Pearl Jam has always been known as an amazing live act going back to when they first started 23 years ago. On Saturday Oct 12, it was clear that nothing has changed, as they brought the same wild energy to the second night of their 2013 tour to Buffalo, NY behind the great new album Lightning Bolt.
Coming on at 8:20 without an opener, the band started with a great trio of songs. “Pendulum” off the new album, “Low Light” and “Sometimes.” It was the fourth song of the show, “Corduroy”, that really got the building shaking, something that would happen several times throughout the evening. The band had a great light show that dazzled the crowd the entire night and the first time it was really put into use was during the title track to the new album Lightning Bolt. The hard rocking tunes continued with “Mind Your Manners” and “Do The Evolution.” This run of four songs were absolute barn- burners and the crowd ate up every second of it, singing loudly and throwing their hands up in the air. Pearl Jam fans are some of the most vocal during a show and they showed up in Buffalo loud and clear.
The band then got together to discuss the next song and it seemed for once that they were not following a specific setlist, which is very unusual. The next highlight came during “Sirens”, a new ballad off off Lightning Bolt that shone just as bright in person as it does on the album. “Comatose” kept the energy high and it seemed Eddie was pleased with how everything was going and proceeded to tell the crowd a story of how the next song “I Got Id” was thought up with Neil Young during the Mirror Ball sessions. Eddie is a great storyteller and hearing how Neil asked him for a song and all he could muster up was “I got nothing man, I got shit,” to which Neil said “well there you go, song title Ed.” The set ended with two hard rocking numbers, “State of Love and Trust” and “Porch”, two of their oldest songs that were a perfect cap to an amazing set of music. These two songs got the crowd so riled up that there were some crowd surfers being passed over everyone, something I’m sure the band has not seen since its earlier days.
The first encore began with the band sitting down playing semi-acoustically. When the band does this it is a treat for the fans, for they do it so flawlessly. Pearl Jam has really embraced their acoustic side over the years and the three song mini-set was perfect. After they finished “Future Days”, Eddie said “We are going to play to the small city now”, and the whole band went to the back of the stage and played “Elderly Woman Behind the Small Counter in a Small Town.” This was a rarity for the back of the audience as they were able to see the whole band, playing right to them and not seeing the back of their heads, which they had done for most of the night up until that point. The rest of the encore was straight rock and roll with “Rats”, “Got Some”, and an absolutely scorching “Rearviewmirror.” During the song it looked as though Mike McCready was going to blow his guitar up he was playing so fast.
Coming back for the second encore, the band dug into Vs. and Ten tracks “Go” and “Alive”, respectively. Both are tremendous crowd pleasers and a great way to cap an amazing show. The lights came on, but Eddie and the band weren’t ready to leave and they went into “Baba O’Riley.” The Who cover was played with tons of energy and smiles could be seen throughout the building. To end the night they chose the great song “Indifference.” Even the tune is slower than most, it was a beautiful way to end a very high energy show. Pearl Jam may be an older band these days, but their energy has not waned a bit.
Setlist: Pendulum, Low Light, Sometimes, Corduroy, Lightning Bolt, Mind Your Manners, Do the Evolution, Immortality, My Father’s Son, Even Flow, Swallowed Whole, Sirens, Once, Comatose, I Got Id, Infallible, Present Tense, State of Love and Trust, Porch
Encore: Off He Goes, Yellow Moon, Future Days, Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town, Rats, Got Some, Rearviewmirror
Encore 2: Go, Alive, Baba O’Riley, Indifference