Selling-out the Air Canada Centre is no easy feat, but when Pearl Jam comes to town, you know that they are going to do it big!
Pearl Jam invaded the Air Canada Centre on May 10th, and packed the arena for a 3-hour, mind-blowing performance. With no opener to get the crowd warmed up, it seemed that it would be an uphill battle for the band, but they ignited the crowd when they kicked into “Go”, “Do the Evolution”, and “Mind Your Manners”. Once they felt like they had the crowd under their control, Pearl Jam did something that they have only done twice so far on this tour: playing a full album.
While bassist, Jeff Ament, admitted to Rolling Stone, in March, that he wasn’t the biggest fan of playing through an entire album, he didn’t seem to have a problem when Pearl Jam ripped into their 2000 LP, Binaural. Playing it top-to-bottom, it only took a few songs before the crowd started to realize exactly what they were witnessing.
Before tearing into “Evacuation”, Vedder gave an emotional tribute to the first respondents in Fort McMurray. The band is collecting donations, for a number of charities, in support of all those affected by the fires in Fort McMurray, while they are north of the border.
That wasn’t the only surprise that Pearl Jam had in-store for the fans. After completing Binaural, Pearl Jam surprised fans with a few covers for their first encore. Starting with John Lennon’s “Imagine”, the encore also featured Pearl Jam favourites “Even Flow”, “Better Man”, and even a cover of Pink Floyd’s, “Comfortably Numb”, with Mike McCready absolutely shredding David Gilmour’s solo.
The band wasn’t finished there. They came back for a second encore, to the delight of the crowd, ripping into “The Real Me”, by The Who, and capping the night off with Neil Young’s, “Rockin’ in the Free World”.
If there was one takeaway from the show, it’s that Pearl Jam is a band of the people. They take their humble Seattle roots quite seriously. The packed-house at the Air Canada Centre was fully immersed in the experience, and Vedder made sure to get everyone involved.
For their second encore, the band turned their instruments around and played for the audience behind the stage for “”Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”, making sure that no one was missing out on the action.
If you missed the show on Tuesday, May 10th, no need to fret! Pearl Jam will be playing at the Air Canada Centre again tonight, can it get Eddie Vedder than this?