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"Here's another one we haven't pulled out in a long time" ... e.v.
Pearl Jam at Columbia, MD
9/24/96 Merriweather Post Pavilion

review by Ryan Mance

The whole show was incredible, but here is a brief review of some of the high points of the show:

The band came out on the mostly dark stage and performed Long Road, with Eddie on guitar. They upped the pace with Hail Hail, Animal, and an intense version of Spin the Black Circle. For In My Tree, Jack Irons started with a short but strong drum intro. Eddie showed his guitar skills on a tight version of Corduroy, and Not for You, with a small solo in Corduroy. During Not for You, Eddie didn't start the last verse on time, and says that he didn't forget, but sometimes he has a lot on his mind, and he was thinking, "I hope these people know that this song isn't about them", and continues with the verse. After Jeremy, Eddie referred to Song X on the Mirror Ball album, and performed its "baby brother", Red Mosquito. After Red Mosquito, Pearl Jam ignited the crowd with a flawless version of Black, including McCreedy's first ripping solo of the night. McCreedy continued his soloing skills during an intense performance of Habit. Rearviewmirror was next, with Eddie starting out the intro really slow, and then winding up. Eddie was really jamming in this song. When the band started Immortality, they didn't sound together, but caught up with each other. Eddie started to sing the first verse, but I think he had the lyrics wrong, I really couldn't understand him. He stopped the band and stood there for a second in the spotlight, with a blue background, and started playing Betterman. The crowd erupted. What followed was the cleanest version of Betterman I have ever heard on any concert video or bootleg. It sounded better than it did on Vitalogy. After The Whipping, Eddie introduced the next song as, "Here's another one we haven't pulled out in a long time." It was State of Love and Trust, and it was so tight, you sure couldn't tell they haven't played it for a while. After Alive, which seemed inspired for a song that they've played a million times, Eddie recalled a conversation he had with Kim Warnick, lead singer of the Fastbacks, about when they used to go to shows like this and remembering the feeling. Eddie added that they, "were just glad to be apart of that feeling," for the fans tonight. The "last" song of the was an extremely intense Blood, with Eddie hunched over, screaming the lyrics. During the slower bridge of the song, Eddie led the crowd into participation with, I have no idea what to call it, but it's that "A-E-A-E-A-E-O, and so on, thing."

The band began the first encore with Who You Are, and then rocked with Even Flow. After Even Flow, Eddie said that, "tomorrow's a day off, so we're gonna keep playing." The crowd erupted. Daughter was followed by a short part of a song I don't know, but Eddie kept repeating "your emotions are nothing but politics." Continuing with the Daughter outro, Eddie started singing W.M.A., with the fans singing the backing, "policeman", vocals. It sounded incredible. After singing backup vocals to Stone's Mankind, Eddie returned to center stage and said, "Well, I guess we can take a minute and figure out more, or we can play this last one. You seen to be comfortable, but we don't want to keep you. Ok, actually for now, this is the last one, so have a good time. It's called Leaving Here." After a very enthusiastic Leaving Here, the band left again.

On the way back out for the last encore, Eddie stopped and the drum set and played a quick drum line. Stone introduced the next song as a "tribute to the weather", and Eddie asked if they "can please leave the [crowd] lights on for these last two." The first one, which Stone referred to, was Wash. It was great to hear an relatively rare tune. With hardly and pause after Wash, Stone got behind the keyboard to the right of the stage, and Mike started the intro for Yellow Ledbetter. The song was UNBELIEVABLE. Eddie sounded great, and Mike even better. For Mike's extended outro, Jack left his drum set for a better view, and Eddie and Jeff sat on the edge of the drum stage to watch Mike wail on the "Hendrix sounding" ending. It was awesome.

NOTE: I am sure the set list and quotes are accurate, I listened to a bootleg of the show to make sure.

It was a 5 hour drive each way, but I'd do it again today if they came back!!

© Ryan Mance... written for Five Horizons