Just went to the final day of Optimus Alive last year , Pearl Jam was headlining the day so after 2 weeks of seeing them in London i was more than ready for round 2 , but the funny thing was that i almost lost my chance of seeing them in my own country lol.
Due to the sucess of Just Breathe on radio and the winner was Idolos(Portuguese version of American Idol) sang Better Man on the final to win the show (I still think he´s a eddie rip off but thats just me…) tickets were sold out very fast and i only got 2 because the company i work had access to some tickets (Thanks Tabaqueira a.k.a. Philip Morris Portugal !! 🙂 )
Anyways i had the tickets and had an awesome time in there…
Never heard of them , although they were playing in the Alternative Stage in London (to this day i never found out where that stage was lol) , seemed to me like a typical pop rock band…good to see early in a festival to open the day! 🙂
My girlfriend knew a couple of songs by them (although i think they didnt play any right honey? ) and me being a fan of punk/ska music i was hoping for a really good show from these guys and in fact they really deliver a very good show even if a didnt knew any songs , really energetic band with lots of interactions with the audience . It was a shame that Gogol Bordello had to play next…
2nd time seeing them (saw them also at Optimus Alive but in 2009 right before Rage Against The Machine) and i dont know if it was because they were playing before Pearl Jam or because their show wasnt has good as the first one(which was very very good!) but something was really off. A hour and half seemed like almost 2 hours to go by , it was fun at the beginning but it got tired and boring after a while , it was like they were playing the same song all the time. Although i gotta say that the band´s energy was something that never disappeared during the show which is always great to see! They sure know how to throw a party that´s for sure!
2 weeks after seeing them at London it was now time to see my all time favourite band in my own country! If you know anything about the band itself is that they never play the same setlist (one of the reasons i went to see them in London) , so i knew that i would be hearing new songs that were not played in london. It was a really beautiful and hot day so i was having a feeling that they wouldnt do a “best of” kind of setlist and because it was the last night of the tour and because it´s well known that the band loves to play here!
So after Gogol Bordello ended me and my girlfriend (as we did in London) started trying to guess what would be the opening song , i remember hoping for “Oceans” or “In My Tree” but as usual i didnt guess it , although this time she did as they opened with “Release” and we knew from that moment on that this would be no ordinary setlist and we were in for a very special show. “Elderly Woamn Behind The Counter in a Small Town” , “Animal” and “Given To Fly” followed and then the band started to play “in Hiding” and at that moment we were in complete disbelief with the way the setlist was going , it was almost to good to be true! Release and In Hiding…the show could´ve ended there and it would be amazing but that was not all of it NOT by a long shot! The band played “Nothing Man” and towards the end of the set “Glorified G” another song they hardly play live. To this point we were just in heaven , not even trying to guess which song would be played next because in all honestly with a setlist like this one was impossible!
During the 1st encore the biggest highlight(in terms of being just a humble , meaningfull expression of how the band and eddie really loves portugal) of the show happened. To try to explain this to outside people(the casual fan or not fans at all ) , lets go back to the first show pearl jam played in portugal in 1996 , during the show the crowd started to chant “Portugal , Portugal” and the band did a little jam with the crowd singing it….now fast forward 14 YEARS! to today and all of a sudden they start playing that very same jam but this time instead of being just a jam , its actually a song with lyrics and everything. it was jsut a very special moment and as the show went they also played “Smile” (also another song they hardly play live) and finished the show (and european tour) with “Yellow Ledbetter”.
To this day i cant express in words what a special , special show it was and the reasons why i love this band so much…as my girlfriend said to me after the show “i´m tired of trying to show people how great pearl jam are live , its something that you can explain to other people , you have to see it and feel it in person to understand why!” and its true , they are that awesome and can make a show for 45.000/50.000 people a very intimate and personal show , they create a bound with the audience that is like anything i even saw in another band…i just cant explain…
Here is the full setlist :
- Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
- Given To Fly
- In Hiding
- Unthought Known
- Daughter / Blitzkrieg Bop
- Even Flow
- Just Breathe
- Glorified G
- Why Go