There’s something special about concerts at Wrigley Field. The bands and the fans always seem extra juiced. There’s a little extra sweat left on the stage and a few more tears shed throughout the ballpark. And one thing is for sure—no one ever wants the show to end in the Friendly Confines.
Multiply all of this by 10 and you have Pearl Jam’s sold out Wrigley shows (“Let’s play two!”) on August 20th and 22nd—their first shows back in Chicago since their epic 2013 run at, you guessed it—Wrigley Field. This is not by mistake. Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder is a diehard Cubs fan (I mean, he even wrote a song about it!) and when he hits the stage (in his Murphy’s Bleachers shirt) in that sacred and historic stadium, he hits it hard.
It was clear from the start that Seattle’s finest were not messing around. The setlists from each night consisted of the stuff PJ dreams are made of—including a slew of phenomenal covers (my personal favorite being Pink Floyd’s “Confortably Numb”). There were guest appearances—former Bull, Dennis Rodman on the 22nd and all-around incredible human being, former safety for the New Orleans Saints, Steve Gleason on the 20th. (Side note: do yourself a favor and see his documentary Gleason, about his battle with ALS. It’s tremendous.)
There were endless merch lines (and bathroom lines—at least for the men). There was a proposal on stage and a salute to The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie. But mainly there was Eddie, Mike, Jeff, Matt, Stone, and Boom.
Lead guitarist Mike McCready continues to be particularly spectacular to watch. He jumped and kicked all the while making his incredible playing look effortless, even when his guitar was behind his back. Eddie sounds better than ever and was charismatic as ever chatting with the crowd in between songs. It was an extra special few days at Wrigley—and the first-place Cubs weren’t even in town! Chicago, we’re spoiled.
Rain (The Beatles cover)
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
Do the Evolution
Amongst the Waves
Light Years (Dedicated to Gord Downie from The Tragically Hip)
I Got Id
Mind Your Manners
Masters of War (Bob Dylan cover)
I Am a Patriot (Little Steven cover) (Fast version)
Daughter (with “W.M.A” tag)
Better Man (with “Save it for Later” tag)
I Believe in Miracles (Ramones cover) (acoustic version)
Let Me Sleep
Inside Job (with Steve Gleason on stage)
Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd cover)
Interstellar Overdrive (Pink Floyd cover)
Surrender (Cheap Trick cover)
All the Way (Eddie Vedder song)
Baba O’Riley (The Who cover) (Timi DiJulio on guitar)