TVD Live Shots: Pearl Jam with Pluralone at the Oakland Arena, 5/12

OAKLAND, CA | Two years in the making, Pearl Jam’s “Gigaton” tour finally made it to Oakland, and it was undoubtedly worth the wait. Pearl Jam fans are known for their supreme dedication, showing up early and sticking it out to the end, and those who did so were treated to a couple of solo cover tunes by Eddie Vedder before his introduction of Josh Klinghoffer (aka Pluralone) as the opening act which had Stone Gossard joining in on the fun.

The room lit up when the band took the stage a smidge ahead of 9PM and busted right into Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” followed quickly by “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” which had the crowd singing right along. Hearing an arena sing “I just want to scream hello,” with that little extra oomph on “hello,” was magical at that scale. It was at this point that Eddie answered the question that was in pretty much everyone’s mind—where the heck was Matt Cameron? Sidelined by COVID, the band decided to go forward with the show tapping Josh Klinghoffer and Richard Stuverud as fill-ins.

With the band-audience mind meld complete, Pearl Jam kicked things into high gear. “Why Go” had people losing their minds while Eddie went off, jumping from the drum riser, generally rocking the hell out and proving once again just why Pearl Jam continues to sell out arenas for over 30 years.

The band set a measured tone, clearly pacing themselves for what would prove to be an epic 2 ½ hour set. Between songs Eddie regaled the room with stories about the band and went off on tangents based on guests in the house (Angels manager Joe Maddon) and signs held by the crowd (the pro-choice banner got a tambourine). Mid-set Eddie even mused out loud about having online drum auditions for a fan to play a song with them the following night. Enter Josh Arroyo—getting Eddie’s attention with the help of some friends in the 100s section, he was invited backstage to get tested (more on Josh later).

In spite of the tour technically being in support of 2020’s Gigaton album, the setlist drew heavily from the old classics off of Ten, Vs., and Vitology much to both the crowd and the band’s delight. Mike McCready was absolutely on fire this night—jumping, shredding, and dumping handfuls of guitar picks on the front row. Pearl Jam has been completely mixing up the setlist every night and tonight’s had to have topped the list with the fans, made all that more impressive with the last minute drummers.

Back to Josh Arroyo who was about to have the best day of his life, apparently having passed his COVID test and audition he joined the band on stage for the final song of their encore, “Yellow Ledbetter.” The rest of the band (including Josh) walked off stage as the arena held onto McCready’s final notes before invited Josh back up for final a bow. This is what keeps Pearl Jam fans coming back night after night.


PRE=SET (Eddie solo)
The Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young cover)
I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty cover)

Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young cover)
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
Why Go
Quick Escape
Superblood Wolfmoon
Even Flow
Given to Fly
Do the Evolution
Not for You
Seven O’Clock

You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away (The Beatles cover)
Better Man
Animal (Tour debut)
Baba O’Riley (The Who cover)
Yellow Ledbetter (with a fan on drums)

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