I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS

...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Pearl Jam tearin' it up

Pearl Jam has been absolutely shredding the stage these last few weeks since their tour began in May (well, April if you count the London Astoria pre-show). Right out of the gate, Pearl Jam are rocking relentlessly, and bringing out some treats for the setlists. They are converting even the hard-hearted -- the jaded who think of them as has-beens who can't rock any more -- and I couldn't be happier. Here is a sampling of the blistering beauty:


Leash - Boston 5/25
THIS was A Moment. If you only download one track from this post, let it be this one. Leash had not been played live since 1994 (also in Boston, back on 4/11/94) and just hearing the crackling anticipation in the air with the opening notes gives me the chills. It makes me smile because they get the opening order backwards (drums, then bass) and it takes them a few counts to fall into the correct cadence, but then, like a familiar lover that you remember by touch - on a primal level - it all falls back into place.

And if you've never heard the kickass song from whence this blog derives its name, now is your chance. I have to say, few things make me happier than the thought of you, the reader, in the heat of a glorious sweaty moment at a Pearl Jam concert, hearing this lyric and briefly thinking of my blog. It's an anthem to youth and the power of music and everything summed up into a few lines.

"Troubled souls unite, we got ourselves tonight
I am fuel, you are friends
we got the means to make amends
I am lost, I'm no guide
but I'm by your side
I am right by your side...

...Delight, delight, delight in our youth..."



Parachutes - Boston 5/25
There was a sign campaign for this song to be played, apparently. Crazy fans mistaking concerts for democratic rallies. But it worked, and PJ first debuted it live for a very pleased Boston crowd. It is one of my favorites off the new album; a lovely song, even if Ed fudges the lyrics just a little bit here.



And a few from Camden 5/27 . . .
A smoldering Memorial Day weekend show, breathless reviews from those who were there. I have to say, it is quite an intense setlist. Here were some searing choice cuts:

Do The Evolution
Fresh out of the cage, Pearl Jam starts things out hard, fast, and right. After blazing through two of the hardest songs on their new album, Life Wasted and Worldwide Suicide, they tear into this riff, which would make me want to smash things if I was that kind of gal.

Animal
Then without taking a breath they launch straight into this roiling, churning pick from Vs. LISTEN to the crowd sing along with all that is in them.


Marker In The Sand
This is still one of my other favorite tracks on the new album. I love the blending of the fierce pace of the opening verse, the soaring anthemic chorus, and the final seamless melding of the two at the end of the song.

Blood
After a fairly family-friendly singalong first encore (Betterman, Elderly Woman, Last Kiss, etc), PJ returns to the stage for a thrashing second set. THIS is insane. I almost died once in a pit of people during this song. Between the guttural screaming and the wah-wahs, this is elemental concert power at its best.


Comatose
Another tightly-wound and sparsely vicious favorite off the new album.

Yellow Ledbetter --> Star-Spangled Banner
Even though some fans have expressed that they could do without this becoming-typical closer, to me the first notes of the sweet electric-bluesy wail is the sound of the end of a PJ show. And what better way to celebrate the U.S. holiday of Memorial Day than some Hendrix-esque freedom rock with the Star Spangled Banner drawled out on Mike's electric guitar? What a closer.


July 2, Denver, here I come.

Leash? Please?

Credits: Some of these terrific pics are from the Tour Photos section of the Pearl Jam site, taken by the fabulous Kerensa Wight.

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14 Comments:

At June 07, 2006 11:28 AM, Anonymous Ben said...

Your comments on these songs are at the least passionate, at times, almost risque. If only all music critics were as expressive. That version of Animal sounds like they plugged everyone at the show in 220v. Right on.

 
At June 07, 2006 12:13 PM, Anonymous Buby said...

I was at both amazing Boston shows this year.
These guys rock!

 
At June 07, 2006 6:00 PM, Anonymous Aaron said...

My brother-in-law was at the boston show and called immediately after to brag about hearing "Leash". Then, as now, I find myself insane with jealousy, wondering WHY AREN'T THEY COMING TO PHOENIX!?!?!?!?

sorry. thanks for the post.

 
At June 07, 2006 7:46 PM, Blogger OfJoseph said...

after diving head-first into PJ and learning about the scarcity (SP) of the song live, i'd say the best part about the "leash" mess-up is the 2nd night in camden they fucking NAILED the intro.

"parachutes" was also an amazing rendition judging that it was only the 2nd time they've ever played it live. This is my favorite acoustic track on the new album, and maybe favorite on the new album all together

"Man of the Hour" was also very moving. I know my one friend actually cried at a concert for the first time ever, for personal reasons of course.

camden night 2 comatose->leash is kick ass energy drop-kicking into atom bomb energy

 
At June 08, 2006 1:28 AM, Anonymous Vangelis said...

The way you describe things is almost as exciting as living them.

Amazing post, i can't wait for 30th September to arrive so i can see them live for the first time in Greece!

 
At June 08, 2006 2:32 AM, Blogger Ledbelly said...

Pearl Jam, simply put: Melts my face.

Long time, very loyal fan. love 'em to death cant get enough. thanks for the fantastic post!

 
At June 08, 2006 2:45 AM, Anonymous Stefan said...

I guess there's not much left for me to say what hasn't been said yet. You have a wonderful way of putting your passion - and that's what it obviously is: true passion - for music (and this particular amazing band) into words. I love your blog - it's my number 1 music stop on the web, I love your taste in music and I simply love your style.

Can't wait to see PJ in Antwerp and Paris... my first ever shows!

 
At June 08, 2006 7:19 AM, Blogger Cynthia said...

Like aaron said, why aren't they coming to phoenix!! I flew out to DC last week to see them - we got leash. The whole show was just amazing.

 
At June 08, 2006 3:08 PM, Blogger szg said...

My wife caught Camden 2 and then we saw them together for East Rutherford 1 & 2. The crowd for ER 2 was one of the loudest I have ever heard (and I've been to about 14 or 15 shows since '98). The highlight of the two nights though was closing night 1 with indifference. It was such a different vibe to YL.

I can't believe the East Coast swing is already over and I won't see PJ again this year.

Catch 'em if you can.

 
At June 08, 2006 8:30 PM, Blogger Oxypoet said...

Ditto. I was at Rutherford 1 & 2. Night 2 was phenomenal. The energy was incredible, but the "Indifference" closer on night 1 totally blew my mind. I've posted on BillyBlog (http://oxypoet.blogspot.com)my fanview from night 1 (without mp3's) and am working on night 2...now that Leg 1 has ended, I feel like I've lost my best friend....enjoy the Denver show!

 
At June 09, 2006 6:01 PM, Blogger Oxypoet said...

Hey, I updated BillyBlog with Rutherford 1 mp3s - the opener and the closer. You probably have the Severed Hand mp3 from your Boston and Camden boots (that's a nice little yippie-yi-yo in "Blood" btw), but the "Indifference" cut was transcendent. Night 2 coming soon!

 
At June 11, 2006 1:07 AM, Blogger F.J. Delgado said...

Awesome post... great selection of songs.

I'm such a loser for missing them in DC :-(

 
At June 11, 2006 7:29 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

Heather, you fucking rock! Thanks for putting these tracks up!

 
At January 07, 2008 5:39 AM, Anonymous Tony said...

I've only just stumbled upon your blog and feel like I've missed so much. As a massive Pearl Jam fan each of these posts gets me excited and the boots are always amazing. Thank you!

 

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