This first night of PJ20 weekend was stricken with bad weather that put a bit of a damper on the show, but they followed up with a Sunday night performance that was one for the ages. While the first night had some song inclusions from the deep cuts in their catalog, it was missing a familiar flow that give Pearl Jam setlists balance. Night 2 has more of those setlist staples intertwined while giving you more of the uncommon tracks that you can cross off your checklist. But just like the night prior, the band invited a handful of guests from the opening acts to join them, including Chris Cornell, who reprised his role in the Temple Of The Dog reunion. We’ll talk about how this show is a true celebration of Pearl Jam and their anniversary, calling back to important moments that shaped the band such as Roskilde 2000, the San Francisco 1995 incident and the Bob Dylan tribute show where they met Neil Young for the first time. This was all about embracing their history with the inclusion of their friends who helped them get to where they were.
We’re sitting here in year 30 of Pearl Jam about to look back at when they celebrated their 20th anniversary, which happened to be 10 years ago. Whatever equation you want to make of it, the massive weekend event at Alpine Valley was one of the biggest events to that point in Pearl Jam’s history. It was set to be a celebration of the band’s longevity featuring the most loyal group of fans. Friends such as Glen Hansard, Mudhoney, Queens Of The Stone Age and The Strokes all flew up to rural Wisconsin just to be there for this moment. A weekend that would forever be etched in… nope. The rain came pouring down and any prestige that was to come from that night was heavily tainted. However, the show went on as promised and was extended due to the nature of the evening. Pearl Jam went through the gauntlet of their entire catalog through songs that had never been played, In The Moonlight and Setting Forth, to songs that had almost never been played, Education and Help, Help, while trying to scatter the fan favorites such as Breath and Not For You (feat. Julian Casablancas) throughout. But the night will forever be known for the surprise appearance of Chris Cornell for a Temple Of The Dog reunion. As a crowd member on this night, Randy will have a lot to say, probably a lot more than you’d expect him to. But he had been dying to do a podcast on this for just about a decade, cut him some slack. It’s like one of the old school episodes of LO4L, so strap on in and prepare yourself for a long one!
In this episode we’ll focus on the one and only time the band took a trip down to Central America as Ed and Boom were able to catch some waves down in Costa Rica. If your expectations for this show are as high as any show in Argentina, Brazil or Chile, do yourself a favor and lower them immediately. You cannot go into this show thinking that the crowd is going to be red hot for everything. They had their moments where they came through and sounded pretty good on the boot, but this should not be lumped into the same category as shows from those other nations. With that being said, this show coming towards the end of the 2011 run which was still promoting an album that many people deemed unspectacular doesn’t raise a lot of eyeballs. Some nice moments such as a Vs. opener combo of Go into Animal, a great Daughter/Why Go transition that was completely dictated by the crowd and a nice little surprise Oceans in the encore are enough to raise eyebrows, but some strange setlist decisions and way too much from Ten doesn’t set this show enough apart from others. We’ll dissect what worked and what didn’t and we’ll also mention a mini riot that occurred near the beginning of the show.
Featured in the episode is the only Pearl Jam show ever performed on Thanksgiving Day that took place in Mexico City. There’s a lot of debate and discussion about set list construction and what worked and also what did not sit well with Matt and Randy from this night. They also take a look at two modern day uncommon tracks in Of The Earth and Ole and the different reactions that fans have to each of those songs.