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A great rock act

Pearl Jam
United Center
Chicago, IL
May 17, 2006
Pearl Jam Pearl Jam

Story and photos by Matt Schwenke

Ominously shaking the rafters of Chicago's sports-storied United Center, Pearl Jam's second of two nights in the hometown of front-man Eddie Vedder delivered a marathon journey through the newest of songs in the rock outfit's catalogue and some that are, according to Vedder, "about as old as they get for us."

Testing the material from the new self-titled release early on, the foot-stomping pulse of "Severed Hand," "World Wide Suicide" and "Life Wasted" received a roaring response from the crowd, and the reaction to "Marker In The Sand" officially put the stamp of approval on the new material.Pearl Jam Guitarist Mike McCready provided instant energy with his behind-the-head solo in "Evenflow," and the entire band fed from that fire in the dark but uplifting "Gone." Other notables from the set included McCready producing eerie tones with a double-necked guitar on "Inside Job," a brooding Vedder on "Garden" and the tell-tale thrashings of "Lukin."

Maintaining a certain level of elevated intensity throughout the night, Pearl Jam tested the limits of how long they could keep a large crowd entertained, and succeeded through a humble rapport with fans and by mixing in songs like "Footsteps," with Vedder on harmonica, "Last Kiss," with Vedder singing alit at the soundboard then sprinting back to the stage, or "Crown of Thorns," a tune that Vedder said the band likes to save for "special occasions" and was a rare treat from the time of Mother Love Bone. Regardless of where in Pearl Jam's career one may have become interested, performances like this nod to quality throughout the years and secure their status as one of America's greatest rock acts.
Pearl Jam setlist 5/17/06:
Severed Hand
World Wide Suicide
Life Wasted
Marker In The Sand
Do The Evolution
1/2 Full
I Am Mine
Even Flow
Better Man
Save It For Later
Inside Job
Why Go
Encore 1:

Wasted Reprise
Man of the Hour

Encore 2:

Last Kiss
Last Exit
Glorified G
Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
Crown Of Thorns
Rockin' In The Free World
Yellow Leadbetter
Pearl Jam Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam

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