Pearl Jam in Ottawa

My self-imposed two-and-a-half year Pearl Jam exile came to an end in Ottawa yesterday evening. Clearly, “exile” is a relative concept when you’ve seen a band thirty-nine times…but regardless, after seeing the last show of their 2013 tour I decided to take a break from Pearl Jam, hoping the magic of seeing them live would return. I wanted it to feel special again. Last night, it did.

Couple quick points:

  1. There’s a Stephen John in the Ten Club. I learned this last night when I discovered he’d been given my fan club tickets. His membership number’s significantly higher than mine, which generally means his seats are worse (or “less good,” I guess: Pearl Jam seats its fan club in the proverbial “best seats in the house,” so in theory even the worst fan club tickets are better than the best ones available to the general public). To make a long story short, the Ten Club and/or Capital Tickets took very good care of us. Pearl Jam Heather and I ended up with the best non-general admission seats we’ve had for a Pearl Jam concert.
  2. During “Porch,” Ed saw my Who shirt, pointed at me, nodded when I pointed at myself, circled his chest, and pumped his first (the Who are famously his favourite band). If you don’t think that turned me all fan girl-y, well, you obviously don’t know me very well.

Set (the intro music was the R.E.M. song “It Happened Today,” on which Ed sings backup vocals and which the band played one time only, in Calgary in 2011)

  • Lightning Bolt
  • Mind Your Manners
  • Do the Evolution
  • Save You (surprisingly tolerable!)
  • Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
  • Love Boat Captain
  • Deep
  • Faithfull
  • I Am Mine
  • Even Flow
  • Setting Forth (before which Ed introduced Jon Krakauer, who was sitting directly across from us)
  • Corduroy (which has a new, jammed-out middle section; I didn’t love it)
  • Immortality (first time for me since September 17, 2005–also in Ottawa)
  • Given to Fly
  • Big Wave
  • Why Go
  • Jeremy
  • Porch

1st Encore:

  • Bee Girl
  • Speed of Sound
  • Parachutes
  • Sirens
  • Love Reign O’er Me [The Who]
  • Better Man
    • Save it for Later [The English Beat]
  • Blood
    • Atomic Dog [George Clinton] (snippet)
    • Superunknown [Soundgarden] (Mike played the opening riff after “Blood”)

2nd Encore:

  • All I Want is You [U2] (Ed solo, first verse and chorus only)
  • Wasted Reprise
  • Life Wasted (back in its original key, thank goodness)
  • Black
  • Alive
  • Fuckin’ Up [Neil Young] (this absolutely should be played more often)

Up next: Toronto tomorrow and Thursday!

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