Review: Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden 5/1/16 & 5/2/16


photo by Lisa Schreiner

by Lisa Schreiner

While sitting here putting together a review of the Pearl Jam shows at Madison Square Garden this past Sunday and Monday, I came across a Facebook post from a fan that can sum up every Pearl Jam concert and what it’s like to be a fan. Larry Kaiser is a 16-year 10 Club veteran (10 Club is Pearl Jam’s infamous fan club) and Monday night’s show was his 29th Pearl Jam experience:


photo by Lisa Schreiner


“Another amazing Pearl Jam concert. It’s hard to explain to some people why I enjoy their music so much, but it just speaks to me and has done so for a long time.

To quote the movie Almost Famous, ‘They don’t even know what it is to be a fan. Y’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.’

I’ve taken several people to their first show to experience it and I am extremely happy that Robyn understands my fandom and has herself become a fan. It makes me happy.

Thanks to Pearl Jam for some great sets and for being such an awesome band.”


Pearl Jam shows are something to experience whether you’ve only listened to “Jeremy” or you have their entire catalogue on constant shuffle on your iPod.  There is a reason why both shows sold out in the matter of minutes and why every single person who purchased a ticket, showed up.  The band is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, though you’d never guess they have been doing this for a quarter of a century.  Eddie Vedder (singer), Stone Gossard (guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), Mike McCready (lead guitar), Matt Cameron (drums) and Boom Gaspar (keyboards) perform with unwavering energy, leaving everything on the stage at the end of the night.  Ed might toss a mic at you, so be ready to sing (as he did to a fan named Kenneth at Sunday night’s show), and he also may share his wine, so cleanse that palette.  McCready may go into the crowd during one of his awe-inspiring solos, but you’ll still have difficulty trying to fathom how he makes the guitar sound like it does; even when he’s playing right in front of your face.  Though they are one of the biggest rock n’ roll bands in the world, Pearl Jam has an intimate feeling about them.  When you go to a Pearl Jam show, it’s a family reunion.


photo by Pete Griesbach

photo by Pete Griesbach



Complete setlist – May 1st, 2016:

  1. Go
  2. Mind Your Manners
  3. Corduroy
  4. Hail, Hail
  5. Given To Fly
  6. Low Light
  7. Release
  8. Evenflow
  9. I Got ID
  10. In Hiding
  11. Rats
  12. Down
  13. Dangerous Business (Paul Williams cover, for the movie Ishtar)
  14. Wishlist
  15. Jeremy
  16. Do The Evolution
  17. Why Go
  18. Lukin
  19. Rearview Mirror
  20. The End
  21. Future Days
  22. Off He Goes
  23. Footsteps
  24. Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns (Mother Love Bone cover)
  25. Unthought Known
  26. Takin’ It To The Streets (Doobie Brothers cover)
  27. Whipping
  28. Betterman
  29. Porch
  30. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
  31. Lightning Bolt
  32. Alive
  33. Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young cover)
  34. Indifference

Complete setlist – May 2nd, 2016:

  1. Corduroy
  2. Mind Your Manners
  3. Once
  4. Animal
  5. Given to Fly
  6. Surrender (Cheap Trick cover, members of Cheap Trick join Pearl Jam on stage)
  7. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
  8. Nothingman
  9. Leatherman
  10. Betterman
  11. Garden
  12. Evenflow
  13. Sirens
  14. Deep
  15. Jeremy
  16. Leash
  17. Do the Evolution
  18. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (Beatles cover)
  19. All or None
  20. Pendulum
  21. Present Tense
  22. Breath
  23. State of Love and Trust
  24. Porch
  25. Last Kiss (Wayne Cochran cover)
  26. Driven to Tears (The Police cover, Sting joins Pearl Jam on stage)
  27. Lightning Bolt
  28. Sonic Reducer
  29. Alive
  30. Baba O’Riley (The Who cover)
  31. Yellow Ledbetter



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