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Waiting For Stevie

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    BRWillyBRWilly DC Posts: 70
    BRWilly said:
    Scoff at reviews and articles saying songs are akin to Ten era or echo Breath and State of Love and Trust because then people just expect to hear those songs. But what I will say is I get it…the riff at opening, crunch in the guitar tone reminds me of PJ sounds. This is a great modern rock / PJ song and there are only so many of those these days !

    I don't hear Ten or Vs at all. Maybe it reminds me most of Yield.
    Yeah that's what I mean. There was too much emphasis in the promo that this was a Ten/early era song which shaded some of the initial response (for some, maybe even including me). What it is, is a great rock song that sounds like something PJ would make. I do hear In Hiding for sure and if squint really hard, I can hear the rhythm that reflects a slower State of Love and Trust, but its exactly that a song in the PJ canon and the good version. Really exciting. 
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    slightofjeffslightofjeff Posts: 7,759
    BRWilly said:
    Scoff at reviews and articles saying songs are akin to Ten era or echo Breath and State of Love and Trust because then people just expect to hear those songs. But what I will say is I get it…the riff at opening, crunch in the guitar tone reminds me of PJ sounds. This is a great modern rock / PJ song and there are only so many of those these days !

    I don't hear Ten or Vs at all. Maybe it reminds me most of Yield.
    If you told me this song was originally written and recorded for the Singles soundtrack, I would have absolutely bought it. Sounds plucked directly out of that era, musically.
    everybody wants the most they can possibly get
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    Tjm007Tjm007 Posts: 157
    spankyMP said:
    Vedd Hedd said:
    This would be at home on the Singles Soundtrack. 
    Agreed that's totally the vibe I get
    People for years: I want old Pearl Jam
    Pearl jam: Here’s waiting for Stevie, it sounds like it could be on the singles soundtrack 
    People: no, not like that

    🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️
    Me - this is exactly the PJ I want - inject it into my veins, eyeballs, nostrils and kneecaps MFs !
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    DedvwDedvw Posts: 245
    CaroG87 said:
    Got to this one this morning on the way to work and CRIED. As in almost choking wept and it just grabbed me. It's been a pretty emotional week and so I think maybe that was part of it, but it just really resonated. Loving this new album!
    I've cried during a few songs on this one. It's that good to me.
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    Johnny AbruzzoJohnny Abruzzo Philly Posts: 10,606
    Jeff said he thinks this song wades into my bloody valentine/shoegaze territory. No wonder I love it so much!
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    spankyMPspankyMP NY to NC to NH Posts: 1,236
    Tjm007 said:
    spankyMP said:
    Vedd Hedd said:
    This would be at home on the Singles Soundtrack. 
    Agreed that's totally the vibe I get
    People for years: I want old Pearl Jam
    Pearl jam: Here’s waiting for Stevie, it sounds like it could be on the singles soundtrack 
    People: no, not like that

    🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️
    Me - this is exactly the PJ I want - inject it into my veins, eyeballs, nostrils and kneecaps MFs !
    Shut up and take my money 🤣
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    spankyMPspankyMP NY to NC to NH Posts: 1,236
    Dedvw said:
    CaroG87 said:
    Got to this one this morning on the way to work and CRIED. As in almost choking wept and it just grabbed me. It's been a pretty emotional week and so I think maybe that was part of it, but it just really resonated. Loving this new album!
    I've cried during a few songs on this one. It's that good to me.
    I’ve smiled at parts, gotten tears at parts, and shook my head at parts. Love it!
    Randall's Island 9/29/96, Continental Arena 9/8/98, MSG 9/10/98, Jones Beach 8/23/00, 8/24/00, 8/25/00, Nassau Coliseum 4/30/03, MSG 7/8/03, 7/9/03, Continental Arena 6/1/06, 6/3/06, MSG 6/24/08, 6/25/08, Spectrum 10/30/09, 10/31/09, MSG 5/20/10, 5/21/10, PJ20 9/3/11, 9/4/11, Charlottesville 10/29/13, Charlotte 10/30/13, Global Citizen 9/26/15, Raleigh 4/20/16 :( Baltimore 3/28/20 :( Austin 9/18/23, 9/19/23, Forum 5/21/24, Philly 9/7/24, Baltimore 9/12/24, Fenway 9/17/24
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    curmudgeonesscurmudgeoness Brigadoon, foodie capital Posts: 3,320
    Tjm007 said:
    Niko80 said:
    My early favourite, however I love them all. So to have this at the top is saying something. After the theatre listen I had a big smile on my face, when Stevie finished I turned to my sister and said ‘how good was that one!?’ 
    Early favorite here as well. The guy beside me called it best song since Vitalogy. I found myself agreeing. Looking forward to more listens. 
    Best since Yield maybe.

    its very “in hiding” to start - the end is proper balls out rock.

    I described it to my husband as "In Hiding combined with the Alive outro." -- which is pretty freaking awesome, in my book.
    All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.
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    SonicDubSonicDub Posts: 40
    I’m not getting the hype for this song. The riff sounds like The Cure “Wish’ era. The guitar solo and drums are amazing but the song itself is meh! 
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    Falling DownFalling Down Posts: 738
    I just hope Stevie never shows up so that this song can go on and on and on. 

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    kmcmanuskmcmanus Posts: 658
    spankyMP said:
    Dedvw said:
    CaroG87 said:
    Got to this one this morning on the way to work and CRIED. As in almost choking wept and it just grabbed me. It's been a pretty emotional week and so I think maybe that was part of it, but it just really resonated. Loving this new album!
    I've cried during a few songs on this one. It's that good to me.
    I’ve smiled at parts, gotten tears at parts, and shook my head at parts. Love it!
    Stevie made me smile so hard my face hurt. Upper Hand brought tears to my eye. Setting Sun made me involuntarily giggle with joy. It’s too soon to know where I’ll slot the whole album but I can confidently say right now that the highs at least approach their best work. These 3 songs (Scared of Fear too actually) are instant classics to me. The lows on here ain’t too shabby either.
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    Tjm007Tjm007 Posts: 157
    SonicDub said:
    I’m not getting the hype for this song. The riff sounds like The Cure “Wish’ era. The guitar solo and drums are amazing but the song itself is meh! 
    First rocking PJ song with a melody since Yield.
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    theoceansmademetheoceansmademe Posts: 1,132
    SonicDub said:
    I’m not getting the hype for this song. The riff sounds like The Cure “Wish’ era. The guitar solo and drums are amazing but the song itself is meh! 
    This song will blow the roof off arenas this tour. The Cure? Maybe in Wreckage, not WFS. Soundgarden yes! 
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    CarryTheZeroCarryTheZero Posts: 2,230


    Little snippet into Running!
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    Who I AmWho I Am Posts: 647
    This one is definitely a rockin' set closer!  Love it!
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    curleybarneycurleybarney USA Posts: 181
    You can be loved ♥️
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    vitovito Chicago Posts: 1,665


    Little snippet into Running!
    Yep...&
    Words follow her down
    Needs to shake 'em off now
    This godforsaken town
    Don't deserve her anyhow...🤔
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    mcgruff10mcgruff10 New Jersey Posts: 27,960
    edited April 20
    Just heard Cornell s voice for the first time in this. Took a few listens to get it.    Holy shit.  
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
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    Who I AmWho I Am Posts: 647
    edited April 20
    Stevie into Marker would also be quite the epic combo!!!
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    southpsouthp Posts: 278
    Whether it’s classic TOTD, Singles OST or whatever… this song is channeling some magic. 
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    This is an incredible song. I just wanted to share what I wrote about it here (the whole thing is at www.theskyiscrape.com or in a thread here.



    Waiting for Stevie Part I: the Experience

    The first time I really heard Waiting for Stevie I cried. I was overwhelmed. It felt like a miracle, a religious experience that cannot possibly be explained unless you felt it too, and in that case no explanation is really needed.  But I’ll try.

     

    Ten is the album that made Pearl Jam famous. It is the sound of Eddie Vedder. The true Eddie Vedder. The one spawned a million imitators, none of whom could come within a thousand miles of capturing the magic that was so uniquely his. It was an album full of songs that shouted from mountaintops, that stretched out into space, that felt not only powerful, but infinite. They were less songs than they were commandments, a message from the Gods carved into stone that contained within them the secrets of the universe. That was how it felt to fall in love, truly in love, with Pearl Jam in that era. To open yourself up, let them in, and then seal yourself around them so that you might always carry them with you.

     

    And then, almost immediately, it was over, the band making a self-conscious choice to not write songs like that. Eddie making a self-conscious choice not to sound like that. Although there were some lingering echoes on Vs., by Vitalogy they were gone. Never to return. A new Pearl Jam was born. And it was the band I would spend the rest of my life with, that I would love with all my heart, that would go on to make the music that soundtracked the rest of my life. With every album their sound changed. And with every album Eddie changed. And I changed with them. There were albums and songs I adored. Some even more than Ten. There were albums and songs that were exactly what I needed at that moment. There were albums and songs that unfolded over time, or that would be set aside to be picked up later, when I was finally ready to receive them.  But there has always been a part of me that felt cheated. I didn’t need every album to be Ten. I didn’t WANT every album to be Ten. But THAT version of the band, I wasn’t done with them. I wasn’t ready to be done with them. But it didn’t matter. They were gone. And they were never coming back.

     

    I had read the early reviews of Dark Matter. I heard that Waiting for Stevie called to mind that 1992 Ten/Singles era of the band.  But that was thirty-two years ago. The people who made that music were not the same. I was not the same. That alchemy of place and time and openness and need and moment was gone.

     

    And so, I was not ready for this song. For what it meant. For where it took me.  It was the fulfillment of a desperate promise I never knew was made. It was the exhalation of a breath I had been holding for thirty years.  

     

    The huge riff. The thick base. The drum roll.  And then Eddie releases that glorious opening lyric, and his voice lifts off into those heights only he can command. And I am somewhere other than here. It’s not that it was unexpected. It’s that it was impossible. This was a song I would never hear. This was a song that could not exist. And somehow, somehow, now it does.

     

    Waiting for Stevie does not sound like it belongs to Ten. It belongs to Dark Matter. It is still very much of this moment. But it captures, it evokes, it embodies everything that I felt back then and have been unconsciously chasing ever since.  What Pearl Jam was.  What Pearl Jam could be. What Pearl Jam is.  Somehow in that moment, I was simultaneously the person I am at forty-seven, having lived a life I would not change, and sixteen once again, with an entire future in front of me, a world where anything and everything is still possible. I have never felt anything like it and must assume I never will again. But there are echoes of memory I will cherish every time they drift into focus.  It was indescribable. What I wrote here is not enough.  It was just a song. But somehow it was everything.

     

    You either experienced this or you did not. If you did not, you cannot understand. If you did, you know.

     

    Waiting For Stevie Part II:  the song

    Pearl Jam has many, many, many incredible songs. But there is a small cohort I think of as mission statements.  These are not necessarily their best songs (though I think they are).  These are the songs that, within the span of their runtime, encapsulate the entirety of what Pearl Jam is. Not their sound, but their purpose, their essence, their transformative potential. If someone asked you to explain Pearl Jam these are the songs you would pick.  Alive. Breath. Rearview Mirror. Corduroy. Given to Fly.  That’s really it. And now Waiting for Stevie. Twenty-six years after Given to Fly.  Should be impossible. But here we are.

     

    There is something of a frame story, but like Alive it’s important for what it evokes, rather than any narrative. It’s about a young girl, plagued by anxiety, self-doubt, uncertainty, who loses herself in music and in doing so finds herself. But really, it’s about legitimating your fears.  Sharing them. Understanding that even if you experience them alone, the experience of them is shared, and that you are not alone. You have value. You have worth. You have power and voice. And you will, in time, discover them. Just hold on.

     

    One of Eddie’s primary strengths, probably THE primary strength he has as a lyricist (and lyrics as the fusion of word and voice) is his ability to take simple declarative statements and invest them with the force of primal truths. They ring of prophecy, and at their best they feel powerful enough to reshape reality around them.  And Waiting for Stevie begins with what is both my favorite lyric on the album and its most important

     

    You can be loved by everyone, and not feel, not feel loved.

     

    This is not only a perfect encapsulation of the experience of adolescence, it’s NOT a feeling we outgrow. This stays with us, always. This kind of uncertainty is not an adolescent experience. It is a human one. It is then. It is now. It is eternal.

     

    The moment is followed with “you can be told by everyone, and not hear a word from above.”  The same doubt. The same imposter syndrome. The truths we are told that we cannot experience, that we cannot feel. And the powerlessness that follows. This is who we are. All of us.

     

    We look for fonts of meaning. To validate us. To empower us. To help us feel, for just those fleeting moments, like the people we wish we were. Could be. Are.  And in Waiting for Stevie, and Dark Matter, and Pearl Jam, we find this in their music.

     

    Swallowed up by the sound

    Cutting holes in the clouds

    Finds herself in the song

    Hears her own voice rising

     

    The imagery of music as something celestial, something that descends upon us, and in the process lifts us up.  “Finds herself in the song. Hears her own voice rising.”  It’s not just the empowerment in that moment. It’s the connection. It’s the ascendence she achieved for herself, through what she felt in the music, and the people who made it, and the ones who share her love of it. As each person lifts their own voice they carry others with them. It is a collective act of self-creation. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been to a Pearl Jam concert. You understand exactly what her experience is. It’s yours.

     

    Later,

     

    You can relate, but still can’t stop

    Or conquer the fear you are what you’re not.

     

    The self-defeating, cyclical fear that you are less than. That you are diminished. That best part of yourself is a lie, rather than the core of who you are.  And again, delivered with such iron clad conviction, soaring out into infinity, and sweeping up all of us along the way.  This is her song and story.  This is our song and story.

     

    Other lyrics explore similar dynamics.  The fear that you are less than your potential, your value, your worth. The need to love, to trust, to have something to give and to know that it will be received, and that it will matter. It’s Eddie’s most emotionally resonant lyric coupled with his most powerful performance in a long, long time.

     

    But everyone is incredible.  This only works because Jeff’s foundation is so stable, because Mike and Stone’s guitars are huge enough to carry the sentiment, because Matt has the strength to power it forward. Eddie’s voice can only soar because the band provides the lift.

     

    The song structure is unconventional. Almost entirely a hybrid bridge/chorus. There is a ghost of a bridge before Waiting for Stevie essentially resets for a second half that gets overtaken by a massive Mike McCready solo. It is a messy transition, and it takes a few seconds for the song to realign to what Mike is playing. But it works because it is so obviously swept up in that perfect moment. It is authentic. It is real. It poured out of him, not as an act of craft, but of necessity.  The emotional punctuation of an already overloaded emotional experience. And as this is happening Eddie’s mantra flows out and embeds itself underneath.

     

    You can be loved. You can be love.

     

    First, the assurance that you are not alone.  And second, that what you have to give is so much more than you know.

     

     

    Dark Matter feels like a live album, and Waiting for Stevie is a perfect distillation of what is transcendent about Pearl Jam’s live experience. It is the first time Pearl Jam has written a song that you could plausibly imagine replacing Alive to close in a set. It is everything. It is the first time you fist bumped during Alive’s solo. It is the first time you closed your eyes as Eddie sang the opening notes of Release. It is your first ‘it’s okay’ Daughter tag. Your first Betterman sing along. The first time you screamed ‘Hello’. The first time you heard Given to Fly accelerate. The first time you lost yourself in a Rearviewmirror jam. The first time you sang along during the climax of Black.  A lived experience. A shared experience. A perfect experience.

     

    The heart of Waiting for Stevie is the heart of Dark Matter, and the heart of Pearl Jam. The elemental reciprocity of love.

     

     

    Interlude

    There is a beautiful interlude that follows Waiting for Stevie. A badly needed moment to take a breath as Eddie sings “Be mighty. Be humble. Be mighty humble.” A reflection on the power and privilege and responsibility of having a voice and having the opportunity to share it.

     



  • Options
    foursymbolsfoursymbols Dublin Posts: 527
    This is an incredible song. I just wanted to share what I wrote about it here (the whole thing is at www.theskyiscrape.com or in a thread here.



    Waiting for Stevie Part I: the Experience

    The first time I really heard Waiting for Stevie I cried. I was overwhelmed. It felt like a miracle, a religious experience that cannot possibly be explained unless you felt it too, and in that case no explanation is really needed.  But I’ll try.

     

    Ten is the album that made Pearl Jam famous. It is the sound of Eddie Vedder. The true Eddie Vedder. The one spawned a million imitators, none of whom could come within a thousand miles of capturing the magic that was so uniquely his. It was an album full of songs that shouted from mountaintops, that stretched out into space, that felt not only powerful, but infinite. They were less songs than they were commandments, a message from the Gods carved into stone that contained within them the secrets of the universe. That was how it felt to fall in love, truly in love, with Pearl Jam in that era. To open yourself up, let them in, and then seal yourself around them so that you might always carry them with you.

     

    And then, almost immediately, it was over, the band making a self-conscious choice to not write songs like that. Eddie making a self-conscious choice not to sound like that. Although there were some lingering echoes on Vs., by Vitalogy they were gone. Never to return. A new Pearl Jam was born. And it was the band I would spend the rest of my life with, that I would love with all my heart, that would go on to make the music that soundtracked the rest of my life. With every album their sound changed. And with every album Eddie changed. And I changed with them. There were albums and songs I adored. Some even more than Ten. There were albums and songs that were exactly what I needed at that moment. There were albums and songs that unfolded over time, or that would be set aside to be picked up later, when I was finally ready to receive them.  But there has always been a part of me that felt cheated. I didn’t need every album to be Ten. I didn’t WANT every album to be Ten. But THAT version of the band, I wasn’t done with them. I wasn’t ready to be done with them. But it didn’t matter. They were gone. And they were never coming back.

     

    I had read the early reviews of Dark Matter. I heard that Waiting for Stevie called to mind that 1992 Ten/Singles era of the band.  But that was thirty-two years ago. The people who made that music were not the same. I was not the same. That alchemy of place and time and openness and need and moment was gone.

     

    And so, I was not ready for this song. For what it meant. For where it took me.  It was the fulfillment of a desperate promise I never knew was made. It was the exhalation of a breath I had been holding for thirty years.  

     

    The huge riff. The thick base. The drum roll.  And then Eddie releases that glorious opening lyric, and his voice lifts off into those heights only he can command. And I am somewhere other than here. It’s not that it was unexpected. It’s that it was impossible. This was a song I would never hear. This was a song that could not exist. And somehow, somehow, now it does.

     

    Waiting for Stevie does not sound like it belongs to Ten. It belongs to Dark Matter. It is still very much of this moment. But it captures, it evokes, it embodies everything that I felt back then and have been unconsciously chasing ever since.  What Pearl Jam was.  What Pearl Jam could be. What Pearl Jam is.  Somehow in that moment, I was simultaneously the person I am at forty-seven, having lived a life I would not change, and sixteen once again, with an entire future in front of me, a world where anything and everything is still possible. I have never felt anything like it and must assume I never will again. But there are echoes of memory I will cherish every time they drift into focus.  It was indescribable. What I wrote here is not enough.  It was just a song. But somehow it was everything.

     

    You either experienced this or you did not. If you did not, you cannot understand. If you did, you know.

     

    Waiting For Stevie Part II:  the song

    Pearl Jam has many, many, many incredible songs. But there is a small cohort I think of as mission statements.  These are not necessarily their best songs (though I think they are).  These are the songs that, within the span of their runtime, encapsulate the entirety of what Pearl Jam is. Not their sound, but their purpose, their essence, their transformative potential. If someone asked you to explain Pearl Jam these are the songs you would pick.  Alive. Breath. Rearview Mirror. Corduroy. Given to Fly.  That’s really it. And now Waiting for Stevie. Twenty-six years after Given to Fly.  Should be impossible. But here we are.

     

    There is something of a frame story, but like Alive it’s important for what it evokes, rather than any narrative. It’s about a young girl, plagued by anxiety, self-doubt, uncertainty, who loses herself in music and in doing so finds herself. But really, it’s about legitimating your fears.  Sharing them. Understanding that even if you experience them alone, the experience of them is shared, and that you are not alone. You have value. You have worth. You have power and voice. And you will, in time, discover them. Just hold on.

     

    One of Eddie’s primary strengths, probably THE primary strength he has as a lyricist (and lyrics as the fusion of word and voice) is his ability to take simple declarative statements and invest them with the force of primal truths. They ring of prophecy, and at their best they feel powerful enough to reshape reality around them.  And Waiting for Stevie begins with what is both my favorite lyric on the album and its most important

     

    You can be loved by everyone, and not feel, not feel loved.

     

    This is not only a perfect encapsulation of the experience of adolescence, it’s NOT a feeling we outgrow. This stays with us, always. This kind of uncertainty is not an adolescent experience. It is a human one. It is then. It is now. It is eternal.

     

    The moment is followed with “you can be told by everyone, and not hear a word from above.”  The same doubt. The same imposter syndrome. The truths we are told that we cannot experience, that we cannot feel. And the powerlessness that follows. This is who we are. All of us.

     

    We look for fonts of meaning. To validate us. To empower us. To help us feel, for just those fleeting moments, like the people we wish we were. Could be. Are.  And in Waiting for Stevie, and Dark Matter, and Pearl Jam, we find this in their music.

     

    Swallowed up by the sound

    Cutting holes in the clouds

    Finds herself in the song

    Hears her own voice rising

     

    The imagery of music as something celestial, something that descends upon us, and in the process lifts us up.  “Finds herself in the song. Hears her own voice rising.”  It’s not just the empowerment in that moment. It’s the connection. It’s the ascendence she achieved for herself, through what she felt in the music, and the people who made it, and the ones who share her love of it. As each person lifts their own voice they carry others with them. It is a collective act of self-creation. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been to a Pearl Jam concert. You understand exactly what her experience is. It’s yours.

     

    Later,

     

    You can relate, but still can’t stop

    Or conquer the fear you are what you’re not.

     

    The self-defeating, cyclical fear that you are less than. That you are diminished. That best part of yourself is a lie, rather than the core of who you are.  And again, delivered with such iron clad conviction, soaring out into infinity, and sweeping up all of us along the way.  This is her song and story.  This is our song and story.

     

    Other lyrics explore similar dynamics.  The fear that you are less than your potential, your value, your worth. The need to love, to trust, to have something to give and to know that it will be received, and that it will matter. It’s Eddie’s most emotionally resonant lyric coupled with his most powerful performance in a long, long time.

     

    But everyone is incredible.  This only works because Jeff’s foundation is so stable, because Mike and Stone’s guitars are huge enough to carry the sentiment, because Matt has the strength to power it forward. Eddie’s voice can only soar because the band provides the lift.

     

    The song structure is unconventional. Almost entirely a hybrid bridge/chorus. There is a ghost of a bridge before Waiting for Stevie essentially resets for a second half that gets overtaken by a massive Mike McCready solo. It is a messy transition, and it takes a few seconds for the song to realign to what Mike is playing. But it works because it is so obviously swept up in that perfect moment. It is authentic. It is real. It poured out of him, not as an act of craft, but of necessity.  The emotional punctuation of an already overloaded emotional experience. And as this is happening Eddie’s mantra flows out and embeds itself underneath.

     

    You can be loved. You can be love.

     

    First, the assurance that you are not alone.  And second, that what you have to give is so much more than you know.

     

     

    Dark Matter feels like a live album, and Waiting for Stevie is a perfect distillation of what is transcendent about Pearl Jam’s live experience. It is the first time Pearl Jam has written a song that you could plausibly imagine replacing Alive to close in a set. It is everything. It is the first time you fist bumped during Alive’s solo. It is the first time you closed your eyes as Eddie sang the opening notes of Release. It is your first ‘it’s okay’ Daughter tag. Your first Betterman sing along. The first time you screamed ‘Hello’. The first time you heard Given to Fly accelerate. The first time you lost yourself in a Rearviewmirror jam. The first time you sang along during the climax of Black.  A lived experience. A shared experience. A perfect experience.

     

    The heart of Waiting for Stevie is the heart of Dark Matter, and the heart of Pearl Jam. The elemental reciprocity of love.

     

     

    Interlude

    There is a beautiful interlude that follows Waiting for Stevie. A badly needed moment to take a breath as Eddie sings “Be mighty. Be humble. Be mighty humble.” A reflection on the power and privilege and responsibility of having a voice and having the opportunity to share it.

     



    Right on this is so good thank you for sharing it here  
    'It's a sad and beautiful world' - Mark Linkous
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    CornishManCornishMan Cornwall, UK Posts: 444
    Amazing song…. And I love the little interlude at the end after the epic solo, which allows that moment to breathe before the fast and furious Running kicks in. I think they nailed the song order on this album. The whole thing flows so well to my ears. 
    London #1 2000, Reading 2006, London 2007, London 2009, London 2010, Manchester #1 2012, Manchester #2 2012, Manchester 2012 (EV), Milton Keynes 2014, London #2 2017 (EV), London #1 2018, London #2 2018, London #1 2022, London #2 2022.
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    slightofjeffslightofjeff Posts: 7,759
    This is an incredible song. I just wanted to share what I wrote about it here (the whole thing is at www.theskyiscrape.com or in a thread here.



    Waiting for Stevie Part I: the Experience

    The first time I really heard Waiting for Stevie I cried. I was overwhelmed. It felt like a miracle, a religious experience that cannot possibly be explained unless you felt it too, and in that case no explanation is really needed.  But I’ll try.

     

    Ten is the album that made Pearl Jam famous. It is the sound of Eddie Vedder. The true Eddie Vedder. The one spawned a million imitators, none of whom could come within a thousand miles of capturing the magic that was so uniquely his. It was an album full of songs that shouted from mountaintops, that stretched out into space, that felt not only powerful, but infinite. They were less songs than they were commandments, a message from the Gods carved into stone that contained within them the secrets of the universe. That was how it felt to fall in love, truly in love, with Pearl Jam in that era. To open yourself up, let them in, and then seal yourself around them so that you might always carry them with you.

     

    And then, almost immediately, it was over, the band making a self-conscious choice to not write songs like that. Eddie making a self-conscious choice not to sound like that. Although there were some lingering echoes on Vs., by Vitalogy they were gone. Never to return. A new Pearl Jam was born. And it was the band I would spend the rest of my life with, that I would love with all my heart, that would go on to make the music that soundtracked the rest of my life. With every album their sound changed. And with every album Eddie changed. And I changed with them. There were albums and songs I adored. Some even more than Ten. There were albums and songs that were exactly what I needed at that moment. There were albums and songs that unfolded over time, or that would be set aside to be picked up later, when I was finally ready to receive them.  But there has always been a part of me that felt cheated. I didn’t need every album to be Ten. I didn’t WANT every album to be Ten. But THAT version of the band, I wasn’t done with them. I wasn’t ready to be done with them. But it didn’t matter. They were gone. And they were never coming back.

     

    I had read the early reviews of Dark Matter. I heard that Waiting for Stevie called to mind that 1992 Ten/Singles era of the band.  But that was thirty-two years ago. The people who made that music were not the same. I was not the same. That alchemy of place and time and openness and need and moment was gone.

     

    And so, I was not ready for this song. For what it meant. For where it took me.  It was the fulfillment of a desperate promise I never knew was made. It was the exhalation of a breath I had been holding for thirty years.  

     

    The huge riff. The thick base. The drum roll.  And then Eddie releases that glorious opening lyric, and his voice lifts off into those heights only he can command. And I am somewhere other than here. It’s not that it was unexpected. It’s that it was impossible. This was a song I would never hear. This was a song that could not exist. And somehow, somehow, now it does.

     

    Waiting for Stevie does not sound like it belongs to Ten. It belongs to Dark Matter. It is still very much of this moment. But it captures, it evokes, it embodies everything that I felt back then and have been unconsciously chasing ever since.  What Pearl Jam was.  What Pearl Jam could be. What Pearl Jam is.  Somehow in that moment, I was simultaneously the person I am at forty-seven, having lived a life I would not change, and sixteen once again, with an entire future in front of me, a world where anything and everything is still possible. I have never felt anything like it and must assume I never will again. But there are echoes of memory I will cherish every time they drift into focus.  It was indescribable. What I wrote here is not enough.  It was just a song. But somehow it was everything.

     

    You either experienced this or you did not. If you did not, you cannot understand. If you did, you know.

     

    Waiting For Stevie Part II:  the song

    Pearl Jam has many, many, many incredible songs. But there is a small cohort I think of as mission statements.  These are not necessarily their best songs (though I think they are).  These are the songs that, within the span of their runtime, encapsulate the entirety of what Pearl Jam is. Not their sound, but their purpose, their essence, their transformative potential. If someone asked you to explain Pearl Jam these are the songs you would pick.  Alive. Breath. Rearview Mirror. Corduroy. Given to Fly.  That’s really it. And now Waiting for Stevie. Twenty-six years after Given to Fly.  Should be impossible. But here we are.

     

    There is something of a frame story, but like Alive it’s important for what it evokes, rather than any narrative. It’s about a young girl, plagued by anxiety, self-doubt, uncertainty, who loses herself in music and in doing so finds herself. But really, it’s about legitimating your fears.  Sharing them. Understanding that even if you experience them alone, the experience of them is shared, and that you are not alone. You have value. You have worth. You have power and voice. And you will, in time, discover them. Just hold on.

     

    One of Eddie’s primary strengths, probably THE primary strength he has as a lyricist (and lyrics as the fusion of word and voice) is his ability to take simple declarative statements and invest them with the force of primal truths. They ring of prophecy, and at their best they feel powerful enough to reshape reality around them.  And Waiting for Stevie begins with what is both my favorite lyric on the album and its most important

     

    You can be loved by everyone, and not feel, not feel loved.

     

    This is not only a perfect encapsulation of the experience of adolescence, it’s NOT a feeling we outgrow. This stays with us, always. This kind of uncertainty is not an adolescent experience. It is a human one. It is then. It is now. It is eternal.

     

    The moment is followed with “you can be told by everyone, and not hear a word from above.”  The same doubt. The same imposter syndrome. The truths we are told that we cannot experience, that we cannot feel. And the powerlessness that follows. This is who we are. All of us.

     

    We look for fonts of meaning. To validate us. To empower us. To help us feel, for just those fleeting moments, like the people we wish we were. Could be. Are.  And in Waiting for Stevie, and Dark Matter, and Pearl Jam, we find this in their music.

     

    Swallowed up by the sound

    Cutting holes in the clouds

    Finds herself in the song

    Hears her own voice rising

     

    The imagery of music as something celestial, something that descends upon us, and in the process lifts us up.  “Finds herself in the song. Hears her own voice rising.”  It’s not just the empowerment in that moment. It’s the connection. It’s the ascendence she achieved for herself, through what she felt in the music, and the people who made it, and the ones who share her love of it. As each person lifts their own voice they carry others with them. It is a collective act of self-creation. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been to a Pearl Jam concert. You understand exactly what her experience is. It’s yours.

     

    Later,

     

    You can relate, but still can’t stop

    Or conquer the fear you are what you’re not.

     

    The self-defeating, cyclical fear that you are less than. That you are diminished. That best part of yourself is a lie, rather than the core of who you are.  And again, delivered with such iron clad conviction, soaring out into infinity, and sweeping up all of us along the way.  This is her song and story.  This is our song and story.

     

    Other lyrics explore similar dynamics.  The fear that you are less than your potential, your value, your worth. The need to love, to trust, to have something to give and to know that it will be received, and that it will matter. It’s Eddie’s most emotionally resonant lyric coupled with his most powerful performance in a long, long time.

     

    But everyone is incredible.  This only works because Jeff’s foundation is so stable, because Mike and Stone’s guitars are huge enough to carry the sentiment, because Matt has the strength to power it forward. Eddie’s voice can only soar because the band provides the lift.

     

    The song structure is unconventional. Almost entirely a hybrid bridge/chorus. There is a ghost of a bridge before Waiting for Stevie essentially resets for a second half that gets overtaken by a massive Mike McCready solo. It is a messy transition, and it takes a few seconds for the song to realign to what Mike is playing. But it works because it is so obviously swept up in that perfect moment. It is authentic. It is real. It poured out of him, not as an act of craft, but of necessity.  The emotional punctuation of an already overloaded emotional experience. And as this is happening Eddie’s mantra flows out and embeds itself underneath.

     

    You can be loved. You can be love.

     

    First, the assurance that you are not alone.  And second, that what you have to give is so much more than you know.

     

     

    Dark Matter feels like a live album, and Waiting for Stevie is a perfect distillation of what is transcendent about Pearl Jam’s live experience. It is the first time Pearl Jam has written a song that you could plausibly imagine replacing Alive to close in a set. It is everything. It is the first time you fist bumped during Alive’s solo. It is the first time you closed your eyes as Eddie sang the opening notes of Release. It is your first ‘it’s okay’ Daughter tag. Your first Betterman sing along. The first time you screamed ‘Hello’. The first time you heard Given to Fly accelerate. The first time you lost yourself in a Rearviewmirror jam. The first time you sang along during the climax of Black.  A lived experience. A shared experience. A perfect experience.

     

    The heart of Waiting for Stevie is the heart of Dark Matter, and the heart of Pearl Jam. The elemental reciprocity of love.

     

     

    Interlude

    There is a beautiful interlude that follows Waiting for Stevie. A badly needed moment to take a breath as Eddie sings “Be mighty. Be humble. Be mighty humble.” A reflection on the power and privilege and responsibility of having a voice and having the opportunity to share it.

     



    Jesus. Thank you for this. I got goosebumps just reading it in black and white. Now do the other 10 songs please! :)
    everybody wants the most they can possibly get
    for the least they could possibly do
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    thanks - the wholw thing is in the tsis dark matter review thread a few threads away
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    aurynsdadaurynsdad Posts: 847
    He did do the other 10 songs! You'll have to go over to RM though. It's a scary place sometimes, but lately it's mostly celebration.
    10/31/93 Berkeley (Baba!) • 10/1/94 Bridge School • 9/16/96 Seattle (In My Tree!) • 10/19/96 & 10/20/96 B. School (Alt Corduroy & Alt Porch!) • 10/25/03 B. School • 6/1/03 Mtnview (Crazy Mary! You Are!) • 11/29/13 Portland (All Those Yesterdays! Even Flow!) • 10/25/14 Bridge School (Rain! Fuckin Up! TOTD!) • 5/13/22 Oakland (had to leave early, but W.M.A.! Immortality!) • 5/13/24 Sacramento (Light Years! Picture in a Frame!)
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    Berlin2000Berlin2000 NYC Posts: 120
     


    Jesus. Thank you for this. I got goosebumps just reading it in black and white. Now do the other 10 songs please! :)
    I second that request! 
    PJ: 2000-6-25: Berlin, GER | 2005-3-18: Seattle, WA | 2006-6-30: Milwaukee, WI | 2009-8-24: Chicago, IL | 2012-7-5: Berlin, GER | 2013-7-19: Chicago, IL | 2014-10-17: Moline, IL | 2014-10-20: Milwaukee, WI | 2016-8-20: Chicago 1, IL | 2016-8-22: Chicago 2, IL | 2018-8-18: Chicago N1 |  2018-8-20: Chicago 2, IL | 2021-9-18: Asbury Park, NJ | 2022-9-11: MSG, NY | 2023-9-5: Chicago, IL |
    EV: 2017-9-2: Dana Point, CA | 2022-2-3: NYC 1, NY | 2022-2-4: NYC 2, NY
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    bicyclejoebicyclejoe USA Posts: 1,177
    I'm really hearing echoes of The Cult and Screaming Trees in the guitar work.
    My Pearl Jam Road: 10/22/90 Seattle | 12/22/90 Seattle, Moore Theater | 9/29/92 Seattle, Magnusson Park, Drop in the Park | 9/5/93 The Gorge, with Neil Young and Blind Melon | 7/20/06 Portland, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with Sleater-Kinney | 7/22/06 The Gorge, 10/21/06 Mountain View, Shoreline Ampitheatre, Bridge School Benefit | 9/21/09 Seattle | 9/22/09 Seattle | 9/26/09 Portland, OR | 7/14/2011 Eddie Vedder, Portland, OR | 11/29/13 Portland, OR
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    lastexitlondonlastexitlondon Posts: 12,188
    mcgruff10 said:
    Just heard Cornell s voice for the first time in this. Took a few listens to get it.    Holy shit.  
    Where?
    brixton 93
    astoria 06
    albany 06
    hartford 06
    reading 06
    barcelona 06
    paris 06
    wembley 07
    dusseldorf 07
    nijmegen 07

    this song is meant to be called i got shit,itshould be called i got shit tickets-hartford 06 -
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    Jesus. Thank you for this. I got goosebumps just reading it in black and white. Now do the other 10 songs please! :)
    I second that request! 



    you can find it here as well if you dont want to visit TSIS?



    https://community.pearljam.com/discussion/302051/tsis-review-dark-matter#latest
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