Rising from of the ashes of Mother Love Bone, Seattle’s own Pearl Jam have lasted 2 decades and it’s an impressive feet to still sell out arena’s & still release new music with the core of the original band still in tact minus their original drummer 20+ years into their career!
This was the first time Pearl Jam had ever played the Baltimore Arena and the show itself was sold out in just a few days which surprised me because I had no idea the band could still pack that sort of crowd at this point in their career.
Eddie made it a point to dedicate the show to Lou Reed who passed away on this day & he commented that he was glad he was onstage with everyone as opposed to sitting home alone with nothing to do on this sad occassion and at the end of “Daughter” Eddie sang lyrics from “Walk on the Wildside”
Arriving at the venue just after 7:10 PM the inside of the venue was jam packed while the outside was just as busy with fans trying to buy scalped tickets & those lucky enough to have tickets were ecstatic with joy because there was no opening act & the PJ were slated to play a 3 hour set!
Opening with 3 slow songs that were more atmospheric than anything, Pearl Jam took the stage on an anticlimactic note but once the photographers left the photo pit area the band kicked the show into high gear with the hard rock portion of the set. When “Corduroy” kicked in the venue went nuts!
It’s interesting how Eddie Vedder can sing with no problem at all yet his onstage speeches come off random and he reminds me of Bruce Springsteen on some levels with his honest, every day man approach to life and what he does....no one in Pearl Jam looks nor acts like a rockstar....every member of the band keeps a low key presence & their playing is the essence of what Pearl Jam is all about.
Mike McCready is the member of the band who’s often over looked yet when you see the band in concert McCready is probably the most animated & “on” member of Pearl Jam! McCready’s guitar solo’s blend Hendrix & Stevie Ray Vaughan while his rhythms are a mash up of Neil Young & Pete Townsend.
Giant balls with green filaments dropped from the rafters towards the end of the 2nd set and Eddie swung from one ala AC/DC & Miley Cyrus while the other members of the band simply swatted the giant balls around the stage as if they were hitting giant tennis balls.
I have to give the band props for having the most amazing high def video monitors I have ever seen....if you watch the video screens you will feel like you are literally watching a movie and it’s completely different than actually watching the band play onstage...the video quality is superb!
The set list was interesting because they performed 3 sets and each set ended with an epic ending and extended jamming which showed just how versatile the bands collective players truly are. “Rear View Mirror” was one of my personal favorites of the night because it came off extremely passionate and powerful while “Black” was touching & sweet.
The band played a Who cover towards the end of the set & closed with “Alive” followed by “Rockin’ in the Free World”.
The overall show performance was epic and whether you like Pearl Jam or not there is no denying that the band has a solid catalog of material and it’s members are exceptional musicians!