Pearl Jam Kicks off Tour with Sold Out Show at Xcel

Pearl Jam press photo. Photo Credit: Clinch
Photo Credit: Danny Clinch

Last updated on September 5th, 2023 at 12:23 pm

Pearl Jam started its 2023 fall tour in epic fashion with a twenty-four-song set featuring hits, rarities, and tributes. The first of two sold-out shows at the Xcel started with the band sitting for the first four songs before one of their biggest hits, “Black” kicked in with Mike McCready’s spellbinding solo. As McCready noodled, the band tossed their chairs to the side as if to announce, “Let the rock show begin.”

The entire band was filled with energy, knocking over microphone stands while Vedder sang passionately and intensely. They were obviously ready and waiting for this tour as Vedder, drummer Matt Cameron, and bassist Jeff Ament played off each other in between songs.

Photo credit: Danny Clinch

As a young kid in 1991, I ignored Pearl Jam for as long as I could, lumping them in with Nirvana and the rest of the grunge genre. I might be the only person in the world who still hates Nirvana to this day, but I learned quickly that Pearl Jam could not be ignored by my teen angst, pride, and stupidity. And I do believe that 1991’s Ten is one of the most “complete” albums of all time. It’s almost impossible to not listen to it in its entirety as soon as the first note of “Once” begins.

Their music remains as current, relevant, and inspiring as any that began in the early 90’s. But seeing them live with the energy of their fans is a total other thing. Lots of bands have a huge stage show, but these musicians don’t need that.

They had a great light show, but they also seemed like an old-school rock band with some monitors, amps, and guitars, performing a genuine rock and roll show with the mindset of “you give to us, we will give more back to you.”

Pearl Jam’s setlist:


“Buckle Up”




“Given To Fly”

“Mind Your Manners”

“Why Go”

“Seven O’Clock”

“Even Flow”

“Dance of the Clairvoyants”

“I’m Open”



“Superblood Wolfmoon”

“Love Boat Captain”

“State of Love and Trust”




“Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”


“Crazy Mary”


“Yellow Ledbetter”

Written by Richard Dollarhide

Photographer, Photojournalist, Executive Chef and Full Time Artist


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