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Shorter sets....and why it's the best thing ever!

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    ComeToTXComeToTX Austin Posts: 7,670
    Porch has become the most predictable part of the show.  You know when he's going to do the chanting with the crowd, then he grabs the hand held and goes to the barricade.
    This show, another show, a show here and a show there.
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    Of all of the complaints I read about PJ, the "I hate when they jam" is the most confusing one of all. So, just come out and play it exactly like they did on the record? Why even go to a show if that's what you want to hear? I'd throw the "why do they play (x song) so fast" in that same bucket. I see bands live to get something I don't get from the record. To each their own, not intended to be a critique of anyone's preferences
    I agree this one is baffling to me.  And seriously why not just stay home and listen to the album if you want to hear it exactly as it was recorded? It'll sound better that way too since Ed's voice was much stronger 20 years ago.  To me the jamming, tags, and nuances live are what separate PJ from most other rock bands.  I'll gladly take Even Flow, Porch, RVM, C-Mary, Immortality, etc. every show if they are heater versions. 

    For those they don't enjoy jamming I beg you to check out some classic extended versions of songs:

    I've Got a Feeling- Den Haag '92, Orpheum '94
    C-Mary- Dallas '03, Ottawa '05
    Porch- 3/29/94, Osaka '03
    Immortality- 3/6/03
    RVM- St. Louis '00, Boston II '06
    Better Man- 9/1/00

    The most recent of those examples is from 16 years ago. The last time I heard them jam Porch in 2018 it couldn't have felt any more forced or any less organic.

    It's ok to switch it up after all these years. 
    You're not wrong about my recent examples being old.  To me current PJ is "party PJ" - it's a great excuse to get together with old friends and have a blast.  If you're looking for moving performances for relisten value then you need to go back well over a decade when the band was still close to their prime.  But that's another conversation altogether. 
    "What can you expect when you're on top? You know? It's like Napoleon. When he was the king, you know, people were just constantly trying to conquer him, you know, in the Roman Empire. So, it's history repeating itself all over again."
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    You're not wrong about my recent examples being old.  To me current PJ is "party PJ" - it's a great excuse to get together with old friends and have a blast.  If you're looking for moving performances for relisten value then you need to go back well over a decade when the band was still close to their prime.  But that's another conversation altogether. 
    Yeah that's about where I've been with the band for the past five or so years as well. And as for re-listen value, yeah, I don't listen to very much pre-2003 stuff. Maybe a song here or there or a show I've been to, but that's it. 
    2000: Camden 1, 2003: Philly, State College, Camden 1, MSG 2, Hershey, 2004: Reading, 2005: Philly, 2006: Camden 1, 2, East Rutherford 1, 2007: Lollapalooza, 2008: Camden 1, Washington D.C., MSG 1, 2, 2009: Philly 1, 2, 3, 4, 2010: Bristol, MSG 2, 2011: PJ20 1, 2, 2012: Made In America, 2013: Brooklyn 2, Philly 2, 2014: Denver, 2015: Global Citizen Festival, 2016: Philly 2, Fenway 1, 2018: Fenway 1, 2, 2021: Sea. Hear. Now. 2022: Camden

    Pearl Jam bootlegs:
    http://wegotshit.blogspot.com
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    Vedd HeddVedd Hedd Posts: 4,575
    Personally, I enjoy some of the standards....Even Flow, Corduroy, Alive, etc....I mean....I still love those songs and after 40+ shows, I still love hearing them. 

    I like the current opening few song format, too....acoustic, or at least slower. Then kicking it into higher gear. 

    Whatever they want to do is fine with me, tbh.  Never know when the next show is the last show, so just keep playing and I'll be happy.
    Turn this anger into
    Nuclear fission
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    JimmyVJimmyV Boston's MetroWest Posts: 19,009
    Obviously not the best thing ever, but the shows being played this year are good. Loved what we got in Ottawa. The only letdown all night was Better Man. I don't dislike the song, but hearing Ed talk about Taylor and Gord, it felt at that moment like something special was coming. Something special was not coming.  
    ___________________________________________

    "...I changed by not changing at all..."
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    Of all of the complaints I read about PJ, the "I hate when they jam" is the most confusing one of all. So, just come out and play it exactly like they did on the record? Why even go to a show if that's what you want to hear? I'd throw the "why do they play (x song) so fast" in that same bucket. I see bands live to get something I don't get from the record. To each their own, not intended to be a critique of anyone's preferences
    I agree this one is baffling to me.  And seriously why not just stay home and listen to the album if you want to hear it exactly as it was recorded? It'll sound better that way too since Ed's voice was much stronger 20 years ago.  To me the jamming, tags, and nuances live are what separate PJ from most other rock bands.  I'll gladly take Even Flow, Porch, RVM, C-Mary, Immortality, etc. every show if they are heater versions. 

    For those they don't enjoy jamming I beg you to check out some classic extended versions of songs:

    I've Got a Feeling- Den Haag '92, Orpheum '94
    C-Mary- Dallas '03, Ottawa '05
    Porch- 3/29/94, Osaka '03
    Immortality- 3/6/03
    RVM- St. Louis '00, Boston II '06
    Better Man- 9/1/00

    The most recent of those examples is from 16 years ago. The last time I heard them jam Porch in 2018 it couldn't have felt any more forced or any less organic.

    It's ok to switch it up after all these years. 
    You're not wrong about my recent examples being old.  To me current PJ is "party PJ" - it's a great excuse to get together with old friends and have a blast.  If you're looking for moving performances for relisten value then you need to go back well over a decade when the band was still close to their prime.  But that's another conversation altogether. 
    In the context of our conversation, my point stands... rather than jam out on 30yo songs like Porch, or RVM or Crazy Mary in 2022, maybe play something closer to the original version and squeeze in another song. 

    Porch is a good song, but has also been beaten to death these last 12 years. & if it comes down to 'play extended Porch' or 'play normal Porch and throw in a 25th song'... I can't understand why anyone who has more than a couple shows under their belt wouldn't want the latter. 


    I would also disagree that their prime is more than 10 years removed... 4 of the top 5 shows I've seen them play have been in the last 9 years (the most recent being in 2016). But like you said, that's another conversation altogether. 
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    Vedd HeddVedd Hedd Posts: 4,575
    Oh, I forgot to mention...it seems like lately, I'm always bringing someone new with me to a show. Some are more casual fans. If you had never been to a Pearl Jam show, and you DIDNT hear Even Flow, Corduroy, Small Town, Alive, Betterman, etc....youd be pretty pissed. Like, I love the rarities, but if that casual fan got a show full of ten club singles, theyd be like, "WTF did I just hear?"

    Play the standards, rotate some mid levels, and bust out 2-3 rare ones and let's all rock on.
    Turn this anger into
    Nuclear fission
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    Abe FromanAbe Froman Posts: 5,192
    Vedd Hedd said:
    Oh, I forgot to mention...it seems like lately, I'm always bringing someone new with me to a show. Some are more casual fans. If you had never been to a Pearl Jam show, and you DIDNT hear Even Flow, Corduroy, Small Town, Alive, Betterman, etc....youd be pretty pissed. Like, I love the rarities, but if that casual fan got a show full of ten club singles, theyd be like, "WTF did I just hear?"

    Play the standards, rotate some mid levels, and bust out 2-3 rare ones and let's all rock on.
    Yes but they can rotate them out like they did last night.  I didn’t fall in love with PJ because of Jeremy and Betterman. It was because of Deep, Blood, STBC, etc. They have enough staples to not play them all every night. 
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    Vedd HeddVedd Hedd Posts: 4,575
    Vedd Hedd said:
    Oh, I forgot to mention...it seems like lately, I'm always bringing someone new with me to a show. Some are more casual fans. If you had never been to a Pearl Jam show, and you DIDNT hear Even Flow, Corduroy, Small Town, Alive, Betterman, etc....youd be pretty pissed. Like, I love the rarities, but if that casual fan got a show full of ten club singles, theyd be like, "WTF did I just hear?"

    Play the standards, rotate some mid levels, and bust out 2-3 rare ones and let's all rock on.
    Yes but they can rotate them out like they did last night.  I didn’t fall in love with PJ because of Jeremy and Betterman. It was because of Deep, Blood, STBC, etc. They have enough staples to not play them all every night. 
    I Hear what you are saying, and I agree to some extent. But some songs are getting harder to play. Those 3 your just mentioned are prime examples. Those are particularly hard vocally, while the staples I mentioned are much less destructive. I would imagine Blood, for example, might only have a few more tries left in the tank. 
    Turn this anger into
    Nuclear fission
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    I would like it if they played the same concert venue 2 times in three days and didn't repeat many songs. Keep the sets at a length they feel comfortable with.

    It's great when you can visit a new location and see the band a couple times. The buildup between the first and second show would be fun and exciting.
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    OceansJennyOceansJenny Manhattan, NY Posts: 3,222
    Vedd Hedd said:
    Vedd Hedd said:
    Oh, I forgot to mention...it seems like lately, I'm always bringing someone new with me to a show. Some are more casual fans. If you had never been to a Pearl Jam show, and you DIDNT hear Even Flow, Corduroy, Small Town, Alive, Betterman, etc....youd be pretty pissed. Like, I love the rarities, but if that casual fan got a show full of ten club singles, theyd be like, "WTF did I just hear?"

    Play the standards, rotate some mid levels, and bust out 2-3 rare ones and let's all rock on.
    Yes but they can rotate them out like they did last night.  I didn’t fall in love with PJ because of Jeremy and Betterman. It was because of Deep, Blood, STBC, etc. They have enough staples to not play them all every night. 
    I Hear what you are saying, and I agree to some extent. But some songs are getting harder to play. Those 3 your just mentioned are prime examples. Those are particularly hard vocally, while the staples I mentioned are much less destructive. I would imagine Blood, for example, might only have a few more tries left in the tank. 
    Blood is a vocal shredder and needs to be retired. I’m half convinced Ed developed the vocals to be self destructive. 
    DC '03 - Reading '04 - Philly '05 - Camden 1 '06 - DC '06 - E. Rutherford '06 - The Vic '07 - Lollapalooza '07 - DC '08 - EV DC 1 & 2 '08 (Met Ed!!) - EV Baltimore 1 & 2 '09 - EV NYC 1 '11 (Met Ed!) - Hartford '13 - GCF '15 - MSG 2 '16 - TOTD MSG '16 - Boston 1 & 2 '18 - SHN '21 - EV NYC 1 & 2 '22 - MSG '22
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    Vedd Hedd said:
    Oh, I forgot to mention...it seems like lately, I'm always bringing someone new with me to a show. Some are more casual fans. If you had never been to a Pearl Jam show, and you DIDNT hear Even Flow, Corduroy, Small Town, Alive, Betterman, etc....youd be pretty pissed. Like, I love the rarities, but if that casual fan got a show full of ten club singles, theyd be like, "WTF did I just hear?"

    Play the standards, rotate some mid levels, and bust out 2-3 rare ones and let's all rock on.

    Eddie had a quote once about some people want to hear that specific song to finish the album, some people want to hear that song they heard on the radio, others want to hear that song they first got laid to...
    Presidential Advice from President-Elect Mike McCready: "Are you getting something out of this all encompassing trip?"
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    Vedd Hedd said:
    Vedd Hedd said:
    Oh, I forgot to mention...it seems like lately, I'm always bringing someone new with me to a show. Some are more casual fans. If you had never been to a Pearl Jam show, and you DIDNT hear Even Flow, Corduroy, Small Town, Alive, Betterman, etc....youd be pretty pissed. Like, I love the rarities, but if that casual fan got a show full of ten club singles, theyd be like, "WTF did I just hear?"

    Play the standards, rotate some mid levels, and bust out 2-3 rare ones and let's all rock on.
    Yes but they can rotate them out like they did last night.  I didn’t fall in love with PJ because of Jeremy and Betterman. It was because of Deep, Blood, STBC, etc. They have enough staples to not play them all every night. 
    I Hear what you are saying, and I agree to some extent. But some songs are getting harder to play. Those 3 your just mentioned are prime examples. Those are particularly hard vocally, while the staples I mentioned are much less destructive. I would imagine Blood, for example, might only have a few more tries left in the tank. 
    Blood is a vocal shredder and needs to be retired. I’m half convinced Ed developed the vocals to be self destructive. 

    I do love the Atomic Dog tag though.
    Presidential Advice from President-Elect Mike McCready: "Are you getting something out of this all encompassing trip?"
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    southernmanfansouthernmanfan Johannesburg, South Africa Posts: 1,016
    Mortality said:
    OP, you are spot on. In the past year I was at the first PJ Ohana show, and just experienced Quebec City this week. I believe anyone who is watching setlists and not actually been to these new shows, should have their comments taken with a grain of salt. They have no idea what they are talking about. 

    This is a new PJ, and it's the best band they have been since the era I experienced the epic Bonnaroo and Spectrum shows. Fans saying they should pick up the tempo to add songs...No. That was a big problem with their sets in the years leading up to the pandemic. Speeding up, and killing grooves, just to appease setlist box-checkers. Destroying Eds voice in the process and having MC cramping during the encores. Hitting the drums like an old man because hes been forced to drum 35 songs in 3 hours at 60 years old. It's like the people who watch Netflix at 1.5x speed so they can jam as much content into their heads as humanly possible, instead of respecting the artists intent when it comes to pacing.

    Pearl Jam were great at Ohana. MC totally surprised me that night because he clearly re-learned every song in the catalogue during the pandemic. If you remember, he had like 2 or 3 weeks to learn these songs in 99, and never enough time off since to fix it. He saved songs like Evenflow by bringing them back to their original groove. Piss break no-more, my friends, that shit rocked and again in QC. Nobody left. 

    Embrace this new band, Jammers, because they sound fucking amazing. Maybe, just maybe, better than they ever have. Ed has slowed down, in an amazing way, and connects with every pair of eyes in the pit. So please, try to ease up on criticizing the # of songs. It is a very positive change, and you have to be there to experience it. 
    This is so well put. I agree completely. I only went to London 1 and 2 this tour. Despite most fan posts saying Night 2 was their favorite, Night 1 for me was out of this world and one of my favorite of the 18 shows I have seen since 2006. The track that has stuck with me since those shows and still stuck in my head (in fact I think I have an obsession with the song) is Quick Escape. 

    I was really worried about the shorter sets especially when you are spending a ton of money on travel and long haul flights to see them, but they never disappoint. They sound absolutely out of this world and I really don’t mind the shorter sets. 

    They were on fire in London. 

    Will I travel in the future to see them with these shorter sets. Absolutely. 
    rustedsigns
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    KansasboydKansasboyd Posts: 3
    edited September 2022
    Nobody will ever convince me that less music makes for a better concert. 


    This ^^^^^^  100!!!!  Best comment ever on this board.

    I've been to 50 PJ shows in my life but ended up selling my tix this tour and am taking those resources that I would have needed to travel to MSG, NSH, STL and OKC to take my wife to Vegas for a week and see Van Morrison at Caesar's Palace.  BTW Van is 77 years old and playing about the same number of songs a night as PJ.

    Those saying that those of us complaining about the shorter set lists are only doing that because we havent "been at the shows", really?  You do realize that it is 2022 and not 1982.  We can still HEAR the shows.  There is YouTube, there is SiriusXM.  We can still hear the shows.  Sure they still sound great but they sounded amazing at 3+ hours and 34 songs too.  So they are still sounding great, but only great 66% of the amount they did back in '14 and '16

    Those that talk about their age and health, come on.  Like I pointed out above, Van Morrison is 77 and playing 20-22 songs a night.  Paul McCartney just turned 80 and was playing like 36 songs a night plus another 14 or so in soundcheck that had fans.  Springsteen and the EStreet Band are known for 3+ hour shows (at least PJ hasn't blown up their ticket prices as much as The Boss though).  Widespread Panic are similar age if not a tad older and still playing 3+ hours a night.  The Dead and now Dead and Company played 3+ hour shows.  George Clinton and P Funk All Stars play 3+ hours and night and if they play Maggot Brain, it could be 4 hours!

    And their touring schedule isn't like it used to be in the late 90's.  They aren't playing 70+ shows a year anymore.  They are playing 30 shows this year.  Way less than 1 show a week avg and hadn't really toured in 4 years.  So a 3-3.5 hour avg workweek is still completely doable and not unrealistic.  it isnt like they are having to sleep in a van while on tour after a 3 hour show.  They've got limos/executive cars, private jets and 5 star hotels.

    Of course they are completely entitled to play how often and however long they want to.  I am not silly enough to think I can demand they play more often and longer, they have earned the right to play when and where they want.  However I also have earned the right to spend my entertainment dollars when and where I want and if I choose to go another direction, no one has the right to flame me, tell me im dumb or entitled or unrealistic, just as I wont tell anyone they are dumb for thinking less music is better,  Different opinions are great.  

    At the end of the day and being fortunate enough to have been at the No Code and Ten shows, the Wrigley Field shows, MSG in '16 and heard Crown of Thorns 7 times, the '95 Summer Fest show where they closed with Little Wing/Maggot Brain, the 35 degree Alpine Valley show (which at 26 songs is longer than this tour lol), looking at these setlists just seem meh compared to what I have already experienced.  It is not wrong to want more of what I have gotten to experience and to go a different direction if I feel that expectations will not be met.
    Post edited by Kansasboyd on
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    alreadyinlovealreadyalreadyinlovealready Saint Francisville, Louisiana Posts: 1
    If anything they need to slow down the tempos and really delve into the heart of the songs more. What makes this song tick? Etc. Shorter sets doesn't mean the death of the epic aspects of the band. Ament has professed wanting to do shorter sets for years now. He is also one to have talked about giving his all every single show all throughout their history. So, I could see more precise performance coming from shorter sets. More quality over quantity. 
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    Douglas12373Douglas12373 Posts: 208
    I know its an old comment, but just seeing this comparison to Van Morrison and, wow, is that a poor comparison. I'm a huge lifelong VM fan, imo he is easily one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th Century, and Astral Weeks is as important and brilliant a record as ANY other from the rock era. That said, Van in concert in the 2000s is quite awful. He completely ignores almost his entire back catalog. And sure, I'm fine if he doesn't want to sing moondance every night, but 90 minutes of blues covers and anti vax songs, followed by the most rote of encores during which he literally walks off in the middle of BEG. Sorry, no, that ain't it. PJ on their worst night delivers 1000x what Van is bringing these days.


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    ZodZod Posts: 10,440
    Nobody will ever convince me that less music makes for a better concert. 


    This ^^^^^^  100!!!!  Best comment ever on this board.

    I've been to 50 PJ shows in my life but ended up selling my tix this tour and am taking those resources that I would have needed to travel to MSG, NSH, STL and OKC to take my wife to Vegas for a week and see Van Morrison at Caesar's Palace.  BTW Van is 77 years old and playing about the same number of songs a night as PJ.

    Those saying that those of us complaining about the shorter set lists are only doing that because we havent "been at the shows", really?  You do realize that it is 2022 and not 1982.  We can still HEAR the shows.  There is YouTube, there is SiriusXM.  We can still hear the shows.  Sure they still sound great but they sounded amazing at 3+ hours and 34 songs too.  So they are still sounding great, but only great 66% of the amount they did back in '14 and '16

    Those that talk about their age and health, come on.  Like I pointed out above, Van Morrison is 77 and playing 20-22 songs a night.  Paul McCartney just turned 80 and was playing like 36 songs a night plus another 14 or so in soundcheck that had fans.  Springsteen and the EStreet Band are known for 3+ hour shows (at least PJ hasn't blown up their ticket prices as much as The Boss though).  Widespread Panic are similar age if not a tad older and still playing 3+ hours a night.  The Dead and now Dead and Company played 3+ hour shows.  George Clinton and P Funk All Stars play 3+ hours and night and if they play Maggot Brain, it could be 4 hours!

    And their touring schedule isn't like it used to be in the late 90's.  They aren't playing 70+ shows a year anymore.  They are playing 30 shows this year.  Way less than 1 show a week avg and hadn't really toured in 4 years.  So a 3-3.5 hour avg workweek is still completely doable and not unrealistic.  it isnt like they are having to sleep in a van while on tour after a 3 hour show.  They've got limos/executive cars, private jets and 5 star hotels.

    Of course they are completely entitled to play how often and however long they want to.  I am not silly enough to think I can demand they play more often and longer, they have earned the right to play when and where they want.  However I also have earned the right to spend my entertainment dollars when and where I want and if I choose to go another direction, no one has the right to flame me, tell me im dumb or entitled or unrealistic, just as I wont tell anyone they are dumb for thinking less music is better,  Different opinions are great.  

    At the end of the day and being fortunate enough to have been at the No Code and Ten shows, the Wrigley Field shows, MSG in '16 and heard Crown of Thorns 7 times, the '95 Summer Fest show where they closed with Little Wing/Maggot Brain, the 35 degree Alpine Valley show (which at 26 songs is longer than this tour lol), looking at these setlists just seem meh compared to what I have already experienced.  It is not wrong to want more of what I have gotten to experience and to go a different direction if I feel that expectations will not be met.

    I mean they also aren't spring chickens anymore.  I think Ed has had voice problems on a few tours now.    The oldest member of the band is the drummer, and it might not be easy for a 60+ year old to drum hard rock for 3.5 hours.

    I really loved the 2013-2018 era of 3 hour barn burners, but I also realize the band is aging, and probably not all at the same time, so if they want to stay a unit, it's probably playing shows at a length the person with the most struggles can keep on trucking.

    I'm going to miss the 3 hour+ shows, but I didn't expect them to last for ever... most older bands don't play 3 hours.   It took springsteen into his 70s to slow down, and I think I still saw McCartney do a 3 hour set a few years ago... but they seem more exceptions than the average.
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