Welcome home, Eddie. Chicago loves Pearl Jam. There are few tours that come through town with the level of anticipation as the Seattle band and Chicago’s hometown hero. Whether it be Lollapalooza, Eddie Vedder on a solo tour or even just Eddie singing the seventh inning stretch at a Cubs game, Chicago buzzes when the Pearl Jam bus rolls into town. And that’s no exaggeration – out of about 22,000 seats sold at the United Center for each show this week, the Pearl Jam fan club accounted for about half of those seats. But fans weren’t just sitting there – they were ready.
Just as Eddie Vedder has the capacity to send chills up and down one’s spine, you imagine he and the band feel the same way when 22,000 voices sing every word to every song. Never is that more evident than “Better Man,” where Vedder handed over singing duties to the fans for the first half of the song. He relished in the moment then offered a sort of apology, explaining, “it’s fun for me.” The truth is, Vedder didn’t have to sing a word and you still would have heard every lyric, even the cover songs. But then you wouldn’t experience the power of one of the greatest rock bands of all time. At times, it’s like getting punched square in the nose – you’re dazed and awestruck and your senses are twisted and heightened all at once. You feel alive (pun very much intended) and you get the experience of hearing huge arena rock music that feels it was meant just for your ears. (‘Alive’ was epic, by the way.)
Remember the video for “Evenflow,” when Eddie was climbing all over the stage and all over the theater, into the crowds? Maybe they’re older and a little more tempered, but the energy is still there. So is the attitude. Eddie described how guitarist Mike McCready got really angry when he didn’t get to play “Evenflow,” that he wanted to kill somebody. Eddie pointed to the crowd and noted that McCready could start “with this guy.” Turns out, the guy was wearing a shirt that said No Evenflow. “Sir, we take requests, not orders,” said Vedder. “You should know better than that.”
I made it to the Monday performance, August 24. And it was awesome. The setlist was killer too, you can find it here. Some personal favorites during the set were “Corduroy,” “Not for You,” “Do the Evolution,” “Yellow Ledbetter,” “Black,” and of course “Alive” and “Better Man.” But honestly, there wasn’t a single song that didn’t leave me wanting another.
Below is a video we shot for “Black.” It was one of the best performances of that song I’ve ever heard. And below that is “Nothingman.” If you want to see more, start searching YouTube – videos are popping up every hour. Passionate fans, I tell you.
Have some favorites from the show? Please share with a comment after the post!
Lastly, remaining Pearl Jam tour dates are listed below the video.
NOTHINGMAN (via YouTube and edvedhead)
|Aug 28 2009||8:00P||Outside Lands Festival||San Francisco, California|
|Sep 21 2009||8:00P||Key Arena||Seattle, Washington|
|Sep 22 2009||8:00P||Key Arena||Seattle, Washington|
|Sep 25 2009||8:00P||GM Place||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Sep 26 2009||8:00P||Clark County Ampitheater||Portland, Oregon|
|Sep 28 2009||8:00P||E Center||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Sep 30 2009||8:00P||Gibson Ampitheater||Universal City, California|
|Oct 1 2009||8:00P||Gibson Ampitheater||Universal City, California|
|Oct 4 2009||8:00P||Austin City Limits||Austin, Texas|
|Oct 6 2009||8:00P||Gibson Ampitheater||Universal City, California|
|Oct 7 2009||8:00P||Gibson Ampitheater||Universal City, California|
|Oct 9 2009||8:00P||Viejas Arena||San Diego, California|
|Oct 27 2009||8:00P||Spectrum||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Oct 28 2009||8:00P||Spectrum||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Oct 30 2009||8:00P||Spectrum||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Oct 31 2009||8:00P||Spectrum||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|