Episode 239: Mansfield, MA – 7/2/2003

About the Episode

Episode Release Date: June 28th, 2023

Episode Guests: Javier Hervas

Ladies and gentlemen of the Pearl Jam universe, it’s here! Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been teasing this 10-episode recap of the 20th anniversary of the 2003 Riot Act tour, featuring the ultimate finale – all three shows from the Mansfield Experiment! To anyone who has never heard of this before, The Experiment was the band’s opportunity with three nights scheduled just outside Boston to play nearly every song they knew without repeating anything. This led to three monster sets with the unpredictability of a normal Pearl Jam set heightened to a new extreme. We’re gonna focus on the first night’s setlist in this episode and spend time talking about how the idea for the experiment all came to be.

The challenge of playing 97 different songs in the span of three nights might seem exciting to all of us, but for the band, it was a herculean task that came with some uncertainty. While some of the big setlist staples are tossed into this show like Go, Save You, I Am Mine, Even Flow and Porch, they had to balance all of that out with the lesser played material with songs like Get Right, Help Help, Evacuation and for the time, Smile injected into the set. All three shows have different identities, but all of the excitement from the fans who had heard the rumors gives this show an air of something special that would eventually turn into one of the most legendary runs in the history of Pearl Jam.

Thank you to everyone for writing in these past few weeks and sharing your stories. We’ll tell a few of them in this episode and spread the rest throughout the following two. Three Gear Guru segments this week will dig into a chaotic ending on Go, the 2003 alternate rendition of In My Tree and the rarely played Evacuation.

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