Episode 250: Austin, TX – 9/16/1995

As the 2023 tour continues to move from north to south, we’re gonna get you prepared for the Austin shows by covering the last non-festival show that was played in the Texas capital way back in 1995. This was a make-up show for the postponed date that stemmed from Ed’s bout of food poisoning back at the Golden Gate Park show. This show in Austin had it’s own fair share of controversies, including a set time change that threw a large portion of the fans off that thought that 7pm was the start to the show.

This barnburner of a set will have two major talking points – Mike and Jack. Jack Irons was clearly in a groove after nine months of playing and traveling with the band, and while not every song had been fully polished just yet, you can see what spots Jack was having a major influence on and where he thrived the most. Mike on the other hand had numerous moments where his guitar solos shot out of the amps like a cannon on fire. We’re gonna gush over Mike’s presence on songs such as Go, Animal, Corduroy, Why Go, Even Flow, State Of Love And Trust, Immortality, Black and Porch. No shortage of conversation there!

We’ll kick off the episode addressing the recent Indianapolis show postponement and what this may mean for the rest of the 2023 tour.

Episode 214: Self Pollution Radio – 1/8/1995

It’s our first show for 2023, and right off the bat we’re gonna take a shot at something we haven’t done before. After the Atlanta show in 1994, Ed took to the airwaves to DJ a show out of a van. It was such a success that he wanted to do it again, but this time feature live performances from the band as well as some other special guests in between spinning records from his personal favorite bands. This is famously known as Self Pollution Radio.

The broadcast took place shortly after the release of Vitalogy at a home that Ed owned in Seattle. He invited all of his friends over, meaning that at least one person from the big four (five if you include Mudhoney) Seattle grunge bands were all in attendance. While Pearl Jam performed some of the best songs off their new record, we also got to hear performances from The Fastbacks, Mudhoney, Soundgarden and the world premiere of Mad Season.

Many of you may remember flipping cassette tapes while listening to this show back in high school or college, so we attempt to bring you back to that moment where you had to stay up late during a 4+ hour broadcast to make sure you recorded the entire thing. We’ll talk about the Vote For Choice benefit that happened a few days after this, the Home/Alive compilation record, guests such as Mike Watt and Krist Novosellic and the ramifications of Ed giving out his phone number over a live broadcast.

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Episode 201: Las Cruces, NM – 9/14/1995

Thanks to a request from our Patron Joe Kolbenschlag, we get to focus on a show from 1995 that occurred during a small window of shows in that September. This one is Las Cruces, New Mexico, which may not be one of the many jaw dropping shows from 1995, but is still damn good in it’s own right. We get to talk about lots from the Vitalogy era – a random rare appearance from Satan’s Bed, a fully explosive I Got Shit (ok, noticed how bad that was two seconds after typing it. It’s staying in.) and a killer Immortality that reigned king of the era with it’s incredible, jammy outro.

We’ll also get to see a rare tag off of Daughter, The Who’s “I’m One”, a 10 minute Porch that ranges from bluesy to jammy all inclusive, and stunning versions of Corduroy, Not For You, Rearviewmirror and Blood.

Also in this episode we’ll talk about some end of the tour topics featuring a few things we can’t wait to hear on bootleg, and some of our favorite moments from our travels. We’ll also hear a story from Erin Mackay who had the version of Other Side that was played in Quebec City dedicated to her for her brother. Caution: story has themes of mental illness and suicide involved. If you wish not to listen to that part, skip over it at 9 minutes in and jump to 13 minutes in.

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Episode 184: Casper, WY – 6/16/1995

For the entire month of June, we are digging in to a collection of shows that may have gotten lost throughout the shuffle over the years. Why? Because it is the only time that Pearl Jam had ever played in the states we’re covering. First up is Casper, Wyoming. Not at all a hot bed for music fans. But Pearl Jam on their quest to reject Ticketmaster venues had a limited amount of options to turn to. With the original show being set up in Boise, Idaho, another OTOTO state, Wyoming ended up being the home to the kick off of an incredibly memorable 1995 tour.

We’ll have some fun with this one. On the YouTube video for this show, there is a section where a guy named James Lane is seen in a van and explains that after the show they’re going to be broadcasting a show on pirate radio. This of course is Monkeywrench Radio, something that Ed broadcasted for the entirety of the 1995 tour on the road. We’ll talk about that era and why this caused a divide within the band. We’ll also get into some of the performances including the live debut of Long Road, and great versions of Corduroy, Why Go, Not For You, Immortality and Blood.

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Episode 177: Sacramento, CA – 6/22/1995

We’re another week closer to the start of the tour, which means that we’re continuing to build up the hype to highlight some of the cities they’ll be dropping in. This week features the Sacramento show from 1995, a show sandwiched between a fan favorite (Red Rocks) and an infamous (Polo Fields) show, inadvertently making this one overlooked. As far as 1995 shows go, this one is right in that wheelhouse where the Vitalogy era shows thrived in. Ed’s voice is at its peak, Jack is a madman at the kit, and the crowd as rowdy as you can imagine. We have not one, but two guests joining us for this episode. We welcome in our Patron Dylan Sumpter to tell his story about being at his first show, and we get to hear from Branden Palomo of the Better Band Podcast who talks about his experience at the show. There’s three historically notable moments that happen at this show – we get the second performance of the alternate version of Jeremy dubbed “No Jeremy” which was debuted two nights earlier in Red Rocks, we get a performance of Lukin over a year from the release of No Code as well as Habit being played for only the second time. You get to see the evolution of the band throughout the duration of this show. Considering what would happen two days later, this show could be seen as the end of an era. Things wouldn’t quite be the same afterward.

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Episode 155: Salt Lake City, UT – 11/2/1995

In this episode, we venture into a part of the country we have yet to touch – Salt Lake City, Utah! As the band’s Ticketmaster boycott prevented them from playing marquee venues in 1995, they often found themselves in challenging scenarios playing shows in obscure places. While the capital of the 45th state may not be totally obscure, it’s strange to look back and say they did a two night run in Salt Lake City. But there’s a reason for that. During June of the original tour run, they had to postpone their show slated to take place at the original outdoor amphitheater in SLC due to weather concerns. The band would say they’d return and play twice as many songs, which led to this excellent November stretch packed with five memorable shows.

The Utah shows are seen for being somewhat of a gateway from the Vitalogy era into No Code. During the first night, they’d debut Red Mosquito, and at this show, Brain Of J. would make it’s live debut. We get a chance to look into the changes made in the song and decipher why this was held back and re-recorded for Yield in it’s form most common to us. We’ll also get a ton of Vitalogy era Jack Irons infused jam sessions to talk about, including extended versions of Not For You, Corduroy and Immortality.

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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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