Episode 135: Red Rocks – 6/20/1995

About the Episode

Episode Release Date: June 23rd, 2021

One of the best things about being able to share a Pearl Jam podcast with the world is to specifically hit home on some of the most notable moments in the band’s history. This night at Red Rocks in 1995 checks that box and then some.

After a raucous first show where the band were clearly feeling the effects of the Colorado altitude, they walked on the stage doing something they had never done in this fashion – they sat down and played six straight songs seated. This set a precedent for important shows that would come much later on (Mansfield Experiment, The Gorge, Telluride, etc) and prove to their fans that literally anything can happen at a Pearl Jam show. The opening six songs have become the stuff of legends. Almost every song had some semblance of unfamiliarity. Long Road was in its infant stages having only been debuted a few days prior in Wyoming, Jeremy was deconstructed into its experimental “No Jeremy” version that popped up sparingly in 1995 and 1996, an OTOTO cover called Ship Song was played, a rare performance of b-side Footsteps, the one and only performance of Falling Down either live OR studio, and then the set would finish with Better Man. The importance of this mini-set would prove that PJ is always up to the challenge making the biggest moments of their career everlasting.

Along with the sit down set, we’ll look into the rest of the setlist which was a completely different beast from the first night. Instead of blistering through the set with 13 straight energetic rockers, they were able to balance this show out more utilizing some of the more mid-tempo songs in order to build momentum off of. Something that would be a staple of sets moving forward that allowed for them to save energy for the end of shows.

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