We continue our year-long Seattle Series of shows with this West Coast leg-ender from 1998. While Randy is out on paternity leave, John is joined this episode by Branden from the Better Band Podcast. Along with the usual end of tour shenanigans, we’ll talk a lot about No Code, as 7 songs from the album are played on this night. Fantastic versions of Brain of J., Not For You, and Do The Evolution are highlighted, and we’ll also talk about some versions of songs from Ten that were maybe not at their height (with one exception, 1..2..3..4…). Was Matt Cameron still getting his feet wet as PJ’s drummer after less than 3 months on the job? Who is Mister Pickles? All that and Ultimate Frisbee, Funko Pops, and more on this episode!
It’s time to hop back aboard the Yield tour as this episode brings us to a popular recording from 1998. Recently, Ed claimed that Australia may be the first continent to get the Gigaton tour, so that’s where we end up in this episode. The third night in Melbourne is one that has gone down in the books as an all-time classic, yet is perhaps still undervalued. Broadcast at the time on JJJ radio in Australia as well as being one of the very early internet livestreams, this show was really one of the last of its kind. The performances are what makes this show special and we highlight just about every single one of them. From hearing the raw power of Ed’s growl on Brain of J, to the soaring sounds of Mike’s guitar during In My Tree, Jack Irons doing damage on the kit in an otherworldly version of Immortality, This show has so many moments you want to go back to again and again. We’ll talk about all of the above as well as a very early version of Porch blues with the slower intro that has been popularized in the modern era. We’ll also talk about the CD called Give Way that was supposed to be released alongside Single Video Theory. What happened to it? Why was it never issued? Do copies of it still exist? We answer all of that!
This is the final episode in our coverage of politically charged Pearl Jam shows and we finish off with a Vote for Choice show that became a Vault release in Constitution Hall 1998. Just like Charlotte 1996, this show was accompanied by Gloria Steinum with registering to vote as the priority of the night. This show is a Vault for a reason. Whenever they release a show as a Vault they do it consciously knowing that there are going to be songs on this release that you don’t often get to hear live. Right off the bat, Act Of Love as the 2nd song in exemplifies that. They first time they played Act Of Love was in that same venue, it happened to be twice in one night for the same voter benefit show. Considering they’ve only played this song 10 times and only once since this night, it was easily one of the most memorable moments. Other rare live moments that you get from this show were two of the rarest from Yield – All Those Yesterdays and Push Me Pull Me. We talk a lot about big moments from this show such as Black with a blistering McCready solo and multiple songs where Ed’s gravelly growl is in full force.
This episode will take us to the 1998 Yield Tour. It was a time where the band started to familiarize themselves with their brand new drummer Matt Cameron, so setlists weren’t as diverse as we’d see in later years, especially for the album that Yield followed up in No Code that only had one song represented on this night. 1998 was really the first year since 1994 that tickets were becoming more accessible to fans due to the band’s refusal to play Ticketmaster venues. As mentioned in this show, 98 was really one of the first years that fans began to travel along with the band from location to location. Our Patron Patrick Boegel joins us as a guest on this episode and talks about the stretch of shows he traveled for during this late August time period. This is a great show where the classics were on full display. Incredible and possibly overlooked versions of Alive, Black, Daughter, Wishlist and Immortality were the big moments where the band were truly at the top of their game.
This episode we continue our Around The World series with a show from the Yield tour down under in Sydney, Australia! Thanks to our Patron Paul Mereniuk for requesting this episode, you’ll hear his concert story during the show! 1998 was an interesting time for the band, they were finally out of the limelight of mainstream music and seemed to be genuinely enjoying their time performing. They took the stage this night wearing wigs saying there was a 5 for 1 deal and they got their hair done at the same place Elton John did. It showed the band was able to relax, make fun of themselves and show the crowd they were there to have a good time as well. We also see Ed get into some personal stories, something he wasn’t doing often in years prior. But while there was a lot of good going on with the band at the time, this was also a trying time that saw the end of drummer Jack Irons tenure. The Australian tour would be his last as he was having trouble sleeping and prone to constant panic attacks due to his bipolar disorder not being treated properly. This is one of a small handful of shows where we get to hear Jack play Yield songs such as Faithfull and Given To Fly that add his very unique style and presence brought to the album.
In this episode, we attempt to tackle what has long been seen as a top 10 show in the history of the band. Although they made their Garden debut the night prior to lackluster results, the band was ready to bounce back in a huge way and prove that they deserved to be on the same stage as the greatest legends in the history of music. Notable about this night was the fans continued campaign for the song Breath to be played for the first time in 4 years and finally the wish was granted. It is the moment that many recall as being the ultimate highlight of this night. Though this was only “the cherry on top of the sundae,” the show is jam packed with hits and passionate performances of other fan favorites that put this show on the upper echelon of shows in their history. We do our best to recreate the magic, but the task is a challenging one. Also! Eddie climbs his microphone wire and finds a way not to die!
In 2019, we promised to cover every MSG show in chronological order and the way we’re gonna kick it off is with the band’s first performance in the Garden back during the Yield tour in 98. Eddie said it best – “you ain’t shit until you’ve played Madison Square Garden” and that quote alone proved to be the litmus test on the first night. On a Thursday night where the crowd was luke warm at best and technical difficulties plagued the band throughout, we break down how their first moment in the world’s most famous arena might not have lived up to the hype. It was a tough position for the band to be in, but as we all know they would return to the Garden the next night for one of the most BREATHtaking performances in the band’s history.