Six years already. Six years, almost exactly, since Pearl Jam played in Montreal. It was on September 15th 2010. Last Wednesday, they were finaly back, in front of an energetic crowd at Bell Center.
Opening for them was the almost-legendary band Mudhoney. They’ve been around since 1988 and were amongst the bands that defined that “Seattle Sound” that became grunge. You could clearly see by the stage presence that those guys were not new comers. The experience was there, even though it felt a little bit like a venue that big was not what fit the most to them. Even if I could not enjoy their set as it should because I am not very familiar with their repertoire (shame on me), they did a great job at setting the mood for their friends, Pearl Jam.
They started the show with an “old classic”, Elederly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town. From there, the crowd started singing with the band and it never stopped for the whole show. And of course, Vedder gave us a lot of room to do so. As always, he was very generous with us. He even started the second Encore by reading his horoscope that he found in a local newspaper, before playing Better Man. It was quite funny. He also made a comment that was loudly applauded. He said that out of the cities north of the border, Montreal was the one that felt the most like a different country.
We were seated in the sixth row, on the right side of the stage. Pretty good spot. On our side, we had Stone Gossard and Boom Gaspar, Pearl Jam’s “sixth member”. While Gossard was quietly but surely delivering the goods on our side, McCready was literally giving a show at the opposite side of the stage. He was jumping around and interacting a lot with the crowd, to which he gave tons of guitar picks.
Without being the best setlist I have seen by them, it was still pretty interesting. It covered pretty much all of their albums. From Why Go to Amongst The Waves, without forgetting Daughter, Better Man, Hail, Hail, Given To Fly, Insignificance, 1/2 Full, Severed Hand and many others. You can find the complete setlist on the Fan Club website here. As you can see, the played material from pretty much all of their albums. They even played Crazy Mary, a Victoria Williams cover that was on the Sweet Relief compilation. During this song, as always, Gaspar and McCready gave us an amazing solo where the organ and the guitar interacted together as if they were talking. It was a strong moment of the show. But to me, if I had to choose my favorite part of the show, I think it would be the song Black. This song is so beautiful, and with everybody singing it was just amazing.
Once again, Pearl Jam gave it’s Montreal fans an amazing and rocking evening. Let’s just hope that next time would not be in six years.