Rats & Footsteps, NYC (last night!) 2016

Pretty solid setlist last night, and I get a strong sense that there was some general MSG magic going on though I admit I wasn’t paying as much attention as usual! I will tonight – Avocado’s 10 years old somehow – so I’m guessing they’ve got something special up their sleeve. Avocado has never been a top tier album for me (I know), as it came out when I was moving across continents and had a few other things going on. I never really connected with it. But I’ve had a recent Riot Act renaissance and I’m guessing and Avocado one isn’t far behind.

The setlist last night wasn’t overwhelmingly awesome (I promise I’m not turning into that guy) but they played a ton of great stuff and that special energy seemed to be there. I love that Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns is in such high rotation these days. And any show that gets In Hiding is a treasure. Also, they played the Doobie Brothers, which is super weird, but it coincided perfectly with the arrival on my phone of an alert from the Seattle Police Dept about the May Day protests downtown, and I swear, they played that song in response. The guys sound GREAT.

I get to be super lazy when our man MFC172 is on the case, these are all his typically fantastic videos.

I giggled a bit to see they played Rats:

And a glorious, moving Footsteps:

 

 

Release, Who You Are, & All Or None, Philly (the holy shit show) 2016

Philly night two. Oh. My. God. You know what? Being a fan of this band, it’s something special. I know I’ve said this before, but I just feel so lucky that my favorite band is THIS particular band. Because not only does their music move me so much sometimes that I can’t breathe, not only do they seem like genuinely cool people who care about the music and the fans, not only are they still going strong after 25 years, providing the soundtrack to my whole entire life, but they also craft these live experiences that matter, that send chills all the way across the country and make me smile from ear to ear while I’m making guacamole in my kitchen for my kids. Sure, I would have loved to be there last night, but my overwhelming feeling as I watched that setlist roll in was gratitude for this band and joy – seriously, joy – for the people that were there.

I won’t lie, I got a little weepy thinking about this Release, played at the end of the complete Ten, after 25 years of strife and struggle and euphoria and so much life. Especially after my buddy C pointed out that this is the first time they’ve played it this tour. Thanks to MFC172, we have a beauty of a video to relive it (all these videos are thanks to him, and he’s so good at this, I don’t know how he does it but I’m so grateful that he does), and guys. It’s special. Really heavy and really lovely and really just everything Release is and should be and can be.

There’s so much awesome to pick out from this show, apart from the awesomeness of Ten start to finish, including that Throw Your Hatred Down and Bee Girl of all things, but these next two? Made the setlist pretty much perfect.

Who You Are, my white whale, and when Jeff, Ed, and Stone are all playing together and EV’s voice just soars at around 2:10, I just can’t. It’s perfect. It’s perfect. It’s perfect.

And All or None, that gorgeous droner of a song.

In My Tree, Picture in a Frame, & Angie/Oceans, Philly (last night!) 2016

Wow, so Philly last night, huh. Half wondered at one point if it was a Twitter hoax (I mean really: All Night, Lowlight, In the Moonlight, In My Tree + Education all in the first set is just goofy awesome).

Our man MFC172 was there, so we get the benefit of some typically great quality videos, because he is awesomesauce. A bunch of the goodies he got are here in this playlist (including another Education and that Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns). but here’s a few highlights.

First, In My Tree, the official Favorite Song Ever of watch it go to fire.

Mr EV solo on the Tom Waits beauty Picture in a Frame.

Then, this awesome Angie/Oceans mash-up (which they happily played instead of the wretched Dirty Fucking Frank). They got off to a rough start but then it worked:

 

Education & Leaving Here, Lexington KY 2016

I went to a Pearl Jam show in Lexington way back in 2003 and it was GREAT and I really liked Lexington, which I was not expecting. From the setlist, the one on Tuesday night looked like a good one, really high energy, and from all reports the crowd was INTO it, which obviously makes even an ordinary show extra special. Also, they got the best poster BY A LOT for this tour so far. I am not a merch person, but that is a sweet poster.

Lucky ducks got Education, which according to my sources (that is, PJ StatTracker) these goofballs haven’t played since 2011 AND have only played seven times!! What are they thinking? What would Howard Zinn say? This here is a pretty solid video of a pretty great song.

ALSO those lucky bastards got Leaving Here AND Sonic Reducer which is a whole lot of awesome rocking cover action. It seems to me it’s usually either/or (if you’re lucky), so I just…yeah. Here’s a pretty good catch of Leaving Here, though it gets a little fuzz.

All Those Yesterdays, Columbia SC 2016

Woohoo! Great sound and a GREAT video of this gem from a few days ago – here’s hoping Lexington brings it tonight (AS THOUGH THERE’S ANY OTHER WAY).

Also, this brings up an important question of the day: what’s the best closer on a Pearl Jam album? There are way too many top contenders for me to pick. Release. Indifference. Immortality (yeah, I’m not counting you heyfoxymophandlemamawhateverthefuckyou’recalled). This one, All Those Yesterdays. ALL OR NONE. These are my contenders: what’s your pick?

In Hiding & The Real Me, New Orleans Jazz Fest 2016

Jazz Fest got a fun setlist! Lots of unexpected inclusions for a festival, lucky dogs. Also: they played during the day! So weird. Who knows the last time that happened? And also: if you look at the word “Jazz” too long it starts to look made up and super weird.

Have they played this one yet this tour? Such a great song, and I often sort of forget about it, until I hear it again and say OH YEAH THIS SONG IS AMAZING.

Also, they played a pretty great The Real Me with a whole host of special guests. It seemed like a collaborative kind of show.