Pearl Jam Delivers A ‘Wishlist’ Performance With Doobie Brothers Debut At Madison Square Garden

first_imgThere isn’t anything quite like the experience of seeing Pearl Jam in the live setting. It is something akin to going to church, and last night’s show at Madison Square Garden was a testament to that assertion. With a completely sold-out Garden, the Seattle rockers took to the stage at approximately 8:30pm and delivered close to a 3-hour sermon that captivated everyone in attendance from beginning to end.The group opened the show by walking out to “It Happened Today”, an R.E.M./Eddie Vedder collaboration from the 2011 album Collapse Into Now. Once they got to rocking with “Go” and a vicious “Mind Your Manners,” it was clear that the crowd was hanging on to every single word coming out of Vedder’s mouth, and at times actually singing over the band! Twenty-five years into it, and the band is truly at the top of their game.“Release” was a cathartic experience in and of itself. One of the first songs that Vedder wrote with the rest of the band back in 1990, it resonates just as much as it did then and shows the undeniable connection between each band member. “Rats” and “Wishlist” both made appearances in the first set, while “The End” (possibly the original bust-out of the night), “Chloe Dancer”, and “Crown of Thorns” – a Mother Love Bone song – were all featured in the band’s 11-song encore – or second set, whatever you want to call it; either way it’s about as long as most other bands’ entire show.A surprise cover of the Doobie Brothers‘ “Taking It To The Streets > Whipping” was preceded by what Vedder, ever the storyteller, essentially called a dare from a friend and long-time fan that told him while Vedder is one of his favorite singers, he isn’t as good of a singer as “this other guy” aka former Doobie Michael McDonald. While Vedder explained “hey, we’re playing the Garden, this isn’t a time to fuck around”, he and the band acquiesced and decided to play the song.The second encore began with “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” off of 1993’s Vs., and continued the back and forth between the band and crowd. As the opening notes of “Alive” came from Mike McCready’s guitar, it left you wondering how much was left in the tank, not only for Pearl Jam but for the fans, as McCready shredded an absolutely blistering solo. And if “Alive” wasn’t the epitome of rock stardom played before a sold out show at the World’s Greatest Arena in the heart of New York City – with proposals taking place during the show, and stars such as John McEnroe and Phish’s Trey Anastasio in attendance taking in the spectacle – then let’s just politely agree to disagree.If this all wasn’t enough, Pearl Jam decides to follow that up with a cover of Neil Young‘s “Rockin’ In The Free World”, with the lights in the arena completely on and a mass of people giving all they had back to Vedder, McCready, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Matt Cameron, and Boom Gaspar. Ending the evening on a mellow note with “Indifference” put the cap on the night, and sent us back onto the streets of New York ready to testify of the glory that is Pearl Jam. They return to the Garden this evening for what is sure to be another rocker of a show.“Taking It To The Street > Whipping”:“Release”:“Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town”:Setlist: Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – 5/1/2016It Happened Today  GoMind Your MannersCorduroyHail HailGiven to FlyLow LightReleaseEven FlowI Got IdIn HidingRatsDownWishlistJeremyDo the EvolutionWhy GoLukinRearviewmirrorEncore 1The End  Future Days  Off He GoesFootstepsChloe Dancer  Crown of Thorns  Unthought KnownTakin’ It to the Streets  WhippingBetter ManPorchEncore 2Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small TownLightning BoltBlackAliveRockin’ in the Free World  Indifferencelast_img

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