Pearl Jam - TD Banknorth Garden, May 24,2006
Pearl Jam w/My Morning Jacket
Wednesday May 24, 2006
TD Bank North Garden, Boston MA
Last night I made my way to Boston to see Pearl Jam for the 8th time. The affair started back in November of 1991 when I saw a then "who the hell are Pearl Jam" open a show for The Smashing Pumpkins and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Boston University's Walter Brown Arena. Over the course of years the band has exploded worldwide and become household names. After all these years they still can pack quite a punch.
Arrived at the Garden just about 730. I had to get my tickets from the will call window. For fan club members this was the only route so it was not until that very moment did I know where I was sitting. I opened the envelope and read the top of the ticket. FloorA, Row 4, Seat 11 and 12. That's right..fourth row. We hurried up to the floor seats as I really REALLY wanted to see My Morning Jacket. They were on their second song when we settled in and they proceeded to absolutley kill. Given 45 minutes they did their very best and come the end of the set a few people rose to their feet to show the band appreciation.
At 9pm the music started over the PA. Up to this point there was very little and if there was it was hardly turned up. It was the opening instrumental parts to "Release" off the the Ten album. The band arrived to a dark/blue light stage and sang the song almost in silhouette. The way I faced the stage the band was a such (working left to right) Mike McCready (lead guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), Matt Cameron, (drums), Eddie Vedder (vocals/guitar) and Stone Gossard (guitar) and they have a touring keyboardist Ken "Boom" Gaspar that was behind Stone.
The band seemed in good spirts as this leg of the tour is working down (ends June 3 in New Jersey). Technically the band was spot on, there was little time wasted between songs and Vedder, known to sometimes be "chatty" kept it, for the most part, with regard to a song they were getting ready to play. Before "Unemployable" for example he dedicated the song to the recent, or soon to be, graduates. World Wide Suicide went off really well from the latest cd and Animal had hands waving above doing the count off of 1-2-3-4-5 against one. Even Flow is always a treat and one of the most recognizable songs. I wonder if the band seems bored playing it and its seemed a tad sluggish, but the solo at the end by McCready was worth the wait.. Why Go closed out the main "set" on a very high note. The band left the stage to return 5 or so minutes later for the "1st" encore. Forever Young, a Bob Dylan cover was just Ed and Jeff sitting and playing the song. Eddie thanked Boston before the start for its years of support and also gave a shout out to Bob Dylan who turned 65. The rest of the band came out for the Victoria Williams cover "Crazy Mary". I never understood the "popularity" of this song. I find it slow and almost taxing to listen to. Two songs later we were treated to another classic with "Alive". This started off feeling like it was about 1/2 the tempo it usually is, as in it was slower than you are used to. The band turned and played a full verse to the back of the arena and McCready, who had been at it all night, was very animated indeed. The second encore started with "Spin the Black Circle". Its a ripping song, but so hard really follow I find. Not sure what it is. Do the Evolution was almost explosive, but this point the band was really firing on all cylinders. Vedder introduced "rats" as something we haven't played in a while, that was a nice treat. During Comatose and Neil Youngs Rockin in the Free World the band really took off. The interaction between band and audience was really stepped up. Vedder smashed two tambourines together for a bit then tossed them in to the audience. He took 2 more and worked the people behind the stage. The rest of the guys threw out more guitar picks and towels and you name it. One a final few rumbling notes we were done. 1130pm we were done. 2hrs 30 Min (prolly 2:20 of music) and 25+ songs, not too bad.
I'll be first to admit that my passion for the bands studio stuff has been in decline the last few years. Granted I still buy the cds when they come out and give them the occasional spin, its nice to see them live to get me back to re-discovering what made me like them in the first place, even on the newer, less popular stuff.
The full set:
Release, Severed Hand, World Wide Suicide, Corduroy, Animal, Red Mosquito, Love Boat Captain, Better Man, Unemployable, Even Flow, Sad, Wishlist, Gone, Green Disease, Down, Jeremy, Life Wasted, Why Go
1st encore: Forever Young by Bob Dylan (Ed & Jeff), Masters Of War by Bob Dylan, Crazy Mary by Victoria Williams, Inside Job, Alive
2nd encore: Spin The Black Circle, Do The Evolution, Whipping, Rats, Comatose, Rockin' In The Free World by Neil Young
Here are some pictures I took at the show. Just as a note I am by no means a photography whiz. These were taken on a Sony Digi Camera 3.2 MP. I tried to wait for the lights to come up (or be up) before snapping off the shot(s). Anyhow..click on em for bigger images.. I also don't really have any set order to them..that would take to long.