We are Pearl Jam … and we are from Seattle, Washington.
Pearl Jam played their first Seattle show in five years on August 8th and by all accounts, it was as awesome as even the most hardcore Ten Club member could ever imagine. It was the band’s first of two “Home Shows” before moving the concert series “away” to Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Montana, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park (Chicago and Boston respectively for any non-baseball fans).
At a time when alt-rock contemporaries Foo Fighters and The Smashing Pumpkins are putting on 3-hour, time capsule-filled productions, Pearl Jam might have outdone them all with a 33-song tour de force that both reminded Seattleites just who helped build The City of Goodwill’s grunge reputation, as well as who cares about important issues facing the place where the now world-famous band cut their teeth.
Through the charitable Vitalogy Foundation, more than $11 million was raised to address homelessness in Seattle. Pearl Jam-branded wine was sold, local restaurants “band”ed together, even Starbucks got in on the action! PJ definitely came to play ball at Safeco Field, or in Eddie Vedder’s words, “We didn’t come all this way to fuck around too much”. Among the many highlights was the dusting off Mirror Ball gem “Throw Your Hatred Down” (from their underratedly awesome 1995 collaboration with “Uncle” Neil Young), bringing out folkster Brandi Carlile to punk up her “Again Today”, and Vedder inviting his daughters’ fave teachers onstage to sing a cover of The White Stripes’ forever tender “We’re Going to Be Friends”. The bromance between Pearl Jam and Jack White continues!
*UPDATE* Jack White kept up the little game they seem to have going on by covering “Daughter” when he visited Seattle on August 13th. No video proof as Jack still has the Yondr phoneless thing going on, but someone must’ve snuck in an old school bootleg tape recorder.
And in one of the coolest merchandise things I’ve seen, Pearl Jam are having T-shirts done up with the Night 1 setlist printed on the back. Seriously, if anyone out that way wants to pick me up a Double XL I’d be good for it!
— Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) August 9, 2018
Night 2 may have been even more impressive, if that’s somehow possible. They cranked out another 30+ songs, with only a handful of repeats. The only one that couldn’t be added to the playlist below is “Missing” (ironically), by Chris Cornell from his 1992 Poncier solo EP which his friends in Pearl Jam performed as an emotional tribute to him. Thankfully there’s video.
Kim Thayil from Soundgarden was on hand to “Kick Out the Jams” (literally), as well as help out on additional covers “Search and Destroy” by The Stooges and Dead Boys’ “Sonic Reducer”.