Pearl Jam Plays Perth

by Kathy Davis on November 15, 2009

The final scheduled Pearl Jam shows of 2009 got off to a rousing start in Perth, Western Australia in front of 30,000 fans at  Members Equity Stadium. For reference, here’s the setlist:

Main Set:  Breakferfall, Why Go, Corduroy, Gonna See My Friend, Elderly Woman, Amongst The Waves, Even Flow, Pilate, Unthought Known, Daughter/wma, Big Wave, Force of Nature, I Am Mine, Grievance, Garden, The Fixer, Save You

Encore 1 Just Breathe, Red Mosquito (with Ben Harper), Love Reign O’er Me, Whipping, Got Some, Do The Evolution, 

Encore 2: Throw Your Arms Around Me (with Liam Finn), Given to Fly, Betterman, Alive, Yellow Ledbetter

Looong (apx 2 hour) soundcheck included: Breakerfall, Who You Are, In My Tree, Pilate, Garden, Sad, Love Boat Captain, No Way, Gonna See My friend, Hold On, Brother, Just Breathe, Man of  the Hour, Love Reign O’er Me & Big Wave (thx Fleur and BAW)

The poster is a meditation on the poster for  Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange,  and is designed by Sydney, Australia-based designer Ben Brown. Thanks to JustMike from the official PJ Message board for the image.

Pearl Jam Perth Poster

Pearl Jam Perth Poster


The unique show shirt is following the sports theme of the U.S. shirts, featuring a design based on the Aussie Rules Football team based in Perth, the West Coast Eagles. Thanks to Joel Westvelt from the offical message board for the photos.PerthEagles







back of shirt:PerthEaglesBack







Eagles logo:West_Coast_Eagles





The graphics style of the Oz ’09 tour is becoming clear; here’s one of the tour shirts:surfshirt

The Perth Now offshoot of the Sydney Times posted this review  by Jay Hanna:

THE mighty Pearl Jam consolidated their reputation as one of the world’s best live acts with another fantastic performance at Members Equity Stadium last night.

On a perfect spring night, the Seattle five made a welcome return to Australia on the back of their latest album, Backspacer. The show made good on Eddie Vedder’s promise at Subiaco Oval on Nov 25, 2006, to return “in a few years, yeah?”.

With good mates Ben Harper and Liam Finn in tow, Vedder acknowledged the Australian tour would be a lot of fun. They have already pencilled in several surfing dates around the country.

Kicking off their set with their Breakerfall from their sixth album Binaural the band played at least one song from each of their nine albums.

They headed back to 1991 for Why Go, raided Vitalogy for the brilliant Corduroy and thrilled fans with Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town from Vs.

Following Gonna See My Friend from Backspacer, Vedder greeted the 25,000 strong crowd with a customary shake of his wine bottle.

“I believe a toast is in order,” he said in his booming baritone.

“We are very happy to be in Perth tonight. This is the start of our fifth Australian tour. We’ve always played here last, but this time we’re not saving the best for last, we’re starting here.”

After dedicating Amongst the Waves “to all the surfers”, Vedder touched on the recent Britney Spears lip-synching debacle, which sparked calls for artists to declare if they would be lip- synching during concerts.

“I have a public service announcement to make – there will be some lip-synching tonight,” Vedder joked. “Not so I can dance or change outfits, it’s so I can drink and smoke. I just thought I should declare that because of the new rules.”

He went on to joke that Mike McCready’s guitar parts were pre-recorded and that drummer Matt Cameron would use a drum machine for some songs. However, he said original members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard were the real deal.

Jokes aside, it was Vedder’s warm interaction with the crowd that was so sadly lacking at Spears’s concert. Being acknowledged by a performer makes the concert experience all that more personal and Pearl Jam always ensure their fans feel appreciated.

Early highlights included the brilliant Unthought Known from Backspacer and the 1993 classic Daughter. Vedder dedicated I Am Mine to Nick Cave, whom he acknowledged as “one of the best writers in the country”. After fumbling the beginning, Vedder apologised to Cave before starting again.

Throughout the show Vedder spoke of his experiences in WA. He related the story of how, when the band played Perth in 2003, they met a “7-foot tall man”. That man told the band of the campaign to save Ningaloo Reef and asked if they would speak up for it. Vedder expressed the band’s joy at hearing that this time round the conservations won, before dedicating The Fixer to the 7-foot man – “our good friend Mr Luc Longley”.

Following a brief interlude, Vedder returned to the stage for an intimate acoustic performance of the plaintive ballad Just Breathe.

Ben Harper joined Vedder to play Red Mosquito, but regretfully did not sing. However, those who were there early enough to catch Harper’s set would already have seen the pair share the stage in a brilliant performance of the Queen and David Bowie classic Under Pressure.

Following an awe-inspiring intro by keys man Boom Gaspar, the band played an incredible verison of The Who’s Love Reign O’er Me. Vedder, who is a massive fan of the 60′s band, looked to be in his element.

Vedder retold  how he happened upon a few local bands in a small bar during his stay in Perth and admitted he was very impressed.

“All of them were unbelievable. I was blown away. Blown the f**k away. I don’t know why I was suprised you have amazing musical talent here.” He even recommended that the crowd check out the bands Cat Black and The Fags.

Got Some and Do The Evolution ended the first set before the band returned for an encore. It kicked off with Vedder and Liam Finn performing the Hunters and Collectors hit Throw Your Arms Around Me.

From there it was on in a high powered finale that had the fans belting out Given to Fly and Better Man.  “I’m lip-synching,” Vedder joked as the crowd carried Better Man. Alive kept the energy up as Vedder dashed into the cheering audience.

The floodlights were already up indicating the curfew had been reached, but never a band to take much heed to curfews, Pearl Jam finished in their own good time and their own way with Yellow Ledbetter.

There were no walkouts, no lip-synching and no theatrics were needed to keep the crowd entertained. Pearl Jam do that all on their own.

And that’s entertainment at its finest.

Photo by Lincoln Baker, Perth Now:


Here’s a little bit of Ed in the pit during “Alive” from Aussie music site Triple M:

Now you know the above review mentioned Ed namechecking former Chicago Bulls basketball player, Australian Luc Longley… we came a cross this fun little blog post about Ed and Luc after the Perth show:

Yesterday I went to see Pearl Jam concert and it was really, really good but what I want to write about is something that actually happened few hours after. During the concert one of the songs was dedicated to one of the first West Australians people from the band got to know, their “good friend Mr Luc Longley”. If don’t recall the name, he’s that tall center who won 3 NBA championships with Chicago Bulls (when Michael Jordan was there of course). I didn’t actually know he was Australian let alone that he’s from Perth so I just thought, cool, something new to know.

Few beers and few hours later we were playing snooker when some really tall guy asked me about my mo that I grow for Movember [KD Note: Movember is a worldwide movement to raise funds for men's health issues, i.e. Prostate and Testicular Cancer by men cultivating moustaches. You can find out about the cause here].  (btw. you can support me here). It was probably few seconds after my reply that I realised it was Luc Longley who was playing pool with Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam vocalist) on the table next to us! So we got a chance to thank for the awesome performance in person, how cool is that? :)

Btw. you’ve probably heard heaps of Pearl Jam songs but do you know any from Eddie Vedder solo album? “Society” is one of my favorite songs ever, check if out if you get a chance.

Wonders never cease! :)

On Flickr, member StrangestTribe48 has a bunch of really great photos; here is a small sampling:

Muscular Ed in Perth

Muscular Ed in Perth

at tip of Mike's guitar:  LUC LONGLEY! :)

at tip of Mike's guitar: LUC LONGLEY! :)

Warblin' Jeff

Warblin' Jeff

Ed/Ben Harper: Under Pressure

Ed/Ben Harper: Under Pressure

Last but certainly not least, PearlJamTour.TV has a great 7 minute video about the putting together of the show in Perth, featuring interviews with Ben Harper, Liam Finn and our very own Mike McCready! Here ’tis:

Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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