September 15, 2023 – Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, TX, USA

Show Notes:

Matt is back after missing night 1 due to COVID. On the Long Road outro, Ed says “…I can’t hear you…” and the crowd responds louder. His voice is in great shape early, showing no signs of the flu that…

Show Notes: 

Matt is back after missing night 1 due to COVID. On the Long Road outro, Ed says “…I can’t hear you…” and the crowd responds louder. His voice is in great shape early, showing no signs of the flu that he’s recovering from. He holds the last note in Low Light until after the band finishes. Speaking of night 1, he says “…it was a team effort, we’re still a little banged up,” and welcomes Matt back, calling him a “warrior.” Pendulum is sparse and open. The band leaves the stage and Ed talks again afterwards, saying that Pendulum “is probably how Matt was feeling…it’s a bit like COVID, that song,” adding that he’s had “more tea in the last 5 days than all of India.” He points out that they have a lot of dedications tonight and he goes through them all, including for a family with a son, Jake, to which Ed jokes “Jake was created while….sorry Jake, it was Lukin, our shortest song,” and finishes the dedications talking about Jeff and Stone and their 40-year musical relationship, and they come up and hug. Just Breathe is Ed solo, and he dedicates it “for my bandmates.” The whole band is standing for Hard To Imagine except Ed. Breakerfall returns for the first time since 2018. Ed does the 1992 lean back on Why Go and gets the crowd going. After Dance, Ed says the next one “has a connection to Dallas” and Stone starts Brain of J., with a killer solo at the end. Ed says “it’s absolutely beautiful” after Red Mosquito. After Garden, Ed sees the fan in front who made the request for Undone earlier in the tour and talks about how he kept telling him to come back the next night, but in the end, they do play Undone for the first time since Boston 2010, it’s fast and with a little extended vocal part in the middle. Ed talks about how good Mike was the other night, and asks if he’s up to it again tonight, joking “Mike McCready challenges you, Mike McCready,” and they rip into Even Flow. Ed plays a little of Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage” solo before Inside Job. Ed calls out Matt, saying it’s impressive that “3 days ago you couldn’t move.” He holds up the severed hand that was thrown on stage the other night and they play it, Ed holding on to the hand for the first part. The band jams huddled together on Better Man.

After the break, Ed talks about how he doesn’t really hate the Astros, but the Rangers are his local team, and a jersey is brought on stage. He says his sister’s here again and thanks the crew and nurses that helped them recover. The crowd sings along to I Won’t Back Down. Behind the stage, some crowd members strung up letters that hung down spelling out “Spin The Black Circle” and Ed calls it “the most creative request we’ve had so far,” then notices that the “S” is missing so it’s really “Pin The Black Circle.” They start STBC, but only play a little of it, with Ed singing “…pin, pin, pin the black circle…” After the “…what you giving?” line in Unthought Known, he adds “you’ve given us a lot.” Following, he mentions Dr. Amber Straughn again, adding:

“…tonight we’re equally honored, I’ve yet to meet him but I’ve read his work, he’s the current Dallas poet laureate, and he’s here tonight…Joaquín Zihuatanejo. This next one, we’re gonna dedicate to him, but I just want to read something that he wrote…”

Ed continues, reading from the passage:

“‘My mom was 17 when she had me. But she was younger, and more rebellious, and more beautiful than most 17-year-olds can be at that age. So she was busy being young, and rebellious, and beautiful, on the streets of our city, Dallas, when I was a child, a young person. For this reason, she was in and out of my life. I don’t fault her for that, I love my mother very much, and I get it. I was once young and beautiful too. My father left the year I was born, and he never came back. It was because of all this that I was raised by my abuelo, grandfather, he was my mother, my father, my abuelo, my teacher, my everything. When I was 14, he died in a car accident…I became homeless, but more importantly, it was the first time in my life, my young life, that I felt fatherless. I spent most nights bouncing around from place to place, many nights sleeping under the concrete pavilions in Tietze Park [Ed has trouble with the pronunciation, joking “I’ve never been there)] in old East Dallas. But I was never alone because the sound of the voice and the music of Pearl Jam was with me, in my headphones, reminding me that the pain I was feeling wasn’t rage at the universe for taking my grandfather from me, but a hurting from the fact that I had all the love in the world inside of me and nowhere to put it. Pearl Jam’s music made me strong, made me whole, made me realize that music and art and poetry, these are things we live and breathe and die for. Your music reminded me that I was alive, so thank you for creating that art and music and poetry that saved me in every way a person can be saved…I will be forever grateful to you.”

Ed stops and says “we are the ones who are grateful to you, for giving our music more meaning that we could have ever dreamt, thank you Joaquin,” and Stone starts Alive. Rockin’ in the Free World makes its tour debut and openers Deep Sea Diver join on stage, along with Joaquin. Ed collapses dramatically on stage as he finishes Ledbetter, and Mike brings it home sitting on the edge of the stage.

September 13, 2023 – Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, TX, USA

Show Notes:

After canceling the previous show in Indiana, the band returns to the stage in Fort Worth minus Matt Cameron, just like in Oakland last year. Josh is behind the drum kit, and Ed counts in the “1, 2, 3…” for…

Show Notes: 

After canceling the previous show in Indiana, the band returns to the stage in Fort Worth minus Matt Cameron, just like in Oakland last year. Josh is behind the drum kit, and Ed counts in the “1, 2, 3…” for Oceans. After Footsteps, Ed addresses the cancellation:

“Good evening Texas…we don’t get to play here as much as we’d like, so we’re very grateful to be in this room with you here tonight, more than usual…tonight is going to be a little different. It was two options, that the show was going to be a little different, or that there was not going to be a show. We’re going for different…and we’ll certainly take your support tonight. Let me just quickly explain…two days ago, three days ago, coming out of Chicago, we were forced to cancel a gig and this gives me a chance to apologize. We don’t take it lightly, and I know some people travel to see shows…one of the hard parts was that there was very little notice, it’s a risk these days when you have things like COVID floating around, and then I just got the fuckin’ flu…”

He asks for tea and continues, joking that they put ads in all the local Dallas and Fort Worth papers looking for a singer and a drummer, but got no responses because they had to be as good as Matt Cameron, and introduces Josh on drums. The Daughter tag is a lyric from Chaise Lounge (…I got the big D…” and Ed turns it into spelling out Dallas before moving into Another Brick in the Wall (Pt. 2). Mike’s using his new signature Fender Stratocaster that was just announced on many of the songs, and the Black solo is absolutely outstanding, leading Ed to say afterwards:

“A toast for Mike McCready right there…I don’t want to make him blush but that was the best solo of the tour, if not the best of his life…”

He says his sister is in the crowd and “she’s a TEXAN!” then tells a story about writing a song for her back in 1988, and plays a little of it. It’s reminiscent of Better Man, but it had no words, and he offers the advice that if you write someone a song, “they’re waiting on the words…don’t play an instrumental.” The seated part of the show continues through Present Tense. As each song is started, the band looks to Josh, encouraging him on, and then turns to the crowd once the rhythm is established. Corduroy has a new guitar-based, angular intro. All the guitars drop out during the extended part, Jeff keeps it going underneath the call-and-response. “This one’s about protocol…” prefaces Mind Your Manners, the only post-Yield song on the setlist. After Even Flow, Ed says “…in the pit we have some royalty…” and mentions Dr. Amber Straughn, a NASA astrophysicist from Bee Branch, Arkansas who’s in attendance, and Given to Fly is dedicated to her, with the lyric change “made it up to Bee Branch, had a smoke in a tree…” Josh is evidently familiar with Yield, as another deep cut, Pilate, makes an appearance. Someone throws a severed hand on stage after Hail, Hail, and Ed asks a young girl if it was her, but then finds out it was someone else, joking “..what the fuck were you thinking?” and then says “I’m going to keep this forever.” He then sees a man in the front row with a beard and jokes that Aaron Rodgers is there, telling the story of Rodgers at the Milwaukee 2014 show. Eruption is extended, with a little of “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” thrown in for good measure. Satan’s Bed nearly falls apart trainwreck-style and is close to being abandoned, but they stick with it and Josh makes it through. Following, Ed says that he told Mike that he needed a little break, and asked:

“…’would you, could you, do that thing that you sometimes do’…and he looked, he was like ‘oh sure,’ and then he did THAT [referring to Eruption]. It’s insane! You’re infected Mike McCready, and I hope they never find the cure.” 

He continues, playing the beginning of Untitled quietly, thanking the crowd for “getting us even this far.” He continues:

“I’ll share what a good friend of mine, David, wrote recently…he said that what I see all around me is miraculous. Trees and water and sky and people and couples and family…all I see is beauty…and that’s ‘cause he was dying. He said that’s what looking at things from death is like. There’s no sweat, it’s all beauty. Then he said I wish I could have been dying all my life. Sometimes it just takes a change of scenery…”

Untitled is fragile and emotional with a silent crowd, maybe the best performance of the song ever. The drum intro on Not For You is extended and the Modern Girl tag is back. Josh does an impressive job on RVM. Ed speaks again after the break:

“…two days ago, again, we were faced with very limited options, and the last thing we wanted to do is pull the plug…all I can say is fuck yeah Fort Worth…”

He says he has a big bottle of wine to share and that he’ll bartend while Boom solos on the next one, but gets confused and says Victoria Jackson instead of Victoria Williams when quoting the “take a bottle…” line. After Crazy Mary, he says he had a conversation with his daughter, Harper:

“…she said ‘how are you feeling, dad?” and I said ‘honey, I’m totally fucked…we got a show, and it’s Dallas, the last time we were there was like 10 fuckin’ years ago, and we have great memories in Dallas playing a little place called Trees, and one of us got the COVID thing, and my throat hurts and I’m achy, and I feel like I’m gonna die…’”

He continues, saying she asked if he still had the sparkly jacket he wore to Taylor Swift, and the jacket is brought onstage for Ed to wear, and asks if he has the mirrorball helmet she wore to Taylor Swift, and Ed puts them on for Wishlist, adding he’ll take all the help he can get, but realizing “I can’t hear a fuckin’ thing.” After Lukin, Ed does a little Slow Lukin outro/reprise. Prior to Alive, Ed flexes his muscle at Josh, urging him to play harder. As Indifference begins, Ed speaks:

“…if we never see you again, I’ll remember it always. If we do see you again, please feel free to remind us that you were there that night, we’ll remember. We feel like we owe you all a drink…except the front row, you guys are covered [referring to Crazy Mary]…and once again, anybody who came, traveled to Indiana and we couldn’t…again, let me take the opportunity to say it was hard and we’re so sorry…fuckin’ brutal. So, thanks for your patience and support. For us, you sure made a difference…” 

He changes the lyric to “…we screamed our lungs out ‘til it filled this room…” before leaving with “…much love, everybody. Much, much love.” and singling out Josh one more time.