Pearl Jam: June 6, 2003
Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
Spin The Black Circle
I Believe In Miracles
State Of Love And Trust
Love Boat Captain
Do The Evolution
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
Know Your Rights
Rockin' In The Free World
Notes: Here's the ridiculously long journal entry I wrote a couple
of days after the show:
Okay, here we...
Go! Well, that's one way to kick off a show! I wasn't expecting "Release," or anything epic and emotional, but I do prefer the slower songs that gradually build up as openers. But Go is a nice kick in the seat of the pants of Las Vegas.
Save You: Have I said before that I fucking love this song? Because I really, really, REALLY do. "Fuck me if I say something you don't wanna hear..." But it was a bit frustrating because the rows of seats felt so smooshed together and my personal space was definitely smaller than what it was in Mtn View or San Diego. I wasn't getting to rock out as much as I would've liked to.
Spin the Black Circle: It's fun to hear this song, but I really don't have much attachment to it. It's another rocker. It's fast. It's all about vinyl.
Last Exit: Same basic feelings as StBC: fun to hear it, but no attachments whatsoever. Hearing those two back-to-back made me think it was 1995, though! (They're both from the 1994 album, Vitalogy , which I saw the tour of in 1995.)
Even Flow: My first thought was, "finally, something Kim knows!" As much as I was enjoying myself, I was very conscious about what the show was like for her, and before this, they hadn't played a song she knew. I don't really have any specific memories about Even Flow. I always enjoy it because it has fun energy for both the band as well as the crowd. Jeff/Mike/Ed did NOT do their simultaneous jump before the bridge, though! I can't remember if ANY of them jumped, maybe Jeff, but I wouldn't swear to that. I was hoping for a threesome, but alas, I was denied. ;-( After the song, Ed said, "Mike McCready...you've heard of him."
I Believe in Miracles: I had no idea what song this was at first. I knew it was a cover when Ed sang, "I...believe...in miracles," but that's only because I was vaguely aware of them having covered this song in some capacity before. It wasn't until I got home and got online that I learned it was a Ramones song. I dug it, and it's gotten stuck in my head multiple times since the show.
Interstellar Overdrive --> Corduroy: Again, my predominant thought was, "at least Kim knows this song!" I don't dislike it as much as I do some of their other songs, but I guess it's just lost its impact for me. The end is nice, when Mikey goes OFF. And the opening line, "The waiting drove me mad! You're finally here and I'm a mess!" is great one to sing along with when they play this at the beginning of the set and it's your first show in a long time.
Betterman: meh. STILL no "Save it For Later" tag. I was 0/3! Fuck you guys! ;-P Decent singalong again, but it just wasn't as flawless as St Louis 4/22/03. That's my current favorite recent version of this song.
You Are: this song grows on me more and more every time I hear it. I love the lighting work and I think the song itself is just so damn sexy. I really hope this makes it on an official DVD sometime soon.
Grievance: I dig this song, definitely one of the better ones from Binaural . Rockin', a bit more of a fun vs. sinister/stressed vibe, but not too silly. "I want to breathe, part of the scene, and I want to taste, everyone I see." I really love that line. Like, this song has a lighter weight than Insignificance, if you know what I mean –if you're familiar with both songs, that is.
Wishlist: bleh! But as I've said before, we all need a break from pogo'ing for a while. Calves, feet, and knees say, "Thank you!" when the band plays this song. "I wish I was a neutron bomb, for once I could go off..." I wish they'd never play this song, never ever again! Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh...... *thinks* ...... Nah, that's about right! ;-P
Green Disease: One of my favorites off Riot Act, but Ed often has difficulty with the lyrics. I especially love the bass in this song. I prefer the drumming on the album version, though. There's a bit more variety in the beats and off-beats. I think of this as a swiftly paced, bouncy rocker. But one that should be twice as long as it is! "Can you feel this world with your heart and not your brain?"
Daughter: Calves, feet, and knees say, "Thank you!" again. Haha...of the bunch of hits/"snoozers," this one may be my favorite, but it all comes down to what Ed does with the extended ending. There have been some epic call-and-responses, or the very moving "It's Okay" by Dead Moon, that was tagged twice on this song in '00. "The shades go down..." The song gets very sparse and melancholy...there's a moody tension there that I find interesting. Tonight's tag was a call and response of "Hey! Ho! Let's! Go!" of gradually increasing pitch. And at the end: "and the burning question is...where? I'm happy here."
Present Tense: Everyone but Mike and Ed left the stage, and I saw that they had the same guitars they had for Present Tense in Mountain View and I could not believe my luck! "This one talks about, uh...not where, but now. Me and Mike start it off, it's called 'Present Tense.'" Good lord. I was 3/3 with this song! I could NOT believe it. It used to be SO rare, and now I'd heard it 3 times in less than a week.
"You can spend your time alone, redigesting past regrets. Or you can come to terms and realize you're the only one who can't forgive yourself. It makes much more sense, to live, in the present tense."
I love how they're playing this song this year, with Matt coming in at the second third of the song with a light tapping on the cymbals (hi-hat?), then Stone coming in on guitar, Matt adding the kick drum, Jeff coming in, and everything building up just perfectly. I'm listening to the bootleg of the show as I type this, and it's hard NOT to play it at full volume, but at 11:30pm I don't think my neighbors would appreciate that. They nailed this one. The best one of the three I saw...but I can't knock the other two too much because of the hugging and hand-grabbing I did with some of my dearest friends during those performances.
Lukin: Short, pretty basic, with unintelligible lyrics. I don't know why I like it. The middle section is my favorite bit. I think if it were much longer than a minute it would just annoy me, though.
State of Love and Trust: At the beginning Ed said, "1, 2, 3, 4" and then he stopped and kind of evilly laughed....he was a song ahead. But I knew then what song we'd be getting next, and it made me a very happy jentwo. In the meantime, I had no complaints AT ALL about State of Love and Trust! It was my only one on this run and it's a fine example of a song I wish they pulled out more than once every 10 shows.
"1, 2, 3, 4 whatthefuckisthisworld comingtoyoudidn't leaveamessageatleastI couldaheardyourvoiceonelasttime dailyminefieldthiscould bemytimebyyou wouldyouhitme would you hit me? Ooohhhhhh......"
As I said in my Mtn. View review: for me, a PJ show without Porch is like sex without an orgasm. I certainly got my O at this show.
But again, let me stress that this song is NOT sexual for me, and it doesn't give me an orgasm. It DOES make me want to crawl out of my skin and push my physical boundaries, though. I don't know quite what it is, but I suspect it's something similar for Ed. This is the song that gets him prowling the stage and even off the edge to be propped up by the fans on the rail during the climactic end. It's the song that would get him climbing the scaffolding in the earlier, younger, crazier days. And I think it comes from more than simply not having anything to do during the extended bridge. I think he moves around and tries to connect with people more because he is compelled to.
He had a mirror with which he reflected light on all the farthest corners of the audience (which kinda told me we wouldn't be getting "½ Full," since that's been his "½ Full" shtick)...but he was ignoring the very front section and the crowd up front must've been getting a little impatient, because he said, "Fuck you guys, I haven't seen you all night!" Lovingly of course! It was followed by a laugh and then our own time in the light. =)
NICE build-up of "Hey! Hey! Hey!"s and Matt kicked some serious drum ass at the climax –this one little moment can be make or break sometimes, and they fucking MADE it this night. Matt Cameron is a fucking DRUM BEAST! The crowd was singing along to the "hey-yeah-yeah"'s at the end enthusiastically, and all-in-all it was one damn fine fucking specimen of Porch!
hear my name take a good look this could be the day hold my hand walk beside me i just need to say i could not take just one day i knew when i would not ever touch you hold you feel you in my arms...never again
And that was a perfect finish to the main set.
Ed sang a little snippet of "Luck be a Lady Tonight." He apologized for turning into Buddy Love for a second. hahaa...dork.
Last Kiss: This song is such a freakin' joke, but if I only have to hear it once a tour, I suppose I can stomach it. They came out and Ed said they were "going to play this one for the people in the back." They all turned around and faced the back of the stage, where, uh, no one was sitting. But hey, a view of their backsides is always a thrill! They turned back around to face the front and Ed said, " that back!" referring to the opposite end of the arena.
In the middle of the first verse he jumped to the second verse and got all fucked up in the lyrics and had to stop singing until he reached a place where he could come back in. He fucked up AGAIN at the start of the second verse. It was hilarious! If I have to be subjected to Last Kiss, it's a lot more enjoyable when Ed makes a fool out of himself. "I know this part! 'ooooooooh-oooooh—oh- oooh-oooooh'" Hahahaa...dumbass!
"That last song was testament to the strength of the wine that's being drank here tonight. Well you know, we all make mistakes...I feel like Sammy Sosa. You all make mistakes. The worst part about it is, I was feeling like such a winner before that song! But you know, it turns against you, I should've folded..."
Love Boat Captain: I'm really starting to enjoy this song more and more, despite it having the worst, cheesiest title in the history of PJ. "Once you hold the hand of love, it's all surmountable. Hold me and make it the truth. Then when all is lost, there will be you... I know it's already been sung, can't be said enough, love is all you need, all you need is love...."
Down: Oooh how I'd been hoping to hear this song! This is a McCready-penned B-side from the last album and I absolutely adore it. It's just so FUN and always gets me smiling and moving. Ed fucked up the first line (and uttered a "fuck!" just off-mic) but got back on track after that. "Won't let the light escape from me, won't let the darkness swallow me."
"Alright, again, gonna test the knowledge of lyrics on this one...not played often...we'll see...with your support!"
I wasn't paying attention 100% when he said this...I caught the "not played often" bit but I didn't even dare hope it would be the song I so desperately wanted to hear...
I held my breath...
...and then Matt started off with those three hi-hat cymbal, uh, notes(taps? someone drum-smart, please correct me here!)
and I knew...
Breath : "Oh tonight begin with anything..."
Everytime I listen to this on the bootleg I get emotional. I still can't believe I was actually there, in that room, when they played this. I have loved this song for forever. They didn't play it for a very long time, and then a 8½ x 11 "BREATH" sign campaign brought it back at Madison Square Gardens in 1998 after a four+ year absence. I think it was played only once, maybe twice, in 2000, and it had been getting more play on this tour, but I didn't think they'd play it in a city like Vegas. I dunno...I figured it would be saved for Chicago or Boston or Philly. Of course, before I set off on this trip, I had tiny hopes in the back of my brain, but I figured that was where Breath would remain for me – just a wish and a hope.
So to hear it and see it being performed in front of me was actually quite surreal, because it had this status of being forever elusive to me.
"If I knew where it was, I would take you there...there's MUCH MORE THAN THIS!"
I sang my lungs out for that part. I feel sorry for the guy standing in front of me, but I was NOT going to hold myself back at that point. I couldn't. I had to put everything into that line, into that moment.
Now, this is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING against Kim because she simply didn't know, but there was this tiny part of me that felt I was experiencing that song solo, because none of my neighbors knew how major that song was for me. I knew I had happy fanclub members all around me, but none of them knew what it was like for me , specifically. I always thought I would cry my eyes out when I heard this song. Alas, I did not. I think I got a little teary-eyed at the end, but I kept it together. I think, though, if I'd been up in section U19 with Kari, Brad and Gardner around me, each of them knowing how much it meant to me to finally hear that song, the tears would've spilled. Brad and Kari told me later that they were looking for me on the floor –Kari didn't spot me until maybe the end, and Brad said something like... watching me was more entertaining than watching the band. hahahaaa....
But it was SO good (no lyrical fuckups!) and such a sweet five minutes and it totally utterly fully completely made my year. Those five minutes were worth everything I'd done and spent to get there in the last 11 years.
Do the Evolution: didn't have much time to bask in the afterglow of Breath when they started this one! It wouldn't be my #1 choice of songs to follow Breath, but that's okay. It was another one Kim knew, so I was glad to hear it. I'm always glad to hear it, anyway, because I think it's a riot. Kim hates the "hallelujah" part, so I made sure to look at her at that point and get into my singing. ;-)
Ed came out on his own and sang a little bit of "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" Only it was, "so c'mon and let us kno-ow, should we stay or should we go?"
Hrm, let me think about that second...
I THINK YOU SHOULD STAY!
I got a kick out of that for Kim, since she is such a huge Clash fan.
"I dunno about you, and it's nooo problem if you don't agree with me, but I'm just excited about the tax break because I'm going to use it to do everything I can to get Bush out of office."
This got a mix of cheers and boos from the audience. heh. I agree with him, but it's kinda like, oh gee, it's not a PJ concert without a political statement from Ed. ;-P
Ed got an acoustic guitar and one of those things that goes around your neck to hold a harmonica, and I was very happy because I knew the next song was...
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away: I've listened to the State College, PA version so much that I'm used to him screwing up the third verse and I actually expected him to do the same here, but nope, he got it right. There was boisterous crowd participation for, "HEY! You've got to hiiiide your love awaaay..." It was beeee-yoooo-teee-fuulll. That John Lennon guy really could write a good tune, couldn't he? ;-)
Crazy Mary: cmleho82thljentflwetjfhkawentli24nfsdfnl kn!!!! This song used to be very rarely played and now it's on the setlist almost every night! I heard it at all three shows and I was getting really tired of it. There's only one part I really love, the bit about "newspaper-covered walls, and Mary rising up above it aaaaallll...." then the lower two "aaaaah"'s and then the beautiful higher "aaaah" that I love singing to.
Matt started the drum bit from Fuckin' Up but got shot down...
Know Your Rights: "Here's a public service announcement....WITH GUIIIITAAAAAAAAR!"
I had a feeling we might get this song, since they've been playing it a lot but had not played it in San Diego the night before. I was really hoping they would play it, since Kim was there and all. I think she'd only heard an mp3 of their very first attempt at it earlier this year and that one is atrocious! I think they've improved greatly, but I want Kim to weigh in with her professional Clash-fan opinion. I, personally, love it. Now, I'd need to watch Westway to the World again, but when I was watching Mike I felt like he was trying to look like Mick Jones with the way he was bouncing around and moving his guitar.
Fuckin' Up: Well, this was no surprise, since Matt had started it early. Not bad to hear it again. I think I'd get tired of it if I went to a dozen shows in a row and heard it 5-6 times, but since this was only my Fuckin' Up #2, I was happy to hear it again. "Why do I keep fuckin' uuuuuuuup?!"
Rockin' in the Free World: The houselights came up, Mike played a subtle, short riff from "Barracuda," and two women walked out on stage. One of them, the blonde, strapped on a Gibson SG, and the other was a bit heavier with dark hair. They gave the guys hugs and kisses and I realized it was Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart! Neighbors of our boys from Seattle. I remember the kiss Nancy gave Stone on the cheek and it just seemed so motherly and cute. Stone and Nancy shared Stone's mic, and Ed and Ann shared Ed's. They acquired tambourines in the middle of the song and hit them against each other's tambourine a few times, until the jingles flew off and the skins were busted. They were eventually tossed out into the audience. Ed tripped over something and fell down (political statement? check! Ed takes a spill? check! Okay, we've got ourselves a PJ show!) and Ann helped him back up. They were having fun. Hell, EVERYONE was having fun! Like Fuckin' Up, I'd get a little bit tired of hearing this night after night after night, but as it was my only RITFW on this run, I was enjoying it thoroughly. It was the last song of the show and it was a perfect end to, as Kim described it, "a straight-ahead rock show."
The whole evening was very enjoyable, it seems like there's a bit more of a party-vibe at Vegas shows. I had kind of hoped to hear "Yellow Ledbetter" though, as I'd NOT heard it on this run and it's THE "end of show/tour" song. Three years ago I was sick of it, because they played it almost everynight. This time, I hadn't gotten it at all and I found myself really missing it! It was like my sentence was missing its period
But then, that's how I think it should be...I don't want to be sick of any of their songs. I want them to mix it up enough so that I'm happy to hear everything they play, even the Daughter – Betterman – Small Town – I Am Mine – Thin Air – Black crap. ;-P
Anyway...it was great. Our seats were superb –I don't think I'd been right in front of Ed before, and close enough to see all the little things, like facial expressions and other things...
Two tours now, I thought my last two shows wouldn't top the one/s that came before it, for reasons such as having poorer seats, or that the vibe of the crowd would be off. Well, I've been wrong both times now. I swear to you it is impossible for me to pick a favorite of this tour.
Las Vegas' setlist definitely had a lot of songs not played in Mountain View or San Diego, such as: Spin the Black Circle, I Believe in Miracles, Lukin, Down...BREATH. heh.
But Mountain View had those lovely, 8th row Mike-side seats, and it was my first REAL PJ show in 2.5 years, and I love Shoreline Amphitheatre, and I loved seeing the band with Trish on one side of me and Mark on the other. My second ever Present Tense. New Riot Act songs I'd never heard before. Insignificance. Bushleaguer!
And San Diego: from where I stood, a great crowd, especially having beloved friends/PJ freaks around me to hug and holds hands and pogo with. Given to Fly. Blood. Rearviewmirror. Sonic Reducer. Baba O'Riley. And Arc. Arc, Arc, Arc...
All around, a nice trio of shows. There's a few songs I'd swap out for others. I wanted to hear every song on Riot Act at least once, but I think I only got half of them. I also wanted to hear: Oceans, MFC, In My Tree, In Hiding, Faithfull, Deep, Hail Hail, Brain of J., Whipping, Insignificance, Yellow Ledbetter, Leatherman, U... I've heard them all before though (with the exception of Oceans. That'll have to be my new Holy Grail song, now that I've heard Breath.), so it's no big thang. There will be future shows, I'm not sweating it.