By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Amelie Arena, Tampa-April 11, 2016–Pearl Jam North American Tour-2016
When I heard Pearl Jam was coming to Tampa, I was elated. I had been to Eddie Vedder’s solo act a couple of years ago at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, and it was a “religious experience”. He sang solo hits, some Pearl Jam songs, and of course, brought out the ukulele. Even Sean Penn made a guest appearance that evening since he apparently was on his way down to Haiti to do some relief work.
Well, tickets in Tampa were sold out within a day. Everybody and their brother was thrilled to be seeing Pearl Jam in all their glory.
The evening of the concert, there were a lot of happy Generation X’ers at the Amelie Arena waiting for their favorite band. Many had kids in tow as new generations were obviously being weaned on this great music. People were clearly excited and bopping around as R.E.M.’s “It Happened Today” played in the background. The excitement in the air was captivating as I turned my head around to see every seat filled to the top of the arena.
Standing in the photo pit, I was able to chat with quite a few folks who were carrying hand-made posters of Eddie Vedder, some noting causes and charities. It is a well-known fact that Vedder supports philanthropic causes and is not afraid to voice his opinion about the state of the world. He was instrumental in helping release the wrongfully accused and incarcerated “Memphis Three”—Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin. Vedder has a heart and wears it on his sleeve.
During the wait time, I could see Vedder’s beautiful wife Jill McCormick, daughters, and possibly friends mulling behind part of the stage. I remember they hung out at the side of the stage during his Clearwater performance. It really warms my heart when I see rock and roll as a “family affair” and respected their privacy by not taking photos.
The concert began around 8:30 p.m. when the band members—Mike McCready, Jeff Ament, Matt Cameron, Eddie Vedder, and Stone Gossard. Vedder wore his usual t-shirt and flannel shirt and the other members were all casually dressed. The first three songs included “Why Go”, “Mind Your Manners” and “Animal”. More hits continued until the “Love Boat Theme” was played and Vedder spoke to the audience, noting there were a lot of friends and family in attendance. He dedicated the next song “Low Light” to friends who trekked in from Cocoa Beach.
During the evening Vedder dedicated a lot of songs to various people. For example, “Hard to Imagine” (to a gentleman named Bill who is a brain cancer survivor…and for his wife and daughter); “Evenflow” (“this one is for the father’s—don’t get excited—this is about the shitty ones…”); and “My Father’s Song (“you learn something for the shitty ones…This is for the daughters of the shitty fathers’).
During “breaks” Vedder told stories about his youth when he worked as a security guard in San Diego and occasionally was able to take a Ferrari or Lamborghini from the hotel valet for a spin. He described the feeling as powerful but nothing in comparison to the feeling good and “being driven by Matt Cameron playing drums.” He then dedicated the next song “In The Moonlight” to all that enjoy surfing at midnight.
At one point Vedder spotted a paper mache cow sculpture in the audience that somebody was carrying. I had seen it while hanging in the photo pit and was about to take a photo when it disappeared. Vedder asked to borrow the sculpture which resembled the one that sat on Stone Gossard’s amps for the first two years the band toured. He then placed the sculpture on the amp for the song.
The concert then ended briefly for the first encore which started with “Pendulum” after Vedder explained his experience with painful losses lately and that everyone “goes through that—it is part of living.” Since the Amelie Arena is the home of the Tampa Bay Lighting hockey team, Vedder noted his favorite teams are the Red Wings, Black Hawks, and Bruins but he “never named an album after them.” The arena’s Tesla Coil fired up and he introduced the song “Lightning Bolt”.
After the second encore Vedder talked about the late Iraq war veteran Tomas Young the film Body of War, and how the VA has let the veterans down. He noted that proceeds from the evening’s performance would be donated to the Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch.
The final songs of the encore included “Imagine”, “Wasted”, “Life Wasted”, “Betterman/Save It For Later”, “Sonic Reducer”, “Alive”, “Baba O’Riley”, and finally “Little Wing”. For 2 ½ hours fans were treated to 32 solid songs– and a memorable and heartwarming performance.
- Why Go
- Mind Your Manners
- Got Some
- Love Boat Captain (with jam intro)
- Low Light
- Red Mosquito
- Hard To Imagine
- My Father’s Son
- Daughter/Another Brick In The Wall-Part 2-(Waters)
- In The Moonlight
- Do The Evolution
19. Off He Goes
20. Come Back
21. Lightning Bolt
24. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
26. Wasted Reprise
27. Life Wasted
28. Betterman/Save It For Later-(Charley, Cox, Morton, Steele, Wakeling)
29. Sonic Reducer-(Bators, Blitz, Chrome, Magnum, Thomas, Zero)
31. Baba O’Riley-(Townshend)
32. Little Wing-(Hendrix)
“Blood” and the little cow
A little guitar smashing!
“Baba O’ Riley”
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