It could have been 1 of several things that brought Eddie Vedder out to centre stage well before the opening band was scheduled to start tonight’s Pearl Jam show at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto. The first being that as Eddie Vedder said Ted Leo of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists was not available as of yet and “we would have to improvise”. The second is that EV is a good guy and would love to fill the seats with people to watch Ted Leo before PJ fills them, or lastly he just freakin loves Toronto and the Legacy of Neil Young!  Who cares it’s all probably true but loving Neil Young, as Eddie obviously does has him out early and meandering through Neil’s Sugar Mountain & The Needle and the Damage done.  Just crazy awesome!! I was up walking around between the 300’s and the 400’s which at this point were basically empty I just plunked down and caught Sugar Mountain on video and was blown away by EV doing these Neil Young gems. The goose bumps were already happening!!

There isn’t gong to be enough words to describe the show. Pearl Jam were simply spectacular!! I have been going to shows for 35+ years now and I got to tell this show has to be in my top 10! Believe it or not probably I’ve done 500+ shows and this was my first live experience with Pearl Jam .  Although I did manage to catch the Eddie Vedder solo outing last year at Massey Hall. (bonus gem here)  Not sure why I never caught the full band… I have everything they put out, plus a bunch of boots and I’m seriously liking the new tune The Fixer with the Ska feel. Eddie Vedder even sounds happy on the tune.

Right out of the box – Of The Girl a nice rockin noddler to get us feeling good and ready for what was in store…then Corduroy nice!! Were just getting started…. I’m in the 100’s now 5 rows back just to McCready’s side. The crowd is ballistic!! I heard the venue was over sold  by 4000. I got to tell you Pearl Jam has to be the toughest tickets to get. I heard a scalper sell two $40 lawns for $500. Nuts!  I mean I didn’t’ see a decent 200 level, never mind a 100 anywhere. I entered with a 400 level and ended in the second row by the encore.  Severed Hand and were in the stratus sphere some where …Yield and Pearl Jam got a lot of air time.

The new tune The Fixer sounds nice live. EVEN FLOW… comes in there like a freight train of rock ….it is like a blur in here now…Given to Fly…. I think Eddie Vedder mentioned they don’t get this out there much live or it could have been Faithful…. Around Unemployable EV gave a little story about “how amusing it must be to watch the country down under us” he used the current health debate going on in the USA to suggest it must be like watching a “dog chase its own tail” then he changed the story a little and mentioned it maybe kind of like have a distinguished guest over to your house for dinner like Neil Young then referring to him as Uncle Neil – like having “Uncle Neil over for dinner and the dog like starts to lick its own asshole”!

½ Full comes across heavy, way heavier then the album version could ever do!!  This could of went on forever I was gone!!  Mike is on fire!! The whole band is crazy!! The run of inside Job (with the keyboards turned up nicely) and Mike screaming some nice stuff.. and then Wishlist just to cool down before the rockoutfest of Black and Alive back to back was unreal. The Black fading guitar outro was another awesome standout!!

At one juncture during the rock out in Alive the band comes together in front of the drum kit – Mike playing the big double necked Gibson – they are this finely tuned rock machine churning, humming, powerful – Eddie Vedder rams his head for a moment into Mike McCready’s chest ! Wild to watch!! McCready throws out a handful of guitar picks and I manage to snag one!!  MC changes his shirt a couple of time and at one point he comes out wearing a Kiss Alive tee shirt – classic stuff!!

The band cools it out again with Wasted (reprise)… I think it was during this tune or at the conclusion EV come and points to – then leans over and hands the guy directly in front of me and one seat to the right a tambourine !! The vibe all around was beautiful!

………………………..The weather was working the music so amazing!! The crowd literally going insane here… the sing along with Betterman (video) was huge!! Eddie Vedder let it go for awhile then comes to the mike and says” that was pretty f**kin’ good”!! I kind of remember Porch but don’t ….I mean I was in this surreal place where this band had taken me.

They were playing so tight and the magic was really flowing. I didn’t want the show to end and end it had to and fittingly so with the encore being Neil Young’s Rockin’ in The Free World!! What a blast!! If there was a second it would be a no brainer to head on down!! This is definitely 2 hours I’d love to relive over and over again!!

Set List for the evening in Toronto with Pearl Jam…..

Front Side of Mike McCready’s Guitar Pic

BETTERMAN from Toronto

More Pearl Jam Videos from Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre

Concertaholics Photos on Flickr

LEAVE US A COMMENT from this show or any other this Tour

Comments (3)
  1. Hey bud, great review, your site is as good as ever. Nice pictures and videos also. I saw PJ a few years ago in Kitchener and I have to agree with you on how high the show rates. If ive been to 200 shows the Kitchener show is in my top 5 for sure. Great live band, too bad I did not keep my tickets for the lawns. I let them go on the day of sale and decided to go with Greenday, who I might add were a very very pleasant surprise live. You can check out a few of my videos from the Hamilton show if you like, A lot of people comment on how good quality my videos are.
    I just went and saw Kings of Leon during my Las Vegas vacation last week and did not take my camera as I thought I would not be allowed to take it in. Was I ever pissed when I noticed tons of people taking pictures, but not one video on youtube yet from the Vegas show.

  2. Just surfed looking for pics and videos of the show…I was a lucky fan club fan who won front row tickets…you can actually see my expos hat in your first video! I was also lucky enough to get an autographed Tom Petty shirt from Mike and a tambourine as well from Eddie! Great memories all around…thanks for sharing!

  3. @Wesley —-> Hey Wesley…thanks for the comments about the site. You must be coming to Toronto over the next few months you concertaholic you….

    We have a busy fall planned for shows and updates to the blog. Some shows we’re thinking of….

    Black Crowes Sat Sept 12 Casino Rama, The Cult Mon. Sept. 14 Massey Hall, Neil Young at Dundas Square (may or may not perform) freebie Mon Sept 14th, U2 Thursday Sept 17th at the Rogers Centre, The Watchmen Sept 25th The Horseshoe Tavern… also David Gray at Massey Hall, Monsters of Folk at Massey Hall, Metallica and maybe The Hip in Hamilton…. oh there are so many. Between Todd and I there will be more great content here all fall.

    @ Angie – thanks for stopping in and please come back for a visit.

    @ Gino – Nice memorabilia story from the only row to be in….#1 – PJ has a tight Fan Club

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