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Published: 2013/12/01

Pearl Jam Get Help From Steve Gleason in Spokane

Performing in Spokane, WA for the first time since June of 1993, Pearl Jam took time to update fans on the last twenty years of music. Playing just 280 miles from their hometown, the Seattle group dug into some of their best material along with several new cuts from Lightning Bolt.

With a little help from former NFL player Steve Gleason, who frontman Eddie Vedder remarked was “playing DJ” for the band throughout portions of the set, Pearl Jam embarked on a 34-song set that saw several debuts and bustouts. Starting with a sandwich of new tunes (“Pendulum” and “Sirens”) with the emotional “Release” in the middle, the band leant on their heavier compositions early on, opting for cuts like “Corduroy” and “Once” along with “Faithfull” and “Tremor Christ.”

Following “Present Tense,” some in the crowd began chanting for guitarist Stone Gossard, who has contributed a few lead vocal tracks to Pearl Jam’s catalog. Vedder remarked that he asks Gossard if he wants to sing every night and he always says no. The frontman says that Stone “isn’t ready to slay that dragon but the gauntlet has been thrown.” The set closed with no Stone vocals (yet), as the band combined popular tunes “Daughter,” “Do the Evolution” and “Porch” with rarely played “Push Me Pull Me,” which Vedder dedicated to the “serious collectors.”

As the band returned for the first of two encores, Eddie Vedder dedicated the first song to Steve Gleason, the former NFL player who is now battling ALS, as the band launched into the rarely played cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” The powerful Jeff Ament composition “Nothing As It Seems” made its tour debut, per Gleason’s request, before guitarist Stone Gossard finally stepped to the mic for the first time this tour—performing “Don’t Gimme No Lip” for the first time since 2006.

Following “Don’t Gimme No Lip,” the band invited a member of the crowd on stage who had a sign saying he would cut his hair to hear “Brain of J.” The band decided to take the gentleman up on his offer, performing the tune while the long-dreaded man headbanged his way through the heavy rocker. Following the song, the band busted into a blues jam while Eddie Vedder shaved the dreads off.

After a wild series of events, the show closed in fine fashion as “Go,” “Black” and “Rearviewmirror” rounded out the first encore. Vedder mentioned Steve Gleason once again before the band wrapped up the second encore with “Given To Fly” as well as Van Halen’s “Eruption” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.” A pair of classics, “Alive” and “Yellow Ledbetter,” closed Pearl Jam’s first Spokane show in twenty years. The group will invite Mudhoney on the road for the final three shows of their tour, the first coming Monday night in Calgary, ALB.

Here’s a look at the setlist from last night:

Pearl Jam
November 30, 2013
Spokane Arena, Spokane, WA

Lightning Bolt
Mind Your Manners
Tremor Christ
Even Flow
Present Tense
Swallowed Whole
After Hours
Let the Records Play
Push Me, Pull Me
Do the Evolution

I Won’t Back Down
Nothing as It Seems
Severed Hand
Don’t Gimme No Lip
Brain of J.

Encore 2:
Given to Fly
Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
Yellow Ledbetter

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