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Pearl Jam – Globen, Stockholm, 2012-07-07

2012-07-08

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Well, what can I say? I’ve been to more than 120 concerts over the years, and Pearl Jam in Stockholm last night might just be the best show I’ve ever seen. I’ve always loved Ten since it first came out, but haven’t been so fond of their later material. But I kept hearing how Pearl Jam is a really great live band, so I thought I should give them a shot.

The band played for almost three hours, with the second (!!!) set of encores lasting for almost an hour, playing a total of thirty songs. It was Pearl Jam’s first time in Sweden in twelve years, and you could tell that they were really taken aback by the massive response they got from the crowd. Everyone was standing up for the entire concert, which is quite rare in Sweden. Eddie Vedder had actually taken the time to write down a couple of sentences in Swedish in his note book, which got a huge response. He basically said stuff like ”I can’t believe it’s been twelve years, why haven’t you called?”

What made the concert so great was the fact that the band really seemed to enjoy themselves. Bassist Jeff Ament was really in to it, and guitarist Mike McCready kept interacting with the crowd the entire concert. At one point Eddie got a basket ball from the audience that he kept dribbling around on stage during one of the band’s jams. Eddie kept drinking wine straight from the bottle throughout the show, as I’ve heard he always does, and he got quite lucid towards the second batch of encores, even pouring wine for some of the lucky people in the front row.

The setlist was perfect, and it’s the main reason why I rank this concert so high. Pearl Jam played eight out of the eleven songs on Ten, and other favorites of mine like ”State of Love and Trust,” and ”Yellow Ledbetter.” I must say that the concert also opened up my eyes to a bunch of other songs that, although I’ve always appreciated them, haven’t really gotten in to, like ”Better Man,” ”Amongst The Waves,” ”Unthought Known,” and ”Do The Evolution.”

Eddie Vedder introduced the song ”Garden” by saying that Pearl Jam played it the first time they were in Stockholm in 1992 (February 7th to be exact), at the Kool Kat Club. Eddie said that the club has since sunk and doesn’t exist anymore. I really enjoyed how the band started out the song with just Eddie singing and playing the first verse on his guitar, before the band joined in and started the song over.

A song that I was not familiar with previously but that I really liked was ”1/2 Full” from the Riot Act album. I’m just a sucker for dirty blues numbers. During the solo Eddie reflected a really bright spotlight off the pick guard on his Telecaster, and shone it on the audience, creating a really cool but simple effect that I haven’t seen done before. Check out this video of ”1/2 Full” from last night to see for yourself.

They also did a couple of covers, including The Who’s ”Love, Reign O’er Me.” You could tell that McCready was really enjoying himself, creating tons of feedback by pushing his guitar against his amps. The Victoria Williams cover ”Crazy Mary” was also really cool.

It was such a nice treat that they played the Neil Young cover, and by now Pearl Jam staple, ”Rockin’ in the Free World” as the second to last song. It is not something they do at every show, and it had everyone in the audience singing along at the top of their lungs, and made Eddie comment that Neil would be proud. At one point McCready actually traded his guitar for his camera, so he could take some pictures of the ecstatic audience. Eddie kept handing out tambourines to the audience throughout the song – if only I could have gotten my hands on one of those! The show ended with the obligatory set closer ”Yellow Ledbetter,” complete with a ”Little Wing” snippet by McCready. This song was really the icing on the cake for me, as I just love the guitar sound from McCready’s 1959 Fender Stratocaster, and it was fun to hear Eddie’s improvised lyrics to this much talked about song. These last two songs were played with the house lights on, which is always a cool way to end the show, since you get to see the entire audience. Eddie promised that it wouldn’t be another twelve years until they come back, and I’m going to take his word for it.

Note: Mike McCready joined opening act X on stage for the song ”New World.”

Setlist:

Start: 20:52

01. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
02. Corduroy
03. Got Some
04. Why Go
05. Amongst The Waves
06. Wishlist
07. Given To Fly
08. Comatose
09. Even Flow
10. World Wide Suicide
11. Garden
12. Better Things (The Kinks cover)
13. Unthought Known
14. All Those Yesterdays
15. The Fixer
16. 1/2 Full
17. Jeremy

Encore: (22:07)
18. Off He Goes
19. Just Breathe
20. State Of Love And Trust
21. Do The Evolution
22. Love, Reign O’er Me (The Who cover)
23. Porch

Encore 2: (22:44)
24. Once
25. Better Man (Save It For Later tag)
26. Crazy Mary(Victoria Williams cover)
27. Black
28. Alive
29. Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young cover)
30. Yellow Ledbetter (Little Wing tag)

End: 23:41

Note: All Those Yesterdays was played for the first time since 2010 and for the first time in Europe at all.

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