Pearl Jam Brings An Unforgettable Night For Second Night in St. Paul
Pearl Jam’s electrifying performance at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center was a rock ‘n’ roll spectacle. With timeless classics and heartfelt moments, the legendary band reaffirmed their status as music icons. Fans enjoyed an unforgettable night of music and camaraderie.
Eddie Vedder’s Special Shoutouts
“Tonight is about friends,” Eddie Vedder said early Saturday during Pearl Jam’s second performance this week at Xcel Energy Center. His friends like Joe Mauer, the former Twins great, who was in the audience. Friends like Bo, who had been to about 50 Pearl Jam shows but they’d finally just met. “Bo, where have you been all my life? So close,” Vedder said. Friends like Charlie, a Wisconsin youngster who recently died of epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Friends like Dr. Jakub Tolar, who leads a University of Minnesota EB research team funded in part by Vedder’s family.
Pearl Jam Is My Drug
Longtime fan, Greg Herman, the guy in front of the stage wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “Pearl Jam is my drug.” Vedder asked Herman if he had a request. At that time a song that was played the night before was shouted out. Vedder responded, “we played that one last night!” The band took the request of Unthought Known.
Acknowledging Old Friends
Old friends like Rich Best, the former First Avenue booker who hired Pearl Jam and its members’ other bands like Mother Love Bone into 7 Street Entry and First Ave back in the day. Vedder invited Best, now an executive VP at Live Nation in Los Angeles, onstage for a handshake and a hug.
A Night of Timeless Rock
Not sure if any of the other 18,000 people at the X felt unfriended, but they sure experienced one unforgettably galvanizing night of timeless rock (no need to call it grunge anymore). This veteran Seattle ensemble, one of the biggest bands of the 1990s, remains one of the best live rock bands touring today. These Rock Hall of Famers are so respected by their fans — many of whom wore Pearl Jam T-shirts from different tours and cities as well as new ones custom-made for St. Paul’s two-night stand — that there were surprisingly few cellphones out during the performance.
Pearl Jam’s Incredible Performance
Vedder, 58, was friendly, committed, passionate, compassionate, intense and physical, though not the light rigging-climbing frontman of old (he did jump off of two-foot high speakers on Saturday). The rhythm section of drummer Matt Cameron and bassist Jeff Ament (who wore a T-shirt honoring the Duluth band Low) was solid and driving, abetted by rhythm guitarist Stone Gossard. And the lead guitar work of Mike McCready was consistently heroic, elevating the tunes to new heights.
Song Selection and Special Moments
Thursday’s opening night set of PJ’s first tour of 2023, Saturday’s reprise lasted nearly 2 1/2 hours and featured 25 tunes, one more than the earlier gig. Five selections were repeaters — “Daughter,” “Even Flow,” “Porch,” “Alive” and “Elderly Woman behind the Counter in a Small Town.” Numbers were drawn from all 11 Pearl Jam studio albums. Saturday’s crowd was treated to three PJ classics, “Jeremy,” “Better Man” and “I Am Mine,” which weren’t in Thursday’s repertoire. Second show deep tracks included “Got Some” and “Severed Hand.”
As for Saturday’s covers, Pearl Jam offered Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage,” Wayne Cochran’s “Last Kiss” (played to the crowd behind the stage), a solo Vedder version of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” (dedicated to his late friend Charlie) and a reading of Prince’s “Purple Rain” — with opening act Deep Sea Diver sitting in — as the finale (the first time Pearl Jam has played it in the Purple One’s home state).
Eddie Vedder’s Light-Hearted Banter
After having spent a few days in the Twin Cities, Vedder got a little goofy Saturday when talking about newly legalized pot (his word) in Minnesota. He reminisced about how he and drummer Cameron used to smoke pot in San Diego “too early — in our lives and too early in the day. Back then you couldn’t hurt yourself because you were getting it from a guy listening to Jimmy Buffett on the beach.” Now, he said, pot is sometimes cut with harmful substances. “Start with a little Indica,” he suggested, referring to a reportedly calming marijuana strain. “And then start a group called the Indica Girls.”
Pearl Jam delivered an unforgettable night of music, camaraderie, and rock ‘n’ roll magic at Xcel Energy Center. With their timeless classics and incredible live performance, they proved once again why they are one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
Pearl Jam Xcel Energy Night Two Set List 9/2/23
- Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
- Off He Goes
- Nothing as It Seems
- Do the Evolution
- Last Exit
- Once Who Ever Said
- Brain Damage
- I Am Mine
- Take the Long Way
- Even Flow
- Severed Hand
- In Hiding
- Unthought Known
- I Won’t Back Down
- Last Kiss
- Got Some
- Better Man
- Purple Rain
Get ready to rock with Pearl Jam! Tickets for their upcoming shows are available at Tickets Countdown, where you can enjoy a 100% money-back guarantee and a secure checkout process.