Home Gigs Gig Review : Pearl Jam – Marlay Park Dublin

Gig Review : Pearl Jam – Marlay Park Dublin

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Review & Photography by Paul Verner for MPM

It’s been 14 years almost exactly to the day since Pearl Jam last visited the island of Ireland, albeit on that particular night they played Belfast.

Tonights venue is Dublin’s Marley Park, situated in the leafy suburbs on the outskirts, to the south of of the city. With an expected capacity crowd, there was plenty of anticipation from those making their way into the park for Pearl Jam’s glorious return to the island, this time touring in support of their latest album ‘Dark Matter’.

Supporting Pearl Jam on their upcoming tour dates are home town band The Murder Capital. Kicking of the evening, and indeed the European tour they took to the stage and set about bringing their opening tunes.

Vocalist James McGovern prowled and stalked the stage, giving the crowd plenty of attitude, but it wasn’t all show McGovern can really sing.

Their music harks back to the 70’s punk era and the growing audience were only too happy to cheer them along.

After a short turnaround, ex-Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft took to the stage with his band and to the crowds delight opened his set with Verve number ‘Space and Time’ from their 1997 release ‘Urban Hymns’.

In fact, there were plenty of Verve hits here for the crowd to sing along to, including ‘Lucky Man’, ‘Sonnet’, ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ and they closed with ‘Bittersweet Symphony’. Richard will also be supporting Pearl Jam on the UK tour dates in Manchester and London.

Finally after much anticipation, the capacity crowd erupted with cheers as the members of Pearl Jam took to the stage lead by frontman Eddie Vedder complete with lyric note pad. He looked out to the audience, and it could have been just general patter, but he did seem genuinely surprised to see the size of the crowd who had gathered to witness their return.

Wasting no time they kicked off the night with ‘Release’. The cathartic, hymn like song was the all the excuse the crowd needed to start singing en-masse. In fact the singing didn’t stop all night. They followed-on quickly with ‘Low Light’ and ‘Elderly Woman Behind the Counter In A Small Town’, it was perhaps a more introspective kick-off to the show than some had expected.

That was about to change, after Vedder said some quick ‘hello’s’ to the crowd, the opening guitar line of ‘Corduroy’ kicked in and the tempo was immediately raised several notches. ‘Given to Fly’ followed and then the first tune from the new album ‘Scared of Fear’ which kicked off a trio of tracks from ‘Dark Matter including “React, Respond’ & ‘Wreckage’.

These trio of songs were only briefly interrupted as Mike McCready donned a white Strat & treated the crowd to a guitar solo, cover of Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’.

After quickly thanking Richard Ashcroft and welcoming The Murder Capital on the European leg of the tour, the set continued with a heady mixture of songs from across their 33 year back catalogue.

Classics such as ‘Even Flow’, ‘Daughter’, ‘Jeremy’ and ‘Black’ were all included. There were plenty of songs from the new album as well, including title track ‘Dark Matter’ and ‘Upper Hand’. The new tracks sat seamlessly along side those from previous albums. Just like all Pearl Jam songs, they are best experienced live. The main set closed out with ‘Porch’, another classic from 1991’s ‘Ten’ album.

After a short encore break, the band returned with an acoustic cover of Warren Zevon’s ‘Keep me In Your Heart’. Followed quickly by ‘Not For You’ and ‘Why Go’. The band seemed intent on filling the time until curfew with as many songs as possible including ‘Do The Evolution’, ‘Setting Sun’ and the classic anthem ‘Alive’. By this stage the audience was at fever pitch and to much delight they closed the set with a rousing cover of Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In the Free World’.

It’s not hard to see why Pearl Jam continue to draw huge audiences worldwide, their knack of writing consistently good songs that can stand the test of time is a real credit to them. Their ability to be able to perform at such a high level is such a pleasure to witness, and Mike McCready’s unbelievable solo on ‘Even Flow’ was something to behold, so much so, I’ll be first in line for the official bootleg when it is released.

Pearl Jam continue their Dark Matter European tour with a couple of dates in the UK. On 25th June at Co-Op Live, Manchester and 29th June at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Then they are off to Waldbühne, Berlin on July 2nd. Further touring details can be found on their website.

Set List

  1. Release
  2. Low Light
  3. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter In A Small Town
  4. Corduroy
  5. Given To Fly
  6. Scared Of Fear
  7. Eruption (Van Halen cover – Mike McCready solo)
  8. React, Respond
  9. Wreckage
  10. Wishlist
  11. Even Flow
  12. Dark Matter
  13. Daughter
  14. Jeremy
  15. Upper Hand
  16. Better Man
  17. Black
  18. Porch
    Encore break
  19. Keep Me InYour Heart (Warren Zevon cover)
  20. Not For You
  21. Why Go
  22. Do The Evolution
  23. Setting Sun
  24. Alive
  25. Rockin’ In The Free World (Neil Young cover)

Line-up:

Eddie Vedder – vocals
Jeff Ament – bass
Stone Gossard – rhythm guitar
Mike McCready -lead guitar
Matt Cameron – drums

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