Pearl Jam Celebrate 'Yield' at Milwaukee Gig - Rolling Stone
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Pearl Jam Celebrate ‘Yield’, Tom Petty’s Birthday at Milwaukee Gig

Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen also joins the band for a cover of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley”


Pearl Jam

Pieter-Jan Vanstockstraeten/Corbis

Over the weekend, Pearl Jam shocked fans in Moline, Illinois by performing their 1996 album No Code in order and in its entirety for the first time. After a normal, 30-plus-song Pearl Jam concert in St. Paul, Minnesota on Sunday, the band had yet another surprise in store at their Monday night gig in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An (almost) full album performance of 1998’s Yield, with the band tweeting a photo of the setlist as proof.

According to the band’s official message board, the first hint that Pearl Jam were up to something was when the Bradley Center speakers played the studio version of Yield‘s odd minute-long “Red Dot” song as they walked on the stage.

Four songs in, the gig had the makings of a standard show, but then Pearl Jam unveiled their first stunner: A cover the Who‘s “Baba O’Riley” featuring Cheap Trick‘s Rick Nielsen. The guitarist, who spent last week jamming out with the Foo Fighters, also received a tribute from Pearl Jam during the band’s Moline gig, and for the Milwaukee show, guitarist Mike McCready, bassist Jeff Ament and Nielsen all sported instruments boasting Nielsen’s trademark checkerboard pattern.

After that, Pearl Jam played Yield‘s opening rocker “Brain of J,” and then busted out Yield‘s second cut “Faithfull,” and by the time “No Way” arrived, fans gathered that a full Yield performance was on the way. (The band did skip “Red Dot,” but that’s semantics.) Throughout the Yield reenactment, Eddie Vedder shared anecdotes connected to the music, including a story about stealing his friend’s dad’s Old Milwaukee beer, which the singer somehow segued into a rendition of Yield‘s closer “All Those Yesterdays.”

Being in Milwaukee, Vedder donned Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers jersey as the team’s backup quarterback Matt Flynn enjoyed himself at the concert. Monday night also marked Tom Petty‘s 64th birthday, so to celebrate the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, the band recorded a birthday message for Petty and then covered his “I Won’t Back Down.”

Roughly 10 songs and a second encore later, Pearl Jam exited the stage to the studio recording of Yield‘s hidden bonus track that fans have dubbed “Hummus.” Heads up to Binaural fans: Pearl Jam next visit Denver, Colorado’s Pepsi Center on October 22nd. After that, the band will spend two nights at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit on October 25th and 26th.

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