Pearl Jam Concert Review: Toronto 2009

Pearl JamI was lucky enough to see Pearl Jam live in concert for the seventh time yesterday. I can already hear some of you snickering about how you've seen one band 32 times or another 45 times, but I've only seen one band more times than I've seen Pearl Jam.

This time, Pearl Jam was at the Molson Amphitheatre, a venue they last played in 2003. Before I dive into my review of the show, here's your Pearl Jam Primer and here's my page solely dedicated to Pearl Jam shows I've seen live. Now, on with the show...

Pearl Jam is consistently awesome in concert. They mix up their massive catalogue so there's a great mix of crowd pleasers and lesser played gems. For example, you can bank on getting "Even Flow", "Better Man", "Corduroy" and "Do The Evolution" at every show, but you might also get "Off He Goes", "Lukin", "Why Go" or "Of the Girl", as we did last night.

Here's a taste of a personal favourite, "Given to Fly".

"Given to Fly" was one of five songs Pearl Jam played from their 1998 Yield album, meaning I was wearing the right shirt.

A personal highlight for me was hearing "Black" live for the fifth time. Twenty years later, it still nails that chord. The lyrics, the melody, the emotion...

Eddie Vedder still has the lungs, but we Pearl Jam faithful don't even need him. It's one big sing-along with 15,000 strong carrying the day. Hear for yourself with the longest song title in the Pearl Jam catalogue, "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town" and "Better Man".

Fittingly, Pearl Jam wrapped things up well after their 11pm curfew with Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World", a song I've now heard them play live four times. This time, there was no Bono.

Thanks, Yoda, as always. For all my pictures and videos, check out my Flickr photoset. For the entire setlist, including my all-time Pearl Jam song statistics, visit my Pearl Jam in Toronto page.

I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me.

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Comments (7 - click here to join in!)


You lucky bugger you! I am so jealous. As you know, I'm a huge fan of Pearl Jam and will continue to be so until the day that I die. I've never seen then live and probably never will but I'm a faithful follower. Their songs have touched me in so many ways.

August 22, 2009 @ 12:44 PM

Toronto Mike

It's worth noting that this was the most unique pre-set I've ever seen.

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists were scheduled to open the show but Ted didn't show up due to a passport issue.

Ed went on first, singing a couple of Neil Young covers. Then, Mike McCready went on and sang a couple of songs.

Then, Stone Gossard went on and sang a couple of song.

Finally, Ed and Jeff did "Bee Girl" which was awesome.

The Pharmacists did perform without Ted Leo but Eddie Vedder joined them for their closer, "Search And Destroy".

I've never seen a band open for itself like that before. Unreal.

August 22, 2009 @ 3:11 PM


This was my fifth show!! They get better every time, they rock and are one of the best bands ever. There is not a single person in that audience that doesn't feel like they are part of the amazing!

August 23, 2009 @ 4:46 PM


This was my 2nd show ever, and only after finally seeing them 3 years ago do I regret missing them every other time they've come to Toronto.

I'll definately try to make every show that passes by from now on.

Eddie and Mike were in their zone, and it was a privilege to have been there to see it. I'm sorry I missed them open for themselves though... :-(

August 31, 2009 @ 12:38 AM

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