Hail Hail Pearl Jam

Pearl JamLast night, I attended the second of two Pearl Jam concerts at the Air Canada Centre. This time, I was seated to the right of the stage, on the Stone Gossard side, 16 rows ups. The first show was great, this show was spectacular.

The Toronto Sun review of the first show said "it may very well go down in history as one of the greatest live performances to ever hit this city." It was a great live performance, no doubt about it, but the show that deserves to go down in history as one of the greatest live performances to ever hit this city occurred last night. My Morning Jacket was even better and the crowd definitely had greater energy, even managing to produce a successful wave at the ACC before Pearl Jam hit the stage shortly before 9. Hearing many of the new songs a second time live helped as they blended perfectly with the older staples. Eddie was on fire, seeming far more comfy and pleased with this show than he was on Tuesday night.

There were several highlights. This is the third time I've seen them open with "Release" and it's ideal for setting the mood. The new songs killed, with "Marker In The Sand" proving to be an instant classic. An exceptional "I Got Shit" was followed up with a surprise declaration that it's just a reworking of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl". Vedder even proved his point with a brief demonstration and comparison of the two choruses. Keeping with tradition, the crowd carried a stunning "Better Man", full of piercing emotion. Both encores blew the roof off the building as we were beaten into submission by Big Fish's "Man Of The Hour", "State of Love and Trust", "Do The Evolution", "Alive", "Crazy Mary" and more. As with their previous two Toronto shows, they finished up with a Neil Young cover and, the perfect closer, "Yellow Ledbetter". This time, they went with Neil's "Fuckin' Up" and cracked that it's Dubya's song. For the complete setlist, visit my new and improved Pearl Jam page where I'm now maintaining my personal song statistics. There you'll learn that "Even Flow", "Better Man", "Corduroy" and "Do The Evolution" have been played at all six Pearl Jam concerts I've attended.

At one point, Eddie serenaded us, asking Toronto to come along with them as they continue their tour. It seemed spontaneous and genuine. 20,000 people were one last night, and I'm so glad I was part of the greater good. This was a show I will never forget.

I know that I was born and I know that I'll die. The in between is mine.


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