first time since 2013. Future Days is dedicated to Kevin, who’s fighting an autoimmune disease, and his wife Kim. This leads Ed to talk about EB, and says the song was written about his wife, leading to a piano-driven, sparse performance of the song. Crowd is singing loud and strong for Chloe Dancer, and continues into Crown of Thorns. “Takin’ It to the Streets” is an unusual choice, Ed says it was requested by an old friend, saying “Happy birthday Jack, you motherfucker,” and they run through just a couple of minutes of it. Ed goes off on the Townshend guitar windmills at the end of the Save It For Later tag. Small Town is played to the back of the arena. Black is haunting and beautiful over 8 minutes, with an epic solo by Mike, who then takes a trip into the crowd during the Alive solo, getting close to the top of the first level. Matt Cameron’s son Ray gets Mike’s guitar roughly halfway through RITFW, leaving him to help out on tambourine duty. Mike gets the guitar back for Indifference, using a bow to add some effects.


September 26, 2015 – Central Park, New York City, NY, USA

Show Notes:

Ed greets the crowd with a “Good evening…I think a toast is in order, here’s to New York City, here’s to Central Park, here’s to you,” before hitting the ground running with Mind Your Manners and Do The Evolution. Before…

Show Notes: 

Ed greets the crowd with a “Good evening…I think a toast is in order, here’s to New York City, here’s to Central Park, here’s to you,” before hitting the ground running with Mind Your Manners and Do The Evolution. Before launching into Given to Fly, Ed says, “Hey, this one’s for Malala” (referencing Malala Yousafzai who had been on stage just prior to Pearl Jam). Before a beautiful Unthought Known, Ed tells the story of how the song was written:

Just so happens that four or five years back, between about 4 or 5 in the morning, overlooking Central Park right over there in that corner…I was still awake at four in the morning and I saw the most beautiful evening sky over Central Park, the streets were empty, the stars were out which was very rare, I’d never seen it. and then, and then, I should have been gettin’ some sleep but I started scribbling lyrics and it felt like you couldn’t walk out of there, I couldn’t go to sleep because there was magic happening in front of me…and um…and then I got to see the sun rise over this beautiful part of this great city. And when I woke up in the morning, I thought it was just going to be a bunch of scribble and uh, which it was, but I was actually able to record a bit of it and and it was kind of nice to play it back and it wasn’t the worst thing I’d ever done…it could never capture what I saw that night but to have the opportunity to play it in the middle of the thing that inspired it is something I would have never anticipated.  

Stone starts to play the opening lick to Alive, and then Ed promptly stops him, saying I just wanted to say something before he played that song. You know this is really an incredible experience, because you’re surrounded by all these incredible activists on stage, in the back, world leaders, heads of business, people who have chosen to become resolved and decide to make change, but never before have we played for an audience full, 100% full of activists, and it’s an incredible feeling and we just want to thank you for making this wave of hope that can ride and it can grow and I hope it smashes on the shore of cynicism and apathy and we make global poverty…that in the near future, we make global poverty a thing of the past…so, uh, thanks for having us here, it’s been a blast…

Ed unsuccessfully tries to lead the crowd in the “yeah” (fist pumping) chant during what was an incredible solo by Mike, perhaps due to their inexperience (by PJ standards). After a short break, Ed comes out with an acoustic guitar and gives a very heartfelt tribute to John Lennon before playing Imagine. Beyoncé is introduced as the crowd erupts, and they play Redemption Song, its first appearance at a PJ show since 1995! During the bridge, Ed continues strumming while Beyoncé does some improvisational scatting and a video of Nelson Mandela’s famous “Make Poverty History” speech plays in the background. Ed thanks Hugh Evans, the organizer of the festival, and invites “everybody that wants to come play, come play, good night, this is it!” and as the band launches into Rockin’ in the Free World, the stage fills up with people, including Sir Richard Branson, Kerry Washington, Olivia Wilde and so many more, with Stone getting a real kick out of one-time Seattle resident Bill Nye fanning his fingers during the solo.