Pearl Jam Song Tier Lists: Ep. 11 – Gigaton

We’ve finally hit the last and most recent studio album as in part 11 of our Tier List series will focus on Gigaton! Sure the songs are still pretty fresh, we haven’t YET (but hey, it’s May we’re basically there) gotten a sense of what these songs will truly turn into live, but the album has been in rotation for 2 years so that’s more than enough time to rank it. What will end up as S Tier? Who ever said it was going to be alright? You’ll have to take the long way to find the answer. My takes are my own, yours are for you. We’re going to have different ones, how about that? If you disagree with me, maybe it’s not worth being triggered and upset by how someone else feels. It isn’t worth it, I promise!


Pearl Jam Song Tier Lists: Ep. 10 – Lightning Bolt

Well well well, we’re almost done with studio albums. This episode takes us to the album that lasted for the longest time as their “newest” record in Lightning Bolt. This one right now may feel as though it may be falling out of favor with crowds due to a lengthy tour backing the record and a shiny new Gigaton to attach to. But the album has it’s share of moments that can be celebrated off a Pearl Jam record. Within the Swallowed Wholes and My Father’s Sons of the world, there are some underrated ones in here including Yellow Moon and even Pendulum for how much it’s been played. What will make it to Super Tier?


Episode 175: San Diego, CA – 11/21/2013

The theme of this show is the importance of family. This being a hometown show for both Ed and Matt, there are a lot of band member relatives taking in the performance – Ed’s mother and three brothers are in attendance, Matt’s mother, siblings and son Ray are all there, and Mike’s dad Roy is in attendance as well. As much as this is a family show for the band, it was a bonding moment for those who witnessed this on the rail. We invite our long-time friends Debra McMurtrey and Dukes Wooters onto the show to talk about how their friendship developed on this night and to discuss the special bonds that we share with each other through our connection to the band that makes it all so special. This is our first show in the next handful of weeks that’s going to zero in on some of the locations that Pearl Jam will stop at on the upcoming tour in May. This night was the last time they were in San Diego and the purpose of the show was to create a hometown party type atmosphere. They played a 34-song, 3 hour and 20 minute set on this night that’s memorable for a lot of reasons. Not just because we get to see Ed’s mother Karen take down a bottle of wine in the same way her son is known to do, but this set was filled with so many audibles and surprises that would make for special moments in any Pearl Jam show. Some of those surprises include Tremor Christ, Army Reserve, Speed Of Sound, In My Tree and the live debut of Sleeping By Myself. We’ll get into all that and more good stuff from Deb and Dukes, including a breakdown of Ray Cameron’s lackluster Rockin’ In The Free World performance.

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Episode 162: Worcester, MA – 10/15/2013

Not Boston, but Woostah! This episode hits up an early show from the Lightning Bolt tour in which the band was playing their first of two nights in the Massachusetts town. Most Boston shows are going to give you something memorable like a special crowd or a deep dive into the back catalog. This show has all of those things. It’s a great crowd, and Fatal is played for the first time in years. But with the hosts not having attended this one in person, it is a bit of a struggle to grab onto an overall narrative for this 32-song set. Is it the brand new album songs that the band continues to adjust to on the live stage? Is it the 20-song main set that lasts about a dollar short of 2 hours? Is it Ed being so drunk that he forgets how to spell L-O-I-T-E-R-I-N-G in Crazy Mary? Those are all nice talking points, but when you put everything together, what kind of show are you looking at in hindsight? Don’t let that detract you from what this episode has to offer, because although we struggle with pieces of it, we ultimately enjoy this one. So listen in for discussion on great versions of Crazy Mary, Yellow Moon, Lightning Bolt, Unthought Known, Corduroy and Sonic Reducer.

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Episode 154: Key Arena – 12/6/2013

We’re back yet again at the Key Arena to continue our year long Seattle Hometown series. This show in 2013 was big. It was the tour closer for a tour that reinvigorated a lot of energy back into setlists bringing back songs that they hadn’t played in years and changing up format in order to fulfil longer shows. Since this was the closer in Seattle, they knew that they were going to have to bring their a-game arsenal. A whopping 36 songs were played making it an instantly memorable evening. A few talking points during this show include an appreciation for Pendulum as the consistent opening track for this tour as well as an appreciation for the 3-song slowburn startup that frequented setlists this year. We’ll dig into how 2013 was a big year for rarities and at this show they brought out one of the rarest of the rare. Let Me Sleep was played once back in 1994 at a Bridge School show, it took them 613 shows before playing it again on this night. Also special from this show is a trio of songs from the Singles soundtrack played in a row for the only time. With 36 songs, it has a been stage atmosphere and while a podcast may not do the visuals justice, the lasting images of Ed and Mike dueling on Better Man and Ed being lifted up on one of the orbs are the big points to remember from this show. Thanks to our Patron, Drew Vipond, for making the request!

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Episode 141: Los Angeles, CA – 11/24/2013

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Episode 138: Pittsburgh, PA – 10/11/2013

In this episode we cover a tour leg opener from the first show of the Lightning Bolt tour, Pittsburgh 2013. John is joined by OG pod co-host Matt to cover lots of Lightning Bolt debuts, some curious setlist choices, a loud and exuberant crowd, one very excited Pittsburgh Pirate, and one song that hasn’t resurfaced since this show. Will they disagree on everything? Or will they find some common ground? This episode was requested by our patron Chris Davis, the “Pearl Jam Dude,” and we talk to him about his experience at the show, his first.

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Episode 132: Spokane, WA – 11/30/2013

We continue our hometown series with a show in… Spokane? Yes, you heard that correctly. In relation to the Deep streaming site that was unveiled in May, we decided to pivot to 2013 and call this a hometown show. Yes, they did play Key Arena in 2013, but if we’re gonna cheat we might as well go all the way. That show will happen later in the year!
Why is Spokane a hometown show? It’s not because Jeremy… you get the joke… As the second most populous city in the state of Washington, where the band has resided throughout their entire 30-year career, they’ve only played in Spokane ONE other time. It was in 1993 and there’s no bootleg or setlist anywhere. The only thing we know about that show is that Ed made… the joke. This show we cover in this episode is celebrated as being a home away from home with many apologies for waiting this long and empty promises that they’ll be back every year. Ed even busts out the novelty wine bottle for this one! There are a few things to know about this show before diving in. 1) the setlist was curated by Steve Gleason. Only a month after creating the Voodoo Fest setlist, Gleason gets another crack at it, this time adding a few more serious collector’s items to the menu. 2) A fan gets a once in a lifetime chance to join the band on stage and rock out to his favorite song under one condition, he must get his head full of dreadlocks shaved. 3) Anything you’ve read about a specific Van Halen song being played on this night is wrong and you need to forget any mentions of it. The song has only been played twice, both times in Hartford, CT and that’s it. Want to fight about it? Listen to the episode first.

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Episode 107: Buenos Aires, ARG – 4/3/2013

In this episode we discuss one of South America’s finest performances down in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2013. This continues our Around The World Series that only has 3 more episodes that remain after this! We’ll hit up Costa Rica, Mexico and Canada to close out 2020. The Argentinian crowds… hoo boy! They are something special. This show being a part of a festival set was nothing on the rare side, but in every single song they played you could hear and feel the crowd’s reactions. From the opening of songs like Even Flow, Given To Fly and Hail Hail the crowd sings the patented guitar parts and at some points does it louder than the band. It happens all night, even on the songs you least suspect. Even something more quiet like Just Breathe has a massive crowd response. You won’t want to miss this episode if you love the way the band interacts with the crowd. As we’ll share, you’ll hear in two separate instances where Ed will have to completely stop a song in order to collect his thoughts. On a highlight such as Daughter, you’ll get to hear Ed tap into his inner bi-linguist as he sings the entire It’s OK tag in Spanish in what’s a massive highlight.

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Episode 86: Wrigley Field – 7/19/2013

In this episode, we begin a new series and cover the first Wrigley Field show in the lineage from 2013! Chris Buckley tags in as both he and Randy share experiences of travel, community, weather and merch in one of the biggest and most highly anticipated Pearl Jam events ever. The big story coming out of this day was obviously the 3 hour rain delay and how that factored in to both the band and the fans well being on the night. As the fans evacuated the field to spend 3 hours huddled together in a tunnel with limited access to food, water and, god help us, alcohol, the primary objective of the night of witnessing one of the most epic Pearl Jam performances ever was never in question. Even when the band halted after the first 7 songs, there was still an energy inside the friendly confines that no thunderstorm was gonna put a stop to. As for the set, they busted out some of their best efforts that night. Bringing out Mr. Cub Ernie Banks to play Cubs anthem All The Way was certainly a sight to behold. Versions of Corduroy, Release, Hold On, Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns, Rearviewmirror, BUGS, and Mike’s Eruption solo made for this to be a special night that we unfortunately have not been able to relive on soundboard quality bootlegs. That may be the biggest letdown from this show. Aside from that, nothing but magical moments as a kid from Evanston, Illinois’ dream came true.

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Episode 51: Buffalo, NY – 10/12/2013

Buffalo 2013 was the second show on the Lightning Bolt tour, and from the early onset you were able to get a big picture idea of what this tour was going to become. Randy attended this show, so he recaps all of the memories of deciding two nights before to take the 6 hour trek up to Buffalo to see the band. Does this show have any major memorable moments that non-attendees gravitate towards? Probably not, but it was an example of a show for people that were in the building would tell you how energetic the atmosphere was. A good mixture of album tracks spread within the Lightning Bolt songs they were promoting, including three from No Code which has become a rarity in recent years. If you are a Vs. fan, chances are you will enjoy this show. Especially the encore where they ripped through five songs from the album within an eleven song span. We’ll also talk about the inclusion of the arena slow burn set and how it set the stage for the entirety of the 2013 tour.

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Episode 50: Voodoo Fest – 11/1/2013

Laissez les bons temps rouler! We take the show down to the Big Easy to cover the Voodoo Festival from the Lightning Bolt tour. Joining us as our guest for this episode is host of the Antiquiet Podcast, Johnny Firecloud, who recently released an episode chronicling his Pearl Jam fandom. If you listen to that before you listen to this, we won’t be offended in the least! While we’ve tried to stray away from festival shows as much as possible, this one has a unique and emotional feel to it that you can’t replicate at other festivals. Former NFL player Steve Gleason was on hand to create the set list with powerful renditions of songs that defined the tone of the night. It would kick off with a surreal rendition of Sirens and continue with powerful performances of In My Tree, Given To Fly, Inside Job, Present Tense and Rearviewmirror. While the show tugs at your heart strings, it also wouldn’t be a show in New Orleans without a party atmosphere. The band invited some very special guests on stage that Eddie got to have some fun with. You’re gonna want to bring your teddy bear for this one.

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Episode 30: Charlotte, NC – 10/30/2013

I have five words to sell you on this episode: Stone Gossard shows his breasts. Yes, this is something that happened. Unfortunately, no one caught this clearly on video so you will have to take John Farrar’s word on it. He attended the show and joined us as a guest. So… why did Stone reveal his nipples to a Charlotte crowd? After Ed speaks proudly of the band’s touring album Lightning Bolt spending 2 straight weeks as the highest selling record, he claims they didn’t have to show their tits in order to do it. With possibly a little egging on from our guest who happened to be on the rail that night, Stone obliges and makes sure that the band would have the top selling album for 3 straight weeks. Outside of some major Gossard boobage, this was a solid show that seems to get overlooked by other Lightning Bolt tour shows that surrounded it. The band debuted opening track Getaway on this night which brings up good debate on why the song was a bit of a disappointment as a live track. This show also closes out with an uncommon appearance of All Along The Watchtower.

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Episode 7: Brooklyn, NY – 10/19/2013

Is Brooklyn in the house?!? I thought so. Fan and listener Chris Buckley joins us as we cover this instant classic from the Lightning Bolt tour. What made this show so great? A set that kicked off with NINE straight songs before the band stopped to talk, rare songs such as All Those Yesterdays and Blood played along with crowd favorites like Wash and Footsteps, and Eddie telling an awesome story about broken vases in China. This is a can’t miss episode with tons of inside jokes, including picking out when Eddie mumbles his way through Leaving Here. Listen through until the end, you won’t regret it!

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