Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pearl Jam 8/24/09 United Center Chicago, IL

When music is honest, it is pure and when pure it is very powerful. It was fitting that the backdrop of Pearl Jam’s set was an image of a tidal wave. For almost 3 hours Monday night, Pearl Jam was a tidal wave force of energy that left nothing in its wake.

Opening the show, ”Hard to Imagine” served as the calm before the storm. With anticipation building, “Corduroy” came next and the band just exploded along with the crowd. The songs opening line “ The waiting drove me mad” was very fitting as the band was itching to just let loose.

Throughout their set bassist Jeff Ament, and guitarists Mike McCready & Stone Gossard would often huddle up with each other and feed of off each others energy, often ending up with one of them spinning off and jumping around the stage.

Eddie Vedder is the unequivocal leader of Pearl Jam. That did not stop him from stepping aside and letting his band mates steal the show. In the only two moments of excess during the show, Vedder stepped aside as guitarists Mike McCready and Stone Gossard took center stage.

Both “Evenflow” and “Alive” featured extended guitar solos while Vedder stood behind the stage content on just soaking it all in. Even keyboardist Boom Gaspar got in on the action. During “Crazy Mary” he took an extended keyboard solo, which has become a cornerstone of the song live. After the song finished the fans chanted Booooom in the same fashion as Boston Red Sox fans cheer for Kevin Youkilis.

As “State of Love and Trust” ended the house lights came on, but the band seemed oblivious. Instead the band dedicated “Fuckin' Up” to Dennis Rodman, who was not in attendance. “Yellow Ledbetter” followed and served as the perfect ending to the show as McCready serenaded the crowd with his rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”.

You could tell that the band is very humbled by Chicago and it's fans. Chicago was one of only four cities to get multiple shows on their current tour. Vedder was very appreciative as he spoke of Chicago as the band has had some very memorable shows including gigs at Solider Field and The Chicago Stadium.

After twenty years it is very evident that the band are very close friends and enjoy performing together. For a band to be as successful as Pearl Jam is an ego check is a necessary, and that is exactly what they have done for their entire career. The band once again delivered a tremendous performance and added another chapter in the bands storied career. Like a good scotch, Pearl Jam just gets better with age.

Pearl Jam
August 24, 2009
United Center

Set I
Hard To Imagine
In My Tree
Last Exit
All Night
The Fixer
Present Tense
Not For You (Modern Girl)
Daughter (Another Brick In The Wall)
Got Some
Do The Evolution

Encore 1

No More
The Real Me%

Encore 2
Wasted Reprise
Better Man (Save It For Later)
Crazy Mary^
State Of Love And Trust
Fuckin Up@
Yellow Ledbetter (The Star-Spangled Banner)$

@ - Dedicated to Dennis Rodman
$ - After the song ended guitarist Mike McCready performed The Star Spangled Banner solo
% -The Who cover
^ - Victoria Williams cover

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