Sunday, April 02, 2006

Live Concert Post #2: Pearl Jam 04-03-94

Pearl Jam 04-03-94 Atlanta, GA

I still remember when I first heard this show. I was a sophomore in college and Pearl Jam was one of my favorite bands. Little did I know that they'd still be one of my favorites over ten years later.

Anyway, Vs. was released in the fall before I heard this show, and my friends and I ate it up. Some part of the record was probably played by me or one of my four roommates at least once a day that year. My friend, Bob (the drummer in my first band, actually), and I went out a week before Vs. was released on CD and bought the vinyl version even though neither of us owned a record player. We couldn't wait a week for the CD release date, and it was quite an adventure going around to random dorm rooms trying to find someone who had a record player and who would also let two strangers, psycho PJ fans, tape a copy of the album off of our vinyl version in their room...

I'd never had the chance to see PJ live, because they'd only played Philadelphia twice before ('91 and '92), both when I was in high school and, actually, before I started going out to see live shows regularly. I had acquired one sweet, sweet PJ bootleg at the time, a CD with 6 tracks from their MTV Unplugged performance in 1992. The version of "Black" from the Unplugged show still feels like the definitive performance of the song, and I was blown away by the way the young band rocked "Porch" acoustic.

Black (from MTV Unplugged 03-16-92)
Porch (from MTV Unplugged 03-16-92)

I was about to be introduced to the definitive version of "Porch", though, when the Atlanta show aired. Oh, I forgot to mention, I didn't actually attend this show. It was broadcast on the radio across the nation. All day long before the show aired I was getting prepared for the broadcast - I went out and bought cassettes to record it and got some snacks and drinks for my friends and I to enjoy while we listened.

The excitement was palpable in the room when the usual radio broadcast changed over to the show and we heard the sounds of the waiting Atlanta crowd over the airwaves. When the crowd noise swelled, my friends and I knew Pearl Jam had taken the stage, and when "Release" started we were all wearing shit-eating grins on our faces. I was so psyched to hear tunes like "Whipping", "Betterman" and "Satan's Bed", all of which I'd never heard before. The long, rocked-out version of "Porch" blew me away. I couldn't believe they'd topped the Unplugged version!

Needless to say, the show was outstanding. My friends and I wore out the tapes we'd made of the show over the next few years, and I finally had to suck it up and buy the import 3CD "Dissident" single set to have a copy of the show. Though it was great to have an "official" version of the show on CD, I must say that I am still miffed that the single is missing four of the songs from the show.

Now all these years later, it seems like everyone has a pre-FM soundboard copy of this show. It's one of the most common Pearl Jam live shows for fans to have. I've always felt that this was true, other than for the obvious reason that the show aired nationwide on the radio, because of the quality of the band's performance that night. Though they were already well on the way toward being a worldwide phenomenon, the fact that this show aired on the radio served as a kind of formal announcement of their ascendance to the top of the alternative rock world of the 90's. Though that may be a bit over-the-top and open to debate, one thing I do know for sure that this show cemented Pearl Jam's importance in my life.

Enough pontificating, here's the show in MP3 format. Enjoy.

Even Flow
Why Go
Glorified G
Daughter /(Another Brick In The Wall)
State Of Love And Trust
Better Man
Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
Satan's Bed
Sonic Reducer



Blogger heather said...

Oh, J. i really do love this. I had the same experience, taping the show on my little grey and pink double cassette deck, listening to it over and over ("it's a new song, but it was written a long time ago.") - I had been meaning to track this down, so thank you!! you ROCK.

April 06, 2006 4:25 PM  
Blogger jeffro said...

oh, i'm liking this!

April 08, 2006 12:32 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

nice post. i too remember staying up and listening to this show with my little two bit headphones.

April 08, 2006 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

next time zip the whole show into a WinRar and make it one download instead of 20 different ones.

asside from that, this show is nothing short of EPIC and TIMELESS

January 22, 2007 1:16 PM  
Blogger jeremy said...

Thank you!! I've been looking for this all week. Used to have the CD but had it stolen. So good to have it again. Thank you!!

October 19, 2007 7:47 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

I was 13 when one of my stepdad's riding buddies (his plate read 'alive') gave me this tape and I wore it out listening to it mostly on my walkman while riding my bicycle around town, I'd sing loudly along in traffic not caring who heard me.

"we're still on the air? well, fuck 'm. we're gunna do what we want anyway."

April 18, 2008 2:18 AM  
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