Episode 150: Key Arena, Seattle, WA – 9/21/2009

About the Episode

Episode Release Date: October 6th, 2021

We’re heading back to an era that’s been nearly untouched in the Live On 4 Legs pantheon. In 2009, the Backspacer album was released and subsequently toured for. Although somewhat polarizing in retrospect, people thought highly of the album at the time and considered it to be Pearl Jam’s return to their “true rock ‘n roll roots.” Yet of the eleven tracks the album bares, the band rarely goes back to many of those songs that were getting attention then. As a podcast, these songs have seen minimal coverage possibly thanks to that. This episode will continue the Seattle hometown series featuring a show that was considered to be the Backspacer era’s maiden voyage taking place only a day after the record was released.

As mentioned, a lot of music critics and journalists hopped back aboard the Pearl Jam bandwagon when this album came out. Was it due to the album being exclusively released at a big box store like Target? Or could it possibly have been because the George W. Bush administration was out of office and the album presented a fresh, positive outlook for the first time since Yield? Whatever the case was, the band was clearly feeling good about their recent production, continuously pushing songs such as Got Some and The Fixer along with the family oriented love song Just Breathe. But this era also hosts a few of those songs that have absolutely disappeared from the Pearl Jam live repertoire such as lead-off track Gonna See My Friend, Johnny Guitar and Ed solo track The End which we’ll cover the debuts for in this episode. But this era also led the way for a few classics that we continue to hear today such as the aforementioned Just Breathe and Unthought Known.

Since we are coming off a month where Gigaton songs were finally played for the first time in 18 months, we’ll make some comparisons to how these new songs fit in with the setlist to how the Backspacer songs ended up. Seven O’Clock is seemingly on the projection of an Unthought Known made to be a nightly hit, but what songs can we compare Retrograde and River Cross to? All of that, plus a few good personal stories mixed in for this one.

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