Episode 135: Red Rocks – 6/20/1995

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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Episode 124: Piss Bottle Men at Moore Theatre – 2/6/1995

This episode is a part two of a two-part series focusing on the Moore Theatre shows in 1995 where the band performed under the pseudonym Piss Bottle Men. If you like to listen to things linearly, the first part of this series is available through our Patreon which you can sign up to for as low as $1 per month here: http://patreon.com/liveon4legs This episode is another addition in our Hometown Series dedicated to telling the stories of their best Seattle shows in their 30-year anniversary. These two shows were special fan club shows meant as a warm up before heading off to a big tour in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. With Vitalogy selling over 4 million copies in the prior months late in 1994 and early 1995, these shows were the first time that the hometown fans got familiar with new drummer Jack Irons and seen some of these newer Vitalogy songs fleshed out in the way they were played on the record. This was also in the middle of the Mirror Ball recording sessions, so a certain Uncle was in town available to make a visit to his favorite nephews. However, earlier in the night the band decided to present a preview of the new collaborative record as they played Act Of Love mid-set. When Neil makes his appearance to join them, we get a little bit of a reprise to close the night. This may remind you of another instance where this happened – the Polo Fields show where Neil filled in for Ed who had food poisoning. The band would play two versions of RITFW that night.

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Episode 94: Neil Jam Dublin, IRE – 8/26/1995

And now for something kind of different. Usually this podcast does a deep dive into Pearl Jam’s live catalog, but in this episode we change it up just a little bit. We take a deep dive into the short-lived Mirror Ball tour that spanned 11 shows in the summer of 1995 to promote the album. With the other 4 band members joining a rock n roll legend, how does the dynamic change not having Ed up on stage with them? It’s tough to make comparisons because they are of completely different styles and backgrounds, but the way Neil utilizes the band is not much different than how he would utilize Crazy Horse when touring with them. Neil is the general on stage and we’ll talk about how the band was thrust into elongated, 15+ minute jam sessions on powerful songs such as Scenery, Cortez The Killer and Like A Hurricane. This was out of Pearl Jam’s wheelhouse, but being such a talented core they were able to stretch their limits and follow Neil’s lead which would certainly help them grow as musicians during their prime. We’ll also talk Mirror Ball songs, Neil performing solo and we’ll chat with our Patreon forum about how the band was in the midst of bouncing back from the infamous Polo Fields show.

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Episode 62: San Diego, CA – 11/6/1995

This episode, we’ll dip into another Vitalogy era show that was a make up date from the infamous Golden Gate Park show. Joining us for this episode is Patreon subscriber Debra McMurtrey who recounts being a 16-year old at this show. Debra’s stories are what makes this episode stand out. You’ll get to hear how she initially acquired tickets to this show and her reaction when she found out it was canceled, and then her long journey of the band rescheduling this show as one of the last stops of the tour. She was crushed in the pit, crowd surfed to Animal and had a religious experience during songs like Rearviewmirror. All while her mom attempted to get some work done while chaperoning. We’ll also talk about The Ramones who opened for the band at both of the San Diego shows on their way to their final tour of their career. 30 minutes of catchy, hard-hitting punk rock to open the show and make way for Pearl Jam who were at their classic 1995 best. Highlights to look forward to from this show include Immortality, Long Road and Corduroy.

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Episode 61: Auckland, NZ – 3/25/1995

It’s time to travel Around The World! This episode is the first installment of our year-long series where we’ll tackle Pearl Jam shows from all different countries across the globe. We kick it off in New Zealand where the band was riding high on their red hot Vitalogy South Pacific Tour. This was the final appearance in a 20-show stretch that reached from Japan to The Philippines, down to Australia and finally New Zealand. The band had already been through a ton of difficulty on this tour as the crowds were unruly any place they touched down. They were also filming a documentary at the time that never saw the light of day, but it’s something you can now find on YouTube if you dig for it. The biggest takeaway from this show (that doesn’t have the finest quality of bootleg) is that Pearl Jam mania is arguably at its peak and the band making an appearance in a country that other bands usually ignore speaks to how high in demand they were at the time. They rocked all of the Vitalogy songs that were released 3 months earlier including ripping versions of Spin The Black Circle and Not For You and got some love at the end of the set performing with NZ band The Split Enz featuring Neil and Tim Finn. Renditions of History Never Repeats and I Got You were major highlights from this performance.

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Episode 42: Soldier Field – 7/11/1995

This episode is the debut of co-host John Farrar. We dig into a show that has made a major impact on this band over the years, Soldier Field from 1995. There was a lot going on with the band at the time – the fallout from the Ticketmaster lawsuit, the fallout from Eddie’s food poisoning incident in San Francisco, No Code’s presence looming and trying to follow up what would be the final Grateful Dead performance with Jerry Garcia. The band was handed a major task on a major stage and guess what? They hit a home ru… err, okay NFL Stadium, they scored a touchdown. We’ll talk a lot about the raw sound of 1995 and how the band was gelling with Jack Irons at the time. Songs such as Corduroy, Habit and Not For You were major players, but they also pulled out some weirder stuff such as Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone. That mixed with Let Me Love Open The Door made for an unforgettable moment on this night.

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Episode 26: Milwaukee, WI – 7/9/1995

This episode is loaded with topics that only Pearl Jam podcasters could possibly turn into tangents. This show is known most for a rare version of Jeremy played sparingly throughout the years that has been dubbed No Jeremy. A strange take on the original hit song that was turned into a jammy, psychedelic performance where the lyrics were broken up into smaller parts. Another memorable moment from this night was when Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers joined the band to play a song that never originally had a percussion track. Other topics of conversation in this show include a quick review of Eddie’s performance at Innings Fest as well as a Mumford and Sons show that Randy attended over the weekend. And you can’t have an episode from 1995 without a good conversation about Starter Jackets!

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Episode 13: Melbourne, AUS – 3/17/1995

We’re going down under, but leave your didgeridoos at home because this show will leave you rockin’ out! Okay, that was lame.. but this episode contains a show that was used for a very early bootleg called Rarefied And Live that was released back in 95. In the middle of the Vitalogy tour, Eddie is full of anger and angst during this 26 song set. Also, who better to make an appearance on drums than a future fighter of foo? That’s right, Dave Grohl and the band rock in the free world at this show and its everything you could ever hope for.

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Episode 11: San Jose, CA – 11/4/1995

For this episode, we take a trip back to 1995 to cover a show that was never originally supposed to happen. In June of that year at a show in Golden Gate Park, Eddie caught a bout of food poisoning and left the stage after 7 songs. Luckily for the band, Uncle Neil came to the rescue and played a full set of Mirror Ball songs and other classic Neil tracks. As the story goes, the crowd was angry that Eddie left the stage and many were so insulted that they “swore off the band for life.” But this band has a history of doing right by the fans and in this instance they made up for it by adding a show in San Jose in November.

Thanks to Maria Vigil for suggesting this show to us!

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