Some words come to mind when trying to describe Pearl Jam’s set in Boston, last night at the TD Garden. Epic, awesome, insane, pure, amazing, magnificent AND complete. Nothing flashy about the stage setup, but they didn’t need glitter and pyrotechnics. Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament and Matt Cameron filled the venue, from the floor to the nosebleeds, including the seats behind the stage, with fist pumping fans. Last night, Pearl Jam gave back to the hardcore fans, those who have followed the band since the early 90’s. Two encores. Three hours of music. That’s worth the high price of concert tickets these days – even worth those pesky service and convenience charges. Pearl Jam delivered.
Liz Hennigan of Boston, MA said, “The show was amazing! I have never seen Pearl Jam live before and they packed 3 hours of unbelievable music in. The passion, the enthusiasm, Eddie's voice and their appreciation of fans was overwhelming.” She continued, “I didn't know every song like the diehards, but I enjoyed every one - ‘Better Man’ and ‘Alive’ being my favorites.”
Will Dailey (no relation) has been to several Pearl Jam shows and shared his thoughts on last evening, “I've been a fan of this band, since I first saw the video for ‘Alive’, when I was a kid. Since then, I've always been drawn to their sense of genuine independence and honesty.” Dailey is part of Boston’s music scene – a singer/songwriter himself. He added, “My favorite album is probably, Yield. It was played so much with a group of friends, that when I hear it, I'm transported to a former version of myself. My favorite song is probably ‘Speed of Sound’ - just gorgeous piece of song writing.” Will finishes, “[The show] gets the same high marks, as usual. The band played a real 32 song, rock and roll show, with the more energy than most new bands. All the peaks and valleys kept the audience riding a wave from note to note, until the last two songs, when the house lights went up, because they were beyond curfew.”
Newtonian, Tom Giusti, who is known to ‘produce gallons of word vomit’ shared his take on Pearl Jam’s mega-set in Boston. He actually shared a novel. It begins, “The show was so good, that I'm willing to forgive and forget that the Garden charged me $32 for four shots of Captain and about 12oz. of Coke. My wallet however, will be pressing charges. I was excited they played 'Smile' and 'Given to Fly' - but I wish they had played 'Corduroy', 'I got Id', 'In Hiding', 'Faithful' and 'Wishlist',” Tom goes on, “I think it's awesome that they have such a diverse playlist to choose from, because you feel like each show is special and unique, like it was tailored for you for that one performance. Unlike a lot of musical groups today, Pearl Jam has a real connection, and a real sense of community with their fans. I think that was evident last night, by the way the band and the crowd fed off each others' energy.
Giusti isn’t finished, “Even though I was in the 3rd level balcony, I felt like they could see me when they looked up. Eddie Vedder is a great leader, charismatic and inspiring. He recognized long time fans in the audience, and spoke of fans they had met - especially about the fan who couldn't come due to medical complications.” Should we stop him? Tom continues, “It's also cool that they not only gave a shout-out to the people sitting behind the stage, but turned around and played to them. That kind of thing makes you feel like they really and truly appreciate the support of all of their fans. I also think that unlike other bands, Pearl Jam is real and genuine in what they say and what they believe in. They talk about the causes they support without sounding like they're bragging about the good they do.”
Ladies and gentlemen, Tom Giusti, “They honestly just want to inspire people to do the right thing. I personally don't like the Garden for shows. I feel like it's built more for spectacle than music. Pearl Jam didn't have a giant stage set, their set up was very minimal, and the focus was on the music. My complaint is that from where I was sitting, the sound was occasionally tinny or grainy.”
In closing, Tom closes out this fan driven review with these words, “I've been to enough shows to know that even if the band walks off and says goodnight, as long as the house lights stay off, they're coming back out. So it was an extra treat when, after the lights came up and many people started shuffling around, the band played one more song.”
Some raves from the Twitter feed:
cmozdiez: Thanks @pearljam for very rare setlist @ the Garden on Monday night: Undone, push me pull me, red mosquito, Bee girl, rival, crown of thorns
MongrelBand: @PearlJam thank you so much for the great set tonight in boston. i've been waiting YEARS to hear Crown of Thorns! thnx to 10club for 3rd row
twofeetthick: and I thought hartford rocked. I just witnessed like 37 songs of nonstop face melting rarity rocking balls out #pearljam
Lennyjacobson: 1st encore ends with RearviewMirror blowing the roof off this place! As good as they have ever sounded. #PearlJam
The guys are in New Jersey tonight, followed by two back-to back shows at Madison Garden, before taking off on a tour overseas. Their newest release, Backspacer, is available everywhere. Check out the setlist from Boston here.