Tuesday, August 30, 2011
PJ20: Montreal 2005
When I first started this countdown, I wanted the opportunity to relive some great live Pearl Jam. My hope was that I'd find some gems that have escaped my memory over the years. Boy, does this show fit that description! For one reason or the other, I never found a copy of this show until now. I remember all the details of the incredible trip: The beautiful drive fall drive to Canada, bar hopping around the city, and one of the best nights of sleep I ever had in an open aired hostel.
This date marked the anniversary of Johnny Ramones' death. Besides his part in punk music history, he was also a close friend of the band. Eddie dedicated the show to him and the band kicked into I Believe In Miracles. The show was already off to a great start, but this was the turning point to something special.
Donned in his Johnny Ramone shirt, Eddie delivered a performance nothing short of legendary. You can hear his intensity in every line of Light Years. The heartfelt show continued with "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" tagged to the end of Betterman. This is one of those nights where everything clicked.
The crazy Canadian crowd only heightened the experience. I've never seen a more intense Alive than this version. You can feel the fist pumping "YEAHS!" that accompanied the last half of the song on this recording. The high energy second encore only made things more rowdy.
Anything I say won't do this one justice. It was a night that Pearl Jam paid homage to not only a legend, but a friend. Their playing demonstrates how much Johnny really meant to them. This one deserves to be played from start to finish... and turned up LOUD!