Pearl Jam: MSG, NY NY 6.24.08

“Why Go” home indeed when your second home is the world’s most famous arena.  Pearl Jam once again rocked Manhattan with another memorable show igniting the summer night.  The sold out crowd was into every note from the get go, as the whole arena was literally hopping when “Corduroy” rung out from the Seattle boys, a unique feeling for fans and band alike.  The sing-alongs on each song transformed The Garden into a rock and roll mega church, for the “Faithful,” the energy was palpable. 

When the tom-tom drumming of Matt Cameron began for “Given to Fly” goose bumps raised, as everyone in attendance and one charismatic front-man joined in with the rising chorus.  A twist on the evening was Eddie introducing three back up singers for a few numbers, but they weren’t needed, as everyone in attendance sang backup.  The band packed a wallop with the punk aggression of “Whipping” and an extended workout of the classic “Evenflow,” which saw guitarist Mike McCready rip a long solo behind his head.  Grandstanding?  Sure.  Special?  You bet.  All gears were in motion with the triple guitar Sonic Youth-like noise build-up of “Present Tense” to the stand up bass runs from Jeff Ament during the Clap-Along “Daughter.”

The mammoth show lead to a triple encore, the first of which kicked off with a gorgeous Boom Gasper lead version of The Who classic, “Love Reign O’er Me,” along with, as Vedder called it, “a real New York song” in “Leash.” The second gave way to Eddie’s pacifist views with “No More” followed by a “Crazy Mary” that contained the most democratic jamming from the band all night before a guest appearance of CJ Ramone for “I Believe in Miracles,” giving one of the Ramones a shot at playing MSG.  Ending the night with the lights on and a wrap up version of “Indifference,” the band at this point had let it all hang out, and the fans were there the whole way, both giving it their all.

Set: Hard To Imagine, Save You, Why Go, All Night, Corduroy, Faithfull, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Down, Unemployable, Given To Fly, Who You Are, Whipping, 1/2 Full, Even Flow, Present Tense, Daughter, Do The Evolution
Encore 1: Love Reign O’er Me, W.M.A., Leash, Spin The Black Circle, Wasted Reprise, Porch
Encore 2: No More, Crazy Mary, Comatose, I Believe In Miracles, Alive
Encore 3: All Along The Watchtower, Indifference

photo by Danny Clinch – courtesy of

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