Welcome back to the (new) official website of Pearl Jammer – The Worlds Greatest Pearl Jam Tribute.
It’s been a long time coming after taking most of the year off, but we’re back, re-focused, re-energised and ready to go!
We’re currently working hard at home and in rehearsals, listening to Pearl Jam’s amazing catalogue of music, studiously picking apart every nuance, watching every video so we can learn as many new songs as we can to add to our already incredible setlist.
The website is also undergoing an overhaul, with content being added all the time. Bear with us whilst we catch up with everything.
It’s exciting for us to be back playing this wonderful music and we’re looking forward to seeing you wonderful people once again at our shows.
It really is an honour and a privilege to perform these songs, so together let’s scream our lungs out until it fills the room…
After the disappointment of last weeks show in Newcastle, we were itching to move on and play the kind of night we know we’re more than capable of.
The Diamond, situated just outside Nottingham seemed like the perfect way to exorcise the demons of disappointment.
The venue itself on arrival, seemed a bit nondescript — situated on the edge of a housing estate, we were slightly worried it was going to be a bit “phoenix nights” if truth be told. However, like an Aladdin’s cave, once inside we were lifted by the venues charm and obvious history. It was akin to a Rock Cafe vibe, with gig posters on the walls from years gone by.
Soundcheck went well, utilising the time to have another full run through of “Deep” (the pre-tour pain in the ass song…) which settled any nerves we may have had, along with “Corduroy”, “Daughter” and “Wash”.
We hit the stage at exactly 9.15pm, opening with the now-typical “Wash” into “Once” combo that Pearl Jam seemed to favour on this tour, before working our way through the rest of the set they played some 21 years ago.
“Garden” has become probably our favourite song to play at this point, along with a special mention for “Leash” — which tonight finally clicked 100%. I felt like we finally owned the song and played it without any thought or trepidation, with the performance reflecting this confidence we’ve grown into.
The second set kicked off with “Elderly Woman…” — back in tonight’s set, as it’d been a while since we played it last, also keeping with true Pearl Jam tradition of rotating songs as often as possible.
My throat was in quite a bad way tonight (something I felt in the days leading up to the show) and Worldwide Suicide is probably the hardest song in the Pearl Jam catalogue at the best of times, but it (oddly) seemed to help the performance.
Having heard the new Pearl Jam single “Sirens” last night, it’s been on repeat ever since. I fell asleep listening to it and woke up this morning and pressed play once more — finding myself in a constant loop.
I don’t recall being this overwhelmed by a song in a long, long time and that (for me) is the strange thing about this piece of music…
On first listen, I thought “great”. A well crafted song with good dynamics, well performed (as always). Usually, I can listen and just know I’m going to fall in love with a song. Sirens though, took me by surprise, because all the talk pre-release was about how (in the words of Brendan O’Brien) this song was “one of the best they’ve ever written”.
Big words indeed and surely too bold a claim to leave at the door of a band into their 23rd year of existence?
Sirens is everything you’d hope it would be and more.
The song starts out innocently enough, with Mike McCready strumming a 12 string acoustic whilst Matt Cameron interjects with some (almost) November Rain type drum-fills, but it’s Stone Gossard‘s guitar weaving between the space created that hints at what is to come.
The verses are executed perfectly by Eddie Vedder, who sounds as good today as he’s always done — weaving a lyrical tapestry in a way only he can, setting up the story and giving just enough information to reel you in, but with enough ambiguity to make you question exactly what the song is about.
The chorus is big, but not overtly bombastic — keep just enough restraint to avoid the territory of Nickleback and the like, who wouldn’t know subtlety if you shaved the word into Chad Kroeger‘s shit beard.
In fact, it’s not until 4 minutes 45 seconds into an almost 6 minute song that the true crescendo is unleashed.
That final 1 minute 15 seconds is amongst (or possibly even) the greatest that Pearl Jam have committed to tape in my opinion. It only works in such a way, because of the deftness of hand they displayed up to that point.
As someone once said to me, “the true sign of genius is the one who can use his best ideas sparingly” and it feels almost as if 3/4 of the song was a teaser for the final reveal.
I was excited for Lightning Bolt before I’d heard anything, mainly because it seemed like the band were going to give it a real push — which to me suggested they had something they were very proud of.
If this song is anything to go by, then we’re all in for an album that stands proudly next to their greatest work previous.
Hear the sirens Hear the circus, so profound I hear the sirens more and more in this here town
Let me catch my breath to breathe and reach across the bed Just to know we’re safe I am a grateful man This life has been a light and I can see clear how to take your hand, and feel your breath or feel this someday will be over I hold you close, so much to lose knowing that nothing lasts forever I didn’t care before you were here I danced with laughter with the ever-after But all things change. Let this remain.
Hear the sirens covering distance in the night The sound echoing closer, will they come for me next time? Oh every choice, mistake I’ve made, it’s not my plan to send you in the arms of another man And if you choose to stay, I’ll wait, I’ll understand
It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead If I think too much, I can’t get over Wound by the grace by which we live our lives with death over our shoulder Want you to know that should I go I always loved you, held you high above too I study your face, the fear goes away
It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead If I think too much, I can’t get over Wound by the grace by which we live our lives with death over our shoulders Want you to know that should I go I always loved you, held you high above too I study your face, and the fear goes away The fear goes away The fear goes away The fear goes away
Well, last night (and today…) will go down as the most eventful gig we’re ever likely to play.
The day started out well enough. We were all excited to play Manchester for the first time (as this band) and at a venue that had played host to some great bands over the years.
We arrived at the studio early (for once…) and had the van loaded up and ready. We were awaiting the arrival of our guitarist Rob (“Mike”) and we were “good to go” when events took a strange turn…
My phone starting ringing, and it was Rob trying to call.
Me: “Hello” Rob: “Hello, Kev (his voice cracking with emotion)… erm, I’m sorry — I’ve been in a serious car crash…”
Without relaying the entire conversation, in short, a motorbike driving at an estimated 60/65mph in a 30mph zone drove into the back of Rob’s car, completely writing off the car and bike in the process whilst launching the driver over the top of the car and into a tree.
We quickly set off to see Rob and make sure he was ok. Playing the gig at this point, seemed highly unlikely and being honest, it was the furthest thing from our minds.
Arriving at the scene and explaining who we were (the road was cordoned off), my exchange with the first police officer went something like this:
Me: “Hi, I’m here to see if my friend Rob is ok. We’re in a band together and were meant to be in Manchester an hour ago” Police: “What band?” Me: “Oh, just a tribute to a band called Pearl Jam. I’m sure you’ve never heard of them…” Police: “I’ve heard of Pearl Jam. I’m quite into Punk too. Did you play at Revolver Venue (Wirral) a few months ago?” Me: “Erm, yeah…” Police: “Ah, yes – my Daughter went to see you play. I’m coming with her in October to watch you too…” Me: “…”
With that, he let us through and after waiting a further 45 minutes, we finally got to see and talk with Rob. We were surprised when he said he wanted to play the gig.
We were told by another police officer at the incident that we “probably won’t be making it to Manchester tonight” so we called the promoter and said “I don’t think we’ll be playing…” – the gig was off.
After a further wait of around 30-40 minutes, the news came through that Rob was free to go and with that, the gig was back on!
It seems the driver of the bike only broke both ankles and wrists, whilst skinning one of his legs to the bone…
Not to be callous, but doing 60-65mph in a residential area with a limit of 30mph, I think he got off lightly. But there you go.
So, we arrived at Manchester over 2 hours later than intended and proceeded to set up and sound check in record time (mainly thanks to our engineer/wizard “Ben”).
After sound check, we stepped outside the venue and by chance two Transport Police decided they were going to do a “stop and search”. For drugs. On Rob. His day was becoming almost comical…
The gig itself was, like the ones before it — as good as it gets. In what is now becoming “the norm” (and something that we in no way take for granted), people sang every word, danced, jumped and generally helped us create that “Pearl Jam in a club” vibe that everyone (maybe even the band themselves?) pines for.
We played a “Ten” set for the first part, before a “greatest hits” set for the second.
It’s so hard choosing from the 50 or so songs what to play at the best of times, but even harder still when the first 3/4 are already chosen for you. But, that again shows just how great a band they are.
As always, a pleasure and a privilege.
Next up, Newcastle!
p.s The morning after the gig, my girlfriend was also involved in a car accident when a car failed to stop at the lights and drove into the back of her. Strange end to a strange weekend.
Next up on the “Ten Revisited” tour was London’s Borderline venue — a stage that Pearl Jam graced on their tour of the UK back in 1992.
Reading about their show here, one thing that stuck in my mind was the comment on how “small the stage” was. Worrying, for sure — but if they could handle it, then surely we could too…
Arriving at the venue after a 1 hour drive turned into a 5 hour endurance test (f*cking EDL march — another reason to hate them from this day forth…), we quickly loaded in and sure enough, the stage was… small. Probably one of the smallest stages I’ve played on thus far, but the venue itself was fantastic from the wonderful and courteous staff, through to the extremely comfortable dressing room area complete with full “rider” of food and drink.
Soundcheck was swift due to our late arrival, but our borderline (no pun) genius/lunatic touring engineer (Ben) had us sounding great in no time. The venue PA was class (as was the “in-house” engineer’s wondrous beard”) so we felt comfortable that the show would go off without a hitch.
Radio Seattle (tonight’s support) played a great set, with a collection of songs from the same era being received gratefully by the now burgeoning crowd, so I’d like to extend our thanks to them for playing.
The light’s dimmed, our intro music started (we’re using Master/Slave from “Ten” for this tour) and we walked onstage to an extremely warm welcome.
Wash kicked off the nights proceedings (as it seems to on most of this tour…) which is a great warm up for the rest of the set, with the crowd responding in kind.
Once, again raised the level (it’s at this point I start the gauge the crowd reaction…) and by the first chorus of “Once, upon a time”, the crowd and band were singing in unison. A hint of what was to come.
Even Flow (as always) is the turning point in every set we play with tonight being no different, arms extended and voices singing along with every word. The feeling onstage is almost indescribable when this happens, seeing the sheer joy on everyone’s face, but it’s safe to say that my hairs were on-end for most of the song.
Alive and Black were the next combo in the set, and as I explained on the night it always feels almost wrong to play such great songs so early on, but — this was their set and who are we to argue? As an aside, I always wonder to myself “did they play these songs so early because they didn’t realise just how BIG the two songs were?” which, if it was the case only further shows just how humble they really are/were.
Deep made it’s debut tonight, a song we’d never performed before and a few shaky moments aside, it’s a really fun song to play and one we’ll improve on I’m sure.
Jeremy, Why Go, Porch, Garden (our new favourite) and Leash closed out the set before we left the stage, returning shortly afterwards for “part 2″ of the evening — the “new” songs.
Wishlist (a great song to play) opened the second set, before launching into Worldwide Suicide (the hardest song to sing out of the 50+ we know…). Animal had the crowd singing once more, before Daughter and “Another Brick in The Wall” tagged on set up the penultimate song — Betterman.
Every Pearl Jam fan out there knows that this is the part of the show where they get to sing. Tonight’s crowd didn’t disappoint and looking around the room, as far as I could see — every single person sung every single word.
It’s quite overwhelming at times eliciting such a response and one that we’re immensely proud of. We’re just the vehicle for 2 hours of some of the greatest songs of our lifetime. It’s the crowd that makes it what it is on the night.
So, our “Ten Tour – Revisited” kicked off in style at a venue we had the privilege of playing just 6 months previous — the fantastic Chinnery’s.
Our first visit there stands as one of our favourite shows to date for numerous reasons. The venue is first class with a big stage, even bigger PA and a crowd who seem to love Pearl Jam as much as we do. Coming back was something we’d looked forward to since our last visit.
Rob (our Mike McCready) travelled seperately from the rest of the band due to a work commitment, having to get the train from Chester to Southend on Sea — so nerves were on edge as to if he’d actually arrive on time… He made it just before the end of soundcheck and in the process, avoided a beating from the rest of us.
Kicking off the set with “Wash”, straight away the crowd were singing along with every word settling us down and setting us up for a night we wouldn’t forget. I also noticed some familiar faces from last time, which was nice.
Once raised the tempo before kicking into Even Flow and from there on in, it was pure energy until the end.
Hearing a crowd singing along to the point they’re louder than the PA is quite overwhelming. To help create that kind of atmosphere where people feel they can express themselves like they’re at an actual Pearl Jam gig, is something that fills us with immense pride.
Hearing a room full of people singing from the heart, at the top of their lungs to “Black” — “I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life…” is something that’ll live with me forever. I read a Facebook post from a girl who stated she “cried a little” during the song. It really was something special.
We finished the “Ten” set and left the stage, before returning for a “greatest hits” of the later material.
Unthought Known — a huge favourite of ours, kicked things off segueing into Corduroy where there was no let-up in the energy and interaction between ourselves and the crowd all the way to the last song of the evening — “Yellow Ledbetter”.
We say this a lot, but it’s true.
We feel completely honoured to be able to play these songs in the way we do, to the crowds we do. As long as you keep showing up, we’ll keep playing.
Just 24 hours remain before we set off on our first ever full UK tour. “Ten Tour – Revisited” is exactly what you’d guess it would be. We’re recreating the very first UK tour Pearl Jam undertook back in 1992, playing the same cities, some of the same venues and the same set lists (plus an encore set consisting of songs from Vs onwards…) that they themselves played back then.
Since starting this band just over 2 years ago, we’ve improved immeasurably, played some great gigs, met some even greater people and had the good fortune to travel the country playing songs that we all love.
We feel genuinely privileged to do this so the chance to walk in the footsteps of Pearl Jam, even if it’s just for a few weeks, is something we’ll all remember.
So, bring all your friends and fill the shows until they’re bursting at the seams, and help us all celebrate a band that means so much to us all.