Everyday I have been going through my CD collection whilst working from home for the lockdown and have been reconnecting with a lot of music I haven’t listened to in a while.
Today Pearl Jam were the soundtrack. Going through my collection I pulled out Vitalogy, No Code, Yield, Binaural and Avacado to listen to but I came across a real gem in my collection in the form of a tape.
This tape is a recording of Pearl Jam’s legendary show at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia on the 3/4/94. I have incorrectly put it down as 4/4/94 on my tape copy.
I was a big Pearl Jam fan at the time and during the 90s I never got a chance to see them as it was just impossible to get tickets. I managed to miss quite a few shows until I got a ticket for Dublin in the summer of 2006. Sadly the gig clashed with my impending stag weekend in Barcelona so I had to give it up. It wouldn’t be until 2009 that I finally tick the band of the bucket list.
Anyway, back to 1994. Pearl Jam were on the road and were currently touring their second album, Vs. New songs from the next album, Vitalogy were premiered including Last Exit, Spin the Black Circle, Not For You, Tremor Christ, Nothingman, Whipping, Corduroy, Satan’s Bed, Better Man and Immortality on this tour.
This was a close as I was going to get experiencing Pearl Jam live but in my own house! Radio 1 done the live broadcast in the UK and because of time difference the gig would be in the middle of the night GMT. If memory serves me correctly, I think I was still up at 3am taping this. The gig was also broadcast on radio in America and several other countries.
In order to get the whole gig on tape, I used a couple of tapes to record the show and when I had them all the gig would split over three sides of cassette tape. I filled the blank side of the tape of their MTV Unplugged performance. I cannot remember how I got that recording.
The excitement to the gig was building and I was looking forward to sitting up, listening to the gig and taping it. I really wanted to be there! I literally had goosebumps listening to this.
The band opened up with Release from their debut album, Ten. This tour was promoting the second album, VS and with the third album, Vitalogy was in the works, we got new songs like Whipping, Better Man and Satan’s Bed aired that evening.
The band were in fine form that evening and each song was played with fury and passion. Pearl Jam at the time were involved with bitter dispute with Ticketmaster and you could definitely tell this was a band that had a point to make.
Mixing songs from Ten and Vs throughout the set, when we came to Daughter, Eddie Vedder added some lines from Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall Part 2. The tag at end of song would be a staple of all Pearl Jam live shows.
Side two of my tape continues the concert with Daughter from Vs. We get two more tracks from Vs and come back to a section from Ten – Garden, Black and Alive. Inbetween those songs, State of Love and Trust from the Singles movie was played. That is my favourite Pearl Jam song.
Leading up to the encore the band unleash a frenzied Blood that included snippets of Not For You from the forthcoming Vitalogy album.
At the first encore you can hear the crowd baying for more and the band come back on stage with W.M.A. from Vs played alongside with King’s X members Doug Pinnick and Jerry Gaskill. New song Better Man which is a live favourite was next.
The band closed with a blistering version of Once and it is at this point the Radio 1 broadcast ends when that song finished. There was another two encores that sadly we didn’t get in the UK. I have included the set list at the end.
As well as being broadcast on the radio,it was released as single, Dissident which featured six songs from the gig.
Four days after the gig, Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain was found dead at his home on 8/4/94.
From the joy of hearing Pearl Jam live for the first time on the radio to the sadness of Kurt Cobain’s passing. The music lives on.
Pearl Jam set list Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA, USA April 3, 1994
Release, Rearviewmirror, Whipping, Even Flow, Dissent, Why Go, Deep, Jeremy, Glorified G, Daughter/Another Brick in the Wall part 2 tag, Go, Animal, Garden, State of Love and Trust, Black, Alive, Blood/Not For You tag.
Encore: W.M.A. with Doug Pinnick and Jerry Gaskill, Better Man, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter in a Small Town, Rats, Satan’s Bed, Once.
Encore 2 and 3 not broadcast on Radio 1. Sonic Reducer (Dead Boys cover), Porch/Androgynous Mind tag, Indifference.