"We've played a lot of shows here over the years," Eddie Vedder said from the stage of the Spectrum on Friday night after a fist-pumping, standing-on-the-speakers singalong encore of Pearl Jam's emphatic anthem "Alive." "We started in a little place called J.C. Dobbs that held about 65 people," he added before taking a moment to take in the ardent audience before him. "And this is the crowd we've been waiting for."
So it was on the next to last night at the Spectrum, with Raul Ibanez, to whom "Force Of Nature" was dedicated, in the house, and the pumped-up audience showering the hard working Seattle grunge graduates with adulation during a show that has started inching towards three hours. Earlier on, before another shout out to friend-of-the-band Ibanez, Vedder said, "There's no place I'd rather be than Philadelphia these days. There's something going on in this town."
And he and his bandmates - with drummer Matt Cameron and keyboard player Boom Gaspar each sporting Phils shirts - played like they couldn't be happier to be here, once again digging deep into their catalog while sprinkling in choice covers including Victoria Williams' "Crazy Mary," the Dead Boys' "Sonic Reducer," and a not-on-the-setlist finale of The Who's "Baba O'Riley."
Here's the set list:
Gonna See My Friend / The Fixer / In My Tree / Given To Fly / Tremor Christ / Untitled-MFC / Hold On / Unthought Unknown / In Hiding / Deep / Habit / Cropduster / Off He Goes / Force Of Nature / Present Tense / Got Some / Do The Evolution
Encore 1: Just Breathe / Parting Ways / Jeremy / Breath / Light Years / Rearviewmirror
Encore 2: Whipping / Crazy Mary / Footsteps / Once / Alive / Sonic Reducer / Baba O'Riley
Previously: Beanie's Beef With Jay-Z