Pearl Jam Brings It To Boston

by Kathy Davis on May 18, 2010

Here’s a little recap of Pearl Jam performing in the house of NHL Hockey Team Boston Bruins and NBA Team the Boston Celtics at TD Banknorth Arena in Boston, MA May 17 2010.  The 18,000 plus seat arena used to be called the Fleet Center, and the boys rocked it, feeling free to “experiment” and hauling out some rarities!

Set List: (from the official PJ Message Board) Release, Animal, The Fixer, In My Tree, Small Town, Force Of Nature, Given To Fly, Sad, Unthought Known, Pilate, Hail Hail, Push Me, Pull Me, Even Flow, Undone (played in memory of Howard Zinn), Not For You/Modern Girl (Sleater Kinney), Red Mosquito, Got Some, State Of Love And Trust, Why Go

1st encore: Bee Girl, Just Breathe (dedicated to “T, Marie and their boy Jack”), Love, Reign O’er Me (Townshend), Rival, Save You, Rearviewmirror

2nd encore: Smile (dedicated to “Jen”), Wasted Reprise, Better Man/Save It For Later , Soldier Of Love [Stone discusses “Partners In Health”], Crown Of Thorns (Mother Love Bone, A. Wood), Alive, Rockin’ In The Free World (Young)

The show poster (nice bear, assuming in reference to the Bruins, great “tea party” reference) was designed by Munk One;  if you want one,  100 signed numbered copies of the poster will be for sale on his website at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time for $60.00 US. You can find info here.

Pearl Jam Boston 2010 by Munk One

Pearl Jam Boston 2010 by Munk One

According to reports, our singer Eddie Vedder joined Band of Horses for the last song in their opening set. Also, apparently at the end of the “Alive” solo, Mr. Mike McCready snuck a little riff from the Black Sabbath song “Heaven and Hell” in honor of Ronnie James Dio, former Sabbath singer who passed away Sunday the 16th after battling stomach cancer.  Like a rainbow in the dark.

Former New England Patriot Linebacker (and former local California boy-Kath) Tedy Bruschi was in attendance.   The “T, Marie and their boy Jack” is a reference to Theo Epstein, his wife Marie and 2 year-old-son Jack.  Theo is  pal of Ed, sometime musician and baseball great, currently Vice President/General Manager of the Boston Red Sox. The unique show shirt for the night is an athletically- flavored one riffing on the Red Sox logo with “Boston” and “17″ on the back and a Sox-esque “Pearl Jam” on the front with a hint of the Sox logo done with Converse Chuck Taylor high top sneakers reading “PJ” instead of the socks in the logo. Clever!

Here’s an early review from the Boston Herald online:

photo by Matthew West/Boston Herald

photo by Matthew West/Boston Herald

Pearl of wisdom at Garden
By Jed Gottlieb |   Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pearl Jam has willed itself into an enduring artistic force.

While death (Nirvana, Alice In Chains) and backslides into mediocrity (Smashing Pumpkins, anything Chris Cornell has been involved in in the last decade), have destroyed so many of Pearl Jam’s would-be peers, Eddie Vedder and crew soldier on honorably, illustriously.

Last night the Seattle sextet (adding longtime keyboardist Boom Gaspar), knocked out 16,600-fans at the TD Garden.

How can a bunch guys in their mid-40s with their blockbuster records 20 years in the past sock a packed stadium in the gut? God, it sounds corny, but they care. Not just about the fans (and this sounds even more corny yet it’s completely true), but about the rock ’n’ roll.

Let’s start with the set list.

Pearl Jam did some hits. The guys did some huge ones in “Even Flow,” “Given to Fly,” “Better Man” and “Alive.” But mostly, like all their shows, it was fan favorites. Which, for the massive Ten Club, means almost anything in the Pearl Jam catalogue.

The band paid as much attention to their fourth album, the far-too underrated “No Code” as 10-million-seller “Ten.” And the “No Code” songs punched as hard as the hits – “Hail, Hail,” “Red Mosquito” and “Smile” all pounded with energy. And a few tunes from the new disc, “Backspacer” – notably “The Fixer” and “Just Breathe” – inspired shoutalongs as if they were Billboard chart toppers.

But a set list doesn’t mean a thing if the music isn’t delivered with – damn, still sounding corny – care.

Frontman Eddie Vedder estimated that last night was the band’s 27th Massachusetts show. But on their austere stage (no Jumbotron, the same light show they had in 1995), Vedder, guitar whiz Mike McCready, rhythm player Stone Gossard, bassist Jeff Ament and drummer Matt Cameron scrapped like pissed punks for nearly three hours like it was their first show. Not just their first show in the state, but their first show ever.

And this is how you show you care. This is is how you blow minds you’ve blown 26 times already.

You thunder out classic “State Of Love And Trust” like the kid you were. You growl and scream through “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town” like you wrote it yesterday. You break your 11 p.m. curfew by 30 minutes with furious covers by The Who (“Love Reign Over Me”), Neil Young (“Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World”), and pre-Pearl Jam band Mother Love Bone (“Crown of Thorns”).

You care. And it keeps you honorable, illustrious.


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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