Episode 273: Brooklyn, NY – 10/18/2013

This episode is jam packed with stories and breakdown from the first night of Pearl Jam’s two show stint at the Barclays Center in Brookyln from 2013. We invite a very special guest onto the pod, the former COO of Barclays and the Brooklyn Nets, Fred Mangione. Fred gives us an angle that we haven’t discussed a lot from the professional landscape – the business side of booking concerts. As a diehard fan of the band himself, Fred will talk about when the Barclays Center opened, there was stiff competition to pull acts away from Madison Square Garden, the biggest destination for entertainment acts in New York City. He’ll talk about how they managed to get Pearl Jam to pivot from their usual location to land them on the Lightning Bolt tour. We’ll also get to hear the story about how they were originally set to play in Brooklyn for 2016, as well as the details of how the band’s attendance record was broken thanks to The Boss.

Continuing with this month’s theme of focusing on shows that the hosts attended, Randy will talk about his stories from this night… or lack thereof. Riding solo at this show, we’ll start a conversation about how memories can tend to fade over time without having anyone to share them with. Going to shows alone is great, you get to dictate when you get in the building, you don’t care if you embarrass yourself if you sing a little louder and you can focus on your own fun. That’s all great in the present, but when looking back over a decade later, those memories tend to fade a little bit because you never created a bond with a friend going through the same experiences that you did. Now, it’s probably impossible to forget everything. We’ll spend some time talking about songs like Crown Of Thorns and Oceans where the memories have been kept fresh over the years.

There are no Gear Guru segments this week. Why you ask? Because the whole entire show is a Gear Guru segment! Javier joins Randy to help break down this show, and he’ll go in depth on songs like Release, Infallible and Yellow Moon.

Pearl Jam Late Night Series: Ep. 18 – Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 2013

This episode is a biggie! Back in 2013 around the release of the Lightning Bolt record, Late Night with Fallon decided to put together not just one performance to promote the record, but a full week featuring Pearl Jam and artists paying tribute to them. We’ll talk about all 5 performances from that week, including Chris Cornell and the Avett Brothers doing Footsteps, Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes doing his take on Corduroy, Dirks Bentley accompanied by McCready and The Roots for Alive, and then to finish out the week, Pearl Jam stepped in to play both Sirens and Lightning Bolt. We’ll go through each performance and talk about the good, the bad, and the downright historic.

Episode 257: Charlottesville, VA – 10/29/2013

One of the many reasons of how Pearl Jam has developed such a large following within their fanbase traveling near and far to their shows is that every single show is going to offer you something completely different than their last. Nearly everyone has a wish list of songs that they think they’ll never hear live, but keep hope alive that some day they will finally be in the building on the night they play one. Those rarities are cherished by this community, and if you happen to be at the right show at the right time, you may see multiple rare tracks that they may not play on the rest of the tour. Charlottesville 2013 was that kind of show. With 3 dates left before the end of the east coast run that year, the band unloaded on songs from all different eras that automatically made this one of the most talked about shows of the year.

The sets in 2013 were starting to grow longer without the appearance of an opener. Most shows pushed the 3-hour mark and delved into well beyond 30 songs played for each individual night. Charlottesville had a total of 35 songs that were played, and among the big talking points were songs like In My Tree, Grievance, Glorified G, Big Wave, Sad and the first appearance of Thumbing My Way since 2006. Those six performances alone created enough talking points for this to be recognized perhaps under the “instant classic” moniker. But there are many discussions to be had in this episode that could spell some of those pre-conceived notions. With 19 songs bunched in to a main set that lasted an hour and 25 minutes, there will be a lot of discussion here on how some of the flow and pacing felt a little bit off when attempting this enormous task. We’ll discuss how that compares to the more recent era where there are less songs played, but more time to give each one it’s moment to shine in a more methodical way.

We’ll hear from you guys on what type of Pearl Jam shows that you prefer to see, and we’ll get three excellent segments from the Gear Guru this week – Stone’s fingerpicking on Release, Mike using a monstrous Gretsch guitar on Glorified G, and he’ll dig into why this version of Whipping desperately needed to be aborted towards the end.

Episode 256: Hartford, CT – 10/25/2013

This episode has been a long time coming. On its 10th anniversary, we are covering an absolute classic Pearl Jam show from Hartford, Connecticut in 2013. Randy has talked a lot about this show in the past, and this episode will be a platform for him to share his memories of his experience, and perhaps get up on a soapbox a little bit. This show is living proof that this small city in Connecticut is one of the best Pearl Jam crowds you can find. We’ll talk about that extensively throughout the episode, but what you’ll witness is every time the crowd cheers, Ed is completely beside himself. One massive standing ovation after Last Exit perfectly set the tone for what this night would end up being.

While the crowd certainly is the #1 theme, it does share the #1 spot with the other important theme from this show. Less than a year after the fatal tragedy happened at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT, this was Ed’s first moment to be able to react publicly to what had took place. After meeting with fathers of kids who were killed earlier that day, he gave an impassioned speech standing up for gun control and pleading the crowd to continue being loud about it. Songs like Long Road and Come Back reflect the mood of this theme.

Another theme that derives from Hartford shows is over one song that has connected the band to the city since 2010. What was once an OTOTO (one time, one time only) performance was now being brought back for a second time – the Van Halen rocker Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love. This song will set up a bit of a contentious discussion in this episode about the idea of them playing it. On one side you’ll hear praise for the band giving this city some special love for making it a theme, on the other side you’ll notice pushback for covering a band they have no business covering. And if you enjoy that conversation, you’ll probably love the segue into Got Some as well.

Gear Guru segments this week will focus on Lighting Bolt era songs Let The Records Play and Yellow Moon, as well as a little Jeff Ament talk focusing on his fretless bass from Alone.

Episode 242: London, ONT, CAN – 7/16/2013

As we say goodbye to reliving the 20th anniversary of the Riot Act tour, there are so many other Pearl Jam anniversaries that need to be celebrated this year. Believe it or not, it’s been a full decade since the 2013 Lightning Bolt tour, as well as the release of the record. In July of that year, the band revealed their plans for their 10th studio album release nearly days before the two big North American summer shows – Wrigley Field and London, Ontario. We all know how big of a deal that Wrigley show was. It was the first ballpark show of it’s kind,  heavy storms caused a two and a half hour delay leading to a show that didn’t end until 2 am, and Bugs was played. Because of the hype leading up to Wrigley, the London show that preceded it became a bit of an after thought. For those unfamiliar, we’ll tackle why this show deserves more love and appreciation from this fanbase that may have forgotten about it in the wake of Wrigley.

Like Wrigley, this is a show that was never released as an official bootleg. So most of the stories and moments that are relived come directly from the less than 10,000 fans who were there in attendance in this intimate venue. We’re lucky to be joined by two in this episode as Patron, Tim Fortescue, hops on to discuss why he requested this show, and filling in for John this week is Hallucinogenic Recipe co-host, Patrick Boegel, who also has great memories from this. A lot of the discussion here will come from this being the true kickoff to the new era, with a brand new rig, stage and lighting set up, setlist structure and new takes on old songs. It was the beginning of the nightly three song slow burn openers that came off as a massive surprise when the rarely opened with Present Tense kicked off this night. It was also the start of the slowburn encore in a way too, which was the most anticipated part of the set featuring some of the rarest songs in the catalog, IE: Parachutes and Man Of The Hour at this show.

We’ll also get to talking about the live debut of Mind Your Manners, a London Calling tease, amazing transitions between songs such as Modern Girl into Black, Dundas hookers on crack and experimental takes on two fan favorites – one that worked in Corduroy, and one that didn’t in Daughter. As a bonus, we’ll also ponder why Canadian hotels only have Garfield cartoons featured on their TVs.

Our Gear Guru segments this week focus on the brand new rig set-up for 2013, the defining sound of Mind Your Manners and Alone featuring Mike’s usage of a slide pick.


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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, Seattle, WA – 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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