And so, after much ticket-getting drama, Sherkin, Pearl Jam Heather, and I saw Pearl Jam in London yesterday. The last time I’d seen them there, during the 2005 Canadian tour, I heard “Hard to Imagine” for the first time. Last night’s show didn’t provide a similar shock–“Alone” was the closest thing–but it was still a killer from start-to-finish; it was also our first time with rear view seats, which is something Sherkin and I, at least, have been wanting to do for years. Highlights? Five:
- “Brain of J.,” “Given to Fly,” “Do the Evolution,” and “In Hiding” together in the same show–just the second time that’s ever happened for me (Ottawa ’05).
- “Alone” into “Even Flow.” (Funny “Alone” story. I’d only heard it once before, at the second 2004 Boston concert, and after it had finished I turned to the guy next to me and exclaimed, “That hasn’t been played live in ten years!” He responded with, “We went to band camp together! What did you play?!!” “Trombone!” I replied. “That’s right! Trombone,” he said laughing, slapping me on the back. “I totally remember you!” I’ve never been to band camp or played trombone…but whatever: it was a wonderful interaction.)
- Definitive versions of “Black” (which I normally don’t enjoy) and “Porch” (which I normally do…well, except for when it was played on the 2000 tour, but then I didn’t especially enjoy the 2000 tour). “Porch” ended with Eddie swinging from one of the new hanging light fixtures (and while we’re talking about stage set-up, a bird-like structure now hangs over the stage; scroll forward to #7).
- The second encore. “Rockin’ in the Free World” should really be played every single show.
- Everybody on stage, Mike and Jeff especially, having the time of their lives.
- Present Tense (second time I’ve heard it open a show. The other one? Thunder Bay.)
- Small Town
- London Calling [The Clash] (tease)
- Corduroy (with a reworked bridge)
- Mind Your Manners (live debut)
- Got Some
- Given to Fly
- Even Flow
- I Got Shit
- In Hiding
- Not for You
- Modern Girl [Sleater-Kinney] (tease)
- Not for You
- Last Exit
- Last Kiss [Wayne Cochran] (performed to those of us behind the stage; at the risk of ruining my Pearl Jam fan credentials I actually really enjoyed this version)
- Man of the Hour
- Just Breathe
- Daughter (a reinvented version that Stone messed up so badly the band basically played it twice. As ever, it’s Stone’s fault.)
- Unthought Known
- Do the Evolution
- Brain of J. (before which Eddie introduced special guests Tie Domi and Chris Chelios; the song was dedicated to them, as well as to a fan from Denmark–actually Sweden–who Ed had met in the elevator the day before)
- Better Man
- Rockin’ in the Free World [Neil Young]
Next stop: Wrigley Field!