For the Pearl Jam faithful, seeing them at Wrigley Field is always a must. And with this mini US summer tour, fans came in droves. This year the Wrigley shows were labeled as Away shows since they were doing a 4 stadium run. Seattle being the home shows and Missoula, Wrigley, and Fenway being the Away shows. The stop in Missoula in between Seattle and Chicago was a one off show and so far from the looks of it the first 3 shows were very unique and highly entertaining. So leading up to the Wrigley shows the excitement was brimming over from fans in the city as well as the fans arriving early from around the country and the world.
Night 1 went off without a hitch and they dug deep with the first night’s setlist. It’s impressive to witness what this band is capable of on any given night. They have an extensive catalog of songs that they can pull from. Whether it is original songs or the ridiculous amount of covers that they have ready waiting in the wings, you are going to get a show each night that is going to blow your mind. They performed some emotional covers on the first night including the Chris Cornell song “Missing” and Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”. Eddie was very vocal about how he missed his friends and wished that he could have them back here with all of us. Later in the show fans were given a huge treat in the debut of David Bowie’s song “Rebel Rebel”. All of Wrigley at this point was rocking.
Besides that, you don’t often get a band that is so thankful and appreciative as Pearl Jam is with their fans. The banter during the show is genuine and heartfelt with you feeling a sense of belonging by the end of the show. As the first night was coming to an end, Wrigley cranked all of the lights on to the point it felt like you were at a night game. It did not stop PJ and they continued on with “Rockin in the Free World” and closed out everything with “Yellow Ledbetter”.
Night 2 was quite different. Everyone was still coming down from the high of the first show and eager to see what Eddie and the boys would be bringing to the table for the 2nd night. As the show approached, fans outside of the stadium were discussing how the impending rain was bringing up memories of the 2013 show.
Well sure enough the rain arrived, just before the band was to take the stage, and it came down in force! It resulted in a two hour delay to the show and a shortened setlist as well. What the band did though, was pack in a set that could have topped the first show. Much more political in tone on the 2nd night with Eddie urging females and younger people to exercise their right to vote at one point. Performing “U” for the first time since 2014 and the live debut of “Evil Little Goat” were some of the biggest surprises.
If the rain had not been a factor, we had the potential of hearing “Gonna See My Friend”, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”, and Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”. Even with those songs being scratched from the show, fans in attendance both nights saw two absolutely fantastic shows. After all of these years, Pearl Jam has proven that they are titans in the industry and they are not slowing down. One of the best live acts on this planet and they are aging better than most.
For those making it to the Fenway shows, I’m sure the 2 nights will blow your mind like the Wrigley shows did for everyone in attendance this past weekend.
Night 1 Setlist:
- Wash > 2. Low Light > 3. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town > 4. Breakerfall > 5. Corduroy > 6. Hail Hail > 7. Animal > 8. Getaway > 9. Leaving Here (Edward Holland Jr. cover) > 10. Present Tense > 11. Even Flow > 12. Missing (Chris Cornell cover) > 13. Garden > 14. Not for You > 15. Can’t Deny Me > 16. Wishlist > 17. I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty cover) > 18. Porch
19. Just Breathe > 20. Sleeping by Myself (Eddie Vedder song) > 21. Footsteps > 22. State of Love and Trust > 23. Breath > 24. Know Your Rights (The Clash cover) > 25. Do the Evolution > 26. Alone > 27. Rearviewmirror
28. Rebel Rebel (David Bowie cover) > 29. Better Man > 30. Alive > 31. Rockin’ in the Free World ( Neil Young cover) > 32. Yellow Ledbetter