PJ20

Posted 09/06/2011 by cal

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Some bands win you over with amazing technical ability, some with superior songwriting, some on attitude alone. Pearl Jam gets you by making you feel like they’re playing and singing just for you. You know it’s not true, you know you’re not special. But Pearl Jam keeps telling you you are.

I went to PJ20 out of obligation. After the summer I’ve had, I knew there was no chance Pearl Jam was going to be a lasting highlight. They aren’t one of my favorite bands. That didn’t stop me from making a geek list in my head, however. ‘How about opening the show with “Wash”?’ I scoffed to myself. ‘Will I finally get my “Red Mosquito”?’

It was as much the words spoken as the songs sung, no politics, just a lot of gratitude. It doesn’t take an idol to comfort or inspire, just some guy saying the thing you needed to hear at the right moment. After many years in limbo, Pearl Jam said to me over the course of six hours or so, “We still give a shit about what you give a shit about.”

Whether it was Pearl Jam or me who was misguided, we had a good talk and forgave each other. Tears were shed. The embraces of loved ones and a community of overpowering goodwill healed wounds time could not. It’s already been sung, but it can’t be said enough.

So thanks for the reminder, Ed, Stone, Jeff, Mike, Matt, Boom. I’m pretty sure you’re reading this. Sorry I doubted you for quite a while there. We’re faithful, we all believe it.

SETLISTS (for S.E.)

Saturday:

Main: Release, Arms Aloft, Do The Evolution, Got Some, In My Tree, Faithful, Who You Are (with Liam Finn, John Doe, and Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters), Push Me, Pull Me, Setting Forth, Not For You (with Julian Casablancas), In The Moonlight (with Josh Homme), Deep, Help Help, Breath, Education (with Liam Finn), Once, State Of Love And Trust (with Dhani Harrison), Betterman, Wasted Reprise, Life Wasted

Encore One: Rearviewmirror, Stardog Champion (with Chris Cornell), Say Hello To Heaven (with Chris Cornell), Reach Down (with Chris Cornell), Hunger Strike (with Chris Cornell), Love Reign O'er Me, Porch

Encore Two: Kick Out The Jams (with Mark Arm and Steve Turner)

Sunday:

Main: Wash, The Fixer, Severed Hand, All Night, Given To Fly, Pilate, Love Boat Captain, Habit (with Liam Finn), Even Flow, Daughter/It's Ok, Leatherman, Red Mosquito (with Julian Casablancas), Satan's Bed, Small Town, Unthought Known, New World (with John Doe), Black, Jeremy

Encore one: (a partial song Eddie just started writing), Just Breathe, Nothingman, No Way, Public Image, Smile (with Glen Hansard), Spin The Black Circle

Encore two: Hunger Strike (with Chris Cornell), Call Me A Dog (with Chris Cornell), All Night Thing (with Chris Cornell), Reach Down (with Chris Cornell), Sonic Reducer (with Mark Arm and Steve Turner)

Encore three: Alive, Rockin' In The Free World, Yellow Ledbetter/The Star Spangled Banner

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