Pearl Jam Borrows Grateful Dead Stage At Legendary Soldier Field Gig In 1995
Watch what is widely regarded as one of Pearl Jam’s greatest shows.
By Nate Todd Dec 23, 2022 • 10:42 am PST
Today marks Eddie Vedder’s 58th birthday. The legendary singer-songwriter was born Edward Louis Severson III on December 23, 1964 in Evanston, Illinois near Chicago. A little more than 30 years later on July 11, 1995, Ed returned to The Windy City’s Solider Field as the frontman of one of the greatest live bands in the world, Pearl Jam. PJ just so happened to follow another legendary live group, the Grateful Dead, and would borrow the band’s stage for their performance.
Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, the Grateful Dead’s concert on July 9, 1995 at Solider Field would be their last as Jerry Garcia died a month later on August 9, 1995. But there must have been some kind of lingering magic on that stage as PJ’s show a few days after The Dead is widely regarded as one of their best. Consequence ranked it as the best Pearl Jam show of all time.
Lingering magic aside, the fact that Pearl Jam was playing on the Grateful Dead’s stage had a tangible effect on the concert. PJ opened with “Release,” the closer on their 1991 debut album Ten, followed by “Go” off their 1993 sophomore LP Vs. The band then got into material from their current record at the time, Vitalogy , with “Last Exit,” “Spin The Black Circle,” “Tremor Christ” and “Corduroy.” Following a crunchy jam on the latter, Eddie Vedder addressed the audience.
“I don’t think we should play another note until we thank the Grateful Dead for letting us use their stage. They left it for us,” Vedder said. “There were still joints left on it from Saturday,” he continued. “So we think it’s only right that we play as long as they do. We’re just gonna play a bunch of songs for ya. Keep playing. Have a good night out there alright,” Ed concluded before the band launched into Vitalogy’s “Whipping.”
Pearl Jam would make good on that promise to “play a bunch of songs.” As Consequence pointed out, the grunge pioneers played nearly every recorded song they had at that point including now iconic numbers like “Even Flow,” “Jeremy,” “Daughter” (which saw the band putting together a cover medley), “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” and “Alive.” They also offered a pair of tunes, “Habit” and “Lukin,” from the yet-to-be-released 1996 album, No Code. Pearl Jam wrapped the 23-song set with “Porch.”
PJ returned with Vitalogy producer Brendan O’Brien in tow to perform two choice covers in Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People” and Pete Townshend’s “Let My Love Open The Door.” The six-song first encore also included “Better Man,” “Rearviewmirror,” “Black” and “Blood.” Pearl Jam sealed the stellar show with a second encore of the classic “Yellow Ledbetter.”
To celebrate Eddie Vedder’s birthday today, watch Pearl Jam’s complete concert from Soldier Field on July 11, 1995 below for this edition of Full Show Friday:
|Pearl Jam (See 149 videos)|
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Pearl Jam at Soldier Field
- Last Exit
- Spin the Black Circle
- Tremor Christ
- I Got Id
- Even Flow
- Sick of Pussies
- Glorified G
- Not for You
- Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
- Everyday People
- Let My Love Open the Door
- Better Man
- Yellow Ledbetter