The persistent rain clouds in South Florida parted just in time for Pearl Jam to launch their twelve date US tour last night in West Palm Beach, FL. Playing for the first time since headlining last summer’s Lollapalooza festival, Pearl Jam showed no signs of rust other than a mistimed start to the opening “Oceans.” The band quickly recovered to rock out “Severed Hand,” “Save You” and “God’s Dice” in short order.
Playing with fiery intensity Pearl Jam nailed hard hitting classics such as “Dissident” and “Even Flow” midway through the night. Long unbound from playing only commercial material, Pearl Jam plucked deep cuts such as “Sad” and “Faithful” from their extensive catalogue and knocked out old favorites “Glorified G,” “Do the Evolution” and “Why Go” for a thundering close to the opening set.
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Pearl Jam carried the momentum into the first encore with a lean “Inside Job” and a lengthy jam session on “Rearviewmirror.” Eddie Vedder then embarked on a short solo stint and quipped that “we were looking forward to the sunshine of Florida, but instead it has pissed on us like god has a hangover.” The remark prompted a mini cover of the Tom Waits classic “Rains on Me” before Vedder induced the crowd to sing along on his anti-war number “No More,” from the Body of War soundtrack.
The sweat-soaked band returned in full to cap the evening with “Alive” and the staple closer “Yellow Ledbetter.” The members of Pearl Jam stood patriotically by as guitarist Mike McCready tagged the Hendrix inspired “Star-Spangled Banner” to the end of “Ledbetter” and the crowd reveled in his brilliance. Pearl Jam plays again tonight in Tampa, FL before headlining this weekend’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, so stay tuned to Rock Daily all weekend for coverage of Bonnaroo and more Pearl Jam.