Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Pearl Jam @ ACL

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Posted by shore On October - 5 - 2009

pearljamacl @AndyShore One of my favorite parts of a music festival is the people. You’ve got tens of thousands of people, from all walks of life, enjoying the same break from reality. Making friends with the people around you during a show is always a good time. You hear where they come from, why they love that particular band and often how much debauchery they’ve partaken in. I met a group of three 40-somethings before Pearl Jam began on Sunday, one of which was worried that Pearl Jam would not live up to expectations. I ensured her that in the two times I had seen them in the last year or so, they had only exceeded my expectations. By the time Pearl Jam had hit full stride Sunday night, she agreed with me.

Perhaps due to being insanely run down after three grueling days at the festival, it took me a few songs to get into their set. Instead I opted for hearing about the rock camp my new friends’ 11-year-old son partook in and what songs he played. We also traded some war stories of shows we’ve seen and festivals we’d been to. “Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town” began the process of sucking me back in. By the time they kicked out “Even Flow,” with Mike McCready wailing the solo behind his head, I was all the way there. The hits were sprinkled throughout the rest of the set, and the band did not play nearly as much new material as Dave Matthews Band had done the night before.

The band left the stage a full half hour earlier than their set time allowed. Zack had found me at my picnic table out of the mud by that point, and we discussed the epic encores that Pearl Jam are known for. True to form, Ben Harper returned to the stage with the band as they opened their encore with “Red Mosquito,” rocking his lap slide guitar. A cover of the Who’s “The Real Me” was another highlight. Never before was the massive crowd singing along to “Alive” so believable. After two days in the rain, mud and heat, the crowd really meant it when they were singing “I’m still alive!”

Despite Zack’s hatred of Perry Farrell due to his atrocious solo sets at Lollapalooza the last two years, Farrell sounded great singing Jane’s Addictions “Mountain Song” with Pearl Jam. Farrell was introduced to the stage by Eddie Vedder as “a guy who invented everything we’re doing up here, and probably most of what you’re doing out there.” Pearl Jam closed with another cover, and a perfect note to end ACL on it was. “Keep on Rocking in the Free World” rang out through the muddy Zilker Park, as Zack and I made our way back trough the mud pits on our trek back to the car.

Pearl Jam ACL 2009 Set List:

“Why Go?”
“Corduroy”
“Got Some”
“Not For You”
“Modern Girl” (Sleater-Kinney Cover, Partial)
“Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”
“Given to Fly”
“World Wide Suicide”
“Even Flow”
“Unthought Known”
“Daughter”
“WMA” (Partial)
“Hail, Hail”
“Insignificance”
“Present Tense”
“State of Love & Trust”
“The Fixer”
“Go”
“Red Mosquito” (w/ Ben Harper)
“Do the Evolution”
“The Real Me” (The Who Cover)
“Alive”
“Mountain Song” (Jane’s Addiction cover w/ Perry Farrel)
“Rockin’ in the Free World”

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