Pearl Jam have played nearly every major venue in Chicago, from the Vic Theatre to Soldier Field to Lollapalooza. But despite the fact that frontman Eddie Vedder is such a big Cubs fan, he even wrote a song for the team (“All The Way”), they never played Wrigley Field until Friday night (July 19). And despite a lengthy rain delay, the band gave the fans a show to remember.

Early in the show,  Vedder exclaimed he’d been “waiting a lifetime for this one.” And waiting was a theme of the evening: after the band performed seven songs, they had to leave the stage when severe weather forced the band to take a 2.5 hour break.  The band promised to do a full show after the storm passed, and they delivered just that. Pearl Jam returned to the stage just before midnight and continued a full set to the delight of a still-nearly packed house.

Upon their return, Vedder blitzed through the title track of PJ’s new record, Lightning Bolt — its first live performance ever.

Vedder is not the kind of guy to leave his fans in the dark. Following the rainstorm he explained, “We’re just a band, but you make this music something beautiful,” before performing an acoustic “All The Way.” The band then joined in for the rarity “All Night,” an apropos song, given how many hours many fans spent at the ballpark.  The band also performed the new song “Mind Your Manners,” as well as “Future Days.” The latter featured longtime producer Brendan O’Brien on keyboards.

Pearl Jam played past 2AM, broke the curfew, and kept fans glued to their seats in one of the most popular ballparks in the world. The band will continue their North American tour in Pittsburgh just before the release of Lighting Bolt on October 15. The first leg will conclude at the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in New Orleans the weekend of November 1. The second leg of the tour begins in Dallas on November 15 and concludes on December 6 where the band formed, their hometown of Seattle.

Pearl Jam Wrigley Field July 20, 2013 setlist:
01. Release
02. Nothingman
03. Present Tense
04. Hold On
05. Low Light
06. Comeback
07. Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town
[2.5 hour rain delay]
08. All the Way
09. All Night
10. Do the Evolution
11. Setting Forth
12. Corduroy
13. Faithfull
14. Mind Your Manners
15. Lightning Bolt
16. State of Love and Trust
17. Wishlist
18. Even Flow
19. Leatherman
20. Eruption (Mike Solo – Van Halen Cover)
21. Bugs
22. Why Go
23. Unthought Known
24. Rearviewmirror
25. Future Days (Brendan O’Brien on keys)
26. Mother (Pink Floyd Cover)
27. Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns (Mother Love Bone Cover)
28. Porch
29. Wasted Reprise
30. Life Wasted
31. Black
32. Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young Cover)

— Zack Nechvatal, WXRT Chicago


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