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1998 Concert Chronology part 3

08/04/98 - Single Video Theory is released

08/28/98 - PJ's animated video directed by Todd McFarlane, "Do The Evolution" is released to MTV

08/17/98 - Deer Creek Music Center: Noblesville, IN [105m]
attendance: 20,500
support act: Iggy Pop
soundcheck: Hail Hail, Around the Bend, Off He Goes, In Hiding, Leatherman, Nothingman (soundcheck held previous day; list may not be in order)
set: Long Road, Hail Hail, Brain of J, Last Exit, Given to Fly, Corduroy, MFC, (new Jeremy improv), Immortality, Even Flow, Nothingman, Rearviewmirror, Wishlist, In Hiding, Spin the Black Circle, Alive, Go
enc 1: Better Man/(Save it for Later), Daughter, Do the Evolution, Leaving Here
enc 2: Yellow Ledbetter
notes: The first show of the East Leg of the 1998 US Tour finds the band in EXCELLENT energy and spirits. All the members are spotted sidestage rocking out to Iggy Pop's tremendous opening set, and it seems as though his energy inspired them to kick ass. Ed's hair is shorter, blacker and slicked back, and he greets the audience with, "Okay, fuckers, our turn" (making reference to Iggy's rants at the dead crowd for his set). 'MFC' is prefaced with, "If you ever wanna get out of town, expand your boundaries, the best way might not be a tractor... but if a tractor's all ya have, go for it." Ed sings an interesting improv, based on the structure of the new 'Jeremy,' with the lyrics being, "The President spoke in court today." mp3 soundbyte of President spoke in court/Jeremy (1,229k)   'Immortality' is a total Matt Cameron-based jam, so much so that Ed makes a point of giving him props at the end. Stone is absolutely on fire tonight, jumping, thrashing, at the front of the stage constantly. 'Nothingman' is dedicated to the lawn (Ed claiming that that's where he would have been at that show, if he hadn't found a way to sneak down front). During 'Alive,' Ed balances on Pete's shoulders to grab hands down front, and then runs to the left and right side to do the same thing, afterwards applauding the crowd: "Good job, Indy - good job tonight." Prior to the first encore, Ed acknowledges some of the signs in the audience requesting songs, as well as one reading "Ed Lewinsky" and then they play a brief clip of Clinton's speech from that afternoon, follow ed by Ed reading excerpts from it; at the end he comments, "I have one word to say - 'consensual'." 'Better Man' is dedicated in turn to both Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the tag has the melody of 'WMA,' but no words are sung. His parting words are, "Behave like rock stars - not like the President." Crowd was amazing and the band was really happy because of it. (On the written setlist but not played: Porch, Indifference, Present Tense, Off He Goes)
review and photos
RVM (5h Song X for January '99 [Link to Video Guide]

08/18/98 - Breslin Student Events Center: East Lansing, MI [95m]
attendance: 15,300
support act: Iggy Pop
soundcheck: Soldier of Love, Footsteps (partial), Hard to Imagine (partial), Dissident, All Those Yesterdays, No Way (!!), improv, Indifference, Satan's Bed
set: Release, Do the Evolution, Spin the Black Circle, Brain of J, Dissident, Given to Fly, Corduroy, MFC, Wishlist, Jeremy, Even Flow, Faithfull, Elderly Woman, Off He Goes, Rearviewmirror
enc 1: Hail Hail, I Got Shit, Alive, Black, Soldier of Love [cover]
notes: During 'Brain of J,' Mike and Stone jam together during Stone's solo. Introing 'Dissident,' Ed says, "Dedicated to a girl named Monica." Between 'Corduroy' and 'MFC,' Ed says, "... It feels like we're playing a frat party on a Friday - not a frat party, a keg party ... no not a keg party, a pot party... Anything's worth smoking." Ed has trouble with the e-bow (no sound initially) on 'Wishlist,' only playing a couple of notes and flubs the lyrics saying, "I wish I wish I wish ... I wish I knew this song." During 'Even Flow,' Matt does this really cool fill and Mike goes over and jams on it. 'Elderly Woman is directed toward "you" (the crowd). Ed, having voice problems, motions toward his throat at various times. 'RVM' is excellent and the jam is really trancey. In the middle of it, Ed takes out a towel, puts it over the monitors, puts a soccer ball on it, and kicks it into the middle of the arena! The stage is brightly lit during 'Alive,' Ed was checks out the crowd, and sees a "Breath" sign. He gets a big smile and starts laughing (shaking his finger as if to say "no no no"), and then during 'Black,' in the line where he says "breath," he really draws that word out while looking at the guy with the sign. :) After 'Black,' which features an INCREDIBLE solo from Mike, Ed says, "That's Mike ... you know Stone ... but thanks especially to Matt," and the crowd gives him a big round of applause. For 'Soldier of Love,' (a song by Arthur Alexander written in 1962) which Ed introduces as a "song for people in love," and that they had just learned that day, he brings out a kid with a Univ. of Michigan shirt into the audience - he gets booed (MSU being a big rival) - Ed says, "Oh, I didn't realize you were wearing the wrong shirt" and brings out a girl to hold the written lyrics in his journal for him instead. (He speaks into her recorder and began dancing with her toward the end of the song.) Final Ed comments of the night: some thanks to the crowd for choosing PJ over the Beastie Boys (also playing down the road that night) and "on behalf of all of us, we wanna thank Iggy Pop, it's really nice to play with him in his own state ..." and comments on the Michigan live music censorship bill, "some guy showing his penis or something," and closes the show with the immortal comment: "They want your parents to have to go with you to rock concerts, just in case some guy pulls out his penis or something. It's rock and roll. You should be able to, I should be able to show my penis. It's rock and roll." (On the setlist and not played: Footsteps, Fuckin' Up, SoL&T, Habit) [Link to Video Guide]

08/20/98 - Molson Centre: Montreal, Quebec [116m]
attendance: 21,273
support act: Cheap Trick
soundcheck: Hard to Imagine, Footsteps, Animal, State of Love and Trust, Present Tense, Last Kiss
set: Sometimes, Corduroy, Animal, Hail Hail, Brain of J, Red Mosquito, Given to Fly, Even Flow, Not for You, Wishlist, Lukin, Jeremy, Daughter/(Another Brick in the Wall), Present Tense, State of Love and Trust, Do the Evolution
enc 1: Hard to Imagine, Better Man/(Save it for Later), Alive, Black, Leaving Here, Baba O'Riley
enc 2: Yellow Ledbetter
notes: While Cheap Trick performs, Matt is snapping photos and freaking out; Stone, Jeff and Mike are on Mike's side (also freaking out majorly); Rick Nielsen throws Mike a pick and Mike apparently knocks over several people to get the pick! Matt is outstanding during 'Hail Hail.' Mike kicks ass on 'Red Mosquito'. Stone plays a cool, bluesy solo during 'Not for You.' At the end of 'Wishlist,' Ed says, "I wish I was Canadian." The 'Daughter' tag includes "Mr. President, leave those kids alone." After 'Daughter,' Ed says that he was going to try to kiss everybody's ass because he hasn't been here in a while, and then says (in French), "It's been too long since we've seen each other." Then he says, "I hope that's what it says, I hope it doesn't say, 'can i have a taco supreme' ... the funny thing is, every day at 3 o'clock before i take my 4 o'clock bong load, Jeff gives me a call and says, 'I wonder about those people in Montreal and wonder how they're doing.'" Mike does laps around the stage during 'Present Tense.' 'DTE' is on fire, and wraps up the first set with a simple "thank you" from Ed. Upon returning for the encore, he says, "I've been seeing all your signs tonight, and we're gonna do that one right there," before doing 'Hard to Imagine.' 'Better Man' is once again dedicated to Hillary Clinton, and features a segue into a very extended 'Save it for Later.' At the end of 'Alive,' Ed grabs Mike and says, "He's still alive." At the end of 'Black,' Mike is un-fucking-believable, he is possessed, flying around, going all over the place, the whole band was watching him, and at the end, Jeff walks over and shakes his hand, congratulating him. After 'Leaving Here,' Ed talks about hockey, and then says, "And that's Matt Cameron in goal," and the crowd goes nuts. ('In Hiding' was on the setlist but not played.)
Hard to Imagine (5h Song X for Sept 98 [Link to Video Guide]

08/22/98 - Molson Park: Barrie, Ontario [125m]
attendance: 35,000
support act: Cheap Trick, All Systems Go, Hayden, Cracker, Matthew Good Band
soundcheck: Not for You (snippet), Corduroy (short), I Got Shit, MFC
set: Corduroy, Brain of J, Hail Hail, Animal, Dissident, Given to Fly, MFC, Habit, Wishlist, Even Flow, Daughter/(Surrender), In Hiding, Jeremy, State of Love and Trust, Nothingman, Better Man, Leatherman, Alive
enc 1: Immortality, Rearviewmirror, Last Exit, I Got Shit/(Cinnamon Girl), Black, Do the Evolution
enc 2: Yellow Ledbetter
notes: As Cheap Trick is performing, various members of PJ are spotted rocking out (and Mike taking photos through a small hole cut in the black cloth enveloping the scaffolding!), including Ed doing chinups and swinging on the scaffolding poles like a monkey and then holding his hand out, practically above his head, snapping his fingers rapidly with Rick Nielsen acknowledging him and grinning. During the first few songs, someone tosses a football and Ed catches it and looks around as if to say, "What the hell?!" Then he says, "check this out" and he flings his shoe off his foot simply by throwing his leg up in the air and kicks the ball 40 yards into the crowd. After 'Animal,' Ed addresses the crowd for the first time: "We made it, looks beautiful out there, we'll try to do it better than last time we played here, I feel better, I'm Ed Vedder." During 'Habit,' Ed changes the "speaking as" line to "speaking as a dumb-ass, beer-drinking, propaganda-believing, missile-shooting, American." mp3 soundbyte of Habit tag (556k)   'Surrender' is a Cheap Trick song. Right before 'State,' Ed refers to a Mike having a special guest, and Mike plays the song with one of Rick Nielsen's guitars. 'Nothingman' is highlighted with lightning bolts on the backdrop. During 'Leatherman,' Ed's guitar cuts out during the break, Matt just keeps drumming. Then: "Driving in today, I saw two of the coolest things I've ever seen: First I saw a guy wearing a watermelon on his head [laughing] - that guy's Canadian of the year; then I saw the most amazing thing I've ever seen on the tour: I saw a guy with a truck, and in the back of a truck he had a couch, a chair, a fridge ... this song's about a bad-ass, the people up front are a bunch of bad-asses, the people in the back are a bunch of bad-asses; you're all a bunch of bad-asses." During Mike's 'Alive' solo, Ed is walking along the speaker stands, dancing and pointing and jumping up and down. "Next time we come here - actually there might not be a next time - I don't know if you know this, but the Doomsday Clock was pushed forward a few minutes, the Doomsday Clock is now at 5 minutes to midnight; you guys don't know what I'm talking about, do you - it means we're all gonna die, fuckers ..." leading to 'Immortality.' mp3 soundbyte of doomsday speech (844k)   'Do the Evolution' features the new video on the backdrop. A great crowd with Ed acknowledging: "Next time we'll do three shows in smaller venues so we can get the same number of people in." When the band takes the stage for 'Yellow Ledbetter,' the crowd noise is unbelievable and Ed covers his ears! He changes the lyrics from "don't ever wanna feel this way again" to "am never gonna have this much fun again." Ed appears not to want to leave, staring at the cheering crowd and leaving with his hand placed over his heart.
reviews with photos

08/23/98 - Palace of Auburn Hills: Auburn Hills, MI [120m]
attendance: 22,076
support act: Cheap Trick
set: Long Road, Last Exit, Brain of J, Do the Evolution, Tremor Christ, Corduroy, MFC, Immortality, Wishlist, Alive, Given to Fly, Go, Jeremy, Even Flow, Daughter/(I Want You To Want Me), All Those Yesterdays, Rearviewmirror
enc 1: Animal, Hail Hail, Off He Goes, Better Man/(Crazy Mary), Footsteps
enc 2: Smile, Fuckin' Up
notes: Ed sings background vocals for 'Surrender,' the last song of Cheap Trick's opening set, introduced by CT as "a friend who is new in the music industry, we want to give him a hand starting out." Before MFC, Ed says, "I'd like to thank the greatest guitar tech in the world, Rick Nielsen." The 'MFC' lyrics are modified from: "there's a lot to be said for nowhere" to "there's a lot to be said for Detroit." Mike plays the 'Go' solo behind his head; during an incredible 'RVM' (introed by Ed by saying, "first gear ... second gear ... third gear ..." all the way up to fifth), mp3 soundbyte of RVM intro (526k)   a stagediver invades the stage, is removed by Eric Johnson, and Ed says, "No, bring him back," and then says "kneel" and the guy gets on his knees. Then he turns to the crowd and says sarcastically, "These fucking assholes who try to get onstage piss me off ... not to mention the HAIRCUT" and the crowd goes wild, he's got a haircut that is short on the top and long on the back, "let me guess - you're from CANADA - what the fuck?! Either you want it short, or you want it long - make up your fucking mind!" and then he cuts his hair with a pair of Swiss Army Knife scissors (not before whispering in his ear to make sure it was okay). Long speech between 'Daughter' and 'All Those Yesterdays' about working and being slackers and burning it on both ends, and "fuck that." The 'Better Man' tag is the music for 'Save It For Later,' but the lyrics to 'Crazy Mary.' 'Smile' is introduced as "a new song ... with Stone Gossard playing - nothing" (since it was taking George a long time to get a bass to Stone). Before 'Footsteps', Ed says, "To be frank, honest, candid - the five of us together making music is pretty fun; even without you. We had a lot of fun in East Lansing; this has been great, too. Now we're gonna play a request."

08/25/98 - Star Lake Amphitheatre: Pittsburgh, PA [123m]
attendance: 22,536
support act: Iggy Pop
soundcheck: long spacy jam, Whipping, Red Mosquito (w/ harmonica at end), Last Kiss, Soldier of Love
set: Throw Your Arms Around Me, Release, Brain of J, Last Exit, Corduroy, I Got Shit, Faithfull, Even Flow, Jeremy, MFC, Rearviewmirror, Wishlist, Daughter/(Outshined)/(I Wanna Live), Do the Evolution, Given to Fly, Elderly Woman, Alive
enc 1: No Way, Animal, Hail Hail, Not for You, Nothingman, Black, Rockin' in the Free World, Yellow Ledbetter
notes: Before Iggy Pop, Ed comes out and sings a little song we like to call 'Throw Your Arms Around Me,' substituting "the grey summer skies" due to the Pittsburgh weather. Before 'MFC', Ed says, "It's been a while. So, to make up for it, we'll play every song," and the crowd goes nuts. During the song, Ed changes the words to "there's a lot to be said for Pittsburgh." 'RVM' is a total speed version, with a strange tag in the middle. The first 'Daughter' tag is none other than 'Outshined' by (doh) Soundgarden, except that Ed changes the lyrics to "feeling Pennsylvania ...," and at the end, he adds a bit of 'I Wanna Live' by Iggy. After 'DTE,' Ed comments, "I guess the next step in evolution is, we're gonna have an electrical outlet up our ass, and a Microsoft number given to us at birth ... no, wait, maybe a chip implanted in our ear ... but above all, I'd mention, I'd rather have a pair of wings any day," and they go into 'GTF.' Before the band comes out for the first encore, the audience starts chanting, "Here we go Steelers ..." Then Ed comes out, something in his hand, it's a t-shirt, and someone had written on the front "No" and on the back "Way." So he holds it up, turns it, turns it again, and then he says, "Well, my answer to that ..." and then he turns the shirt so his answer in theory was "No Way" and then he pauses and says, "Wait, what do you think ... should we give it a try?" and the crowd goes nuts. Then he stops and discusses it, and says, "Okay, we're gonna give this one a go" and they go into the first playing of 'No Way' on the 1998 Tour! Ed sticks his head through the tambourine during 'RITFW.' 'Yellow Ledbetter' is introduced: "My good friend [?] and you'll never understand this, is apt to say, 'I'll never talk to clouds on a sunny day'"; during Mike's solo at the end, Eddie grabs a tape recorder held by a fan in the front and talks into it mp3 soundbyte of eddie talking into a fan's tape recorder (1,415k) !

08/26/98 - Blossom Music Center: Cuyahoga Falls, OH [109m]
attendance: 18,445
support act: Iggy Pop
soundcheck: Black Diamond [KISS song], Noise of Carpet (the whole song), Leatherman, Off He Goes, Red Mosquito (with Ed on harmonica at the end)
set: Hail Hail, Animal, Given to Fly, Corduroy, MFC, Immortality, Footsteps, Even Flow, Jeremy, In Hiding, Daughter/(My City Was Gone)/(WMA), Brain of J, Rearviewmirror, Better Man, Wishlist, Alive
enc 1: Elderly Woman, Do the Evolution, Leatherman, Black, Baba O'Riley
enc 2: Yellow Ledbetter
notes: Ed starts the show by arriving onstage via skateboard. 'Immortality' is renamed by people at the show as "Matt Fuckin' Cameron" due to his stellar work on this number. Ed notes, "... we're on our way to Philadelphia tomorrow ... and we haven't played there in a long time. We're going to have to get out of here early to be sure we get there in time ... it's a long drive." The crowd boos and Ed laughs and continues, "I'm just fuckin' with you. You like to be fucked with, right?" 'My City Was Gone' is by the Pretenders, who are from Ohio (Akron to be precise), and is a song about Cleveland. After 'Black,' Ed mentions that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland: "Earlier this evening, I know you've got a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...we drove by it, I don't know who runs the place, but...those people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones..." Jeff interrupts, saying: "And where's the fucking Iggy exhibit, goddamn it!" Ed chuckles: "So what I was gonna say, was, it's right by the airport, but we're a lot closer tonight, having Iggy Pop here, standing right here ... let's just say next time we play here, it could be a year, maybe two...we hope, if it happens... if Iggy's not in yet, after the show, we're all gonna go down there and blow the place up...speaking of the hall of fame [he holds up a sign saying 'Baba'] - the WHO!" and the band busts into 'Baba O'Riley.' [The Stooges, Iggy's first band, were recently nominated to the HOF, but did not get in.] 'Wishlist' ends with the "radio song" verse, but instead of saying "I guess it never stops" he says "I guess it has to stop". Jeff comes out for 'Yellow Ledbetter' wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey with Shawn Kemp's name and uniform number on the back.

08/28/98 - Blockbuster Music Entertainment Centre: Camden, NJ [122m]
attendance: 25,000
support act: Mudhoney, Iggy Pop
soundcheck: no soundcheck today due to Ed's voice
set: Release, Animal, Hail Hail, Given To Fly, Corduroy, MFC, I Got Shit, Even Flow, Jeremy, Daughter/(Suck You Dry)/(WMA), Off He Goes, Immortality, Rearviewmirror, Brain of J, Black, Better Man, Alive
enc 1: (Sweet Home Alabama), (Philadelphia Freedom), Hard to Imagine, Wishlist, Last Exit, Go, Leaving Here, Once, Elderly Woman
enc 2: Porch
notes: The 'Daughter' improv is Mudhoney's 'Suck You Dry and' Ed mentions he is glad to do 'WMA' because one of his favorite episodes of "Cops" happened in Philadelphia. After 'Immortality,' Ed says, "Mike McCready! Matt Cameron!" then he blows his nose and says, "Snot!" [Apparently, Ed's been a little sick.] Before they play 'HtI,' Ed comes out and says, "Fuck, it's been years. We'll play anything you want," and they bust into a few chords of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama' (with Ed asking, "Isn't that what caused the Civil War?") and then a snippet of 'Philadelphia Freedom' by Elton John! 'Leaving Here' is dedicated it to a girl Ed met while walking around in his sports coat earlier. He said she knew what it was about and the rest of the crowd should just enjoy the song. After 'Once,' Ed says, "Sometimes it's fun to have the big speakers and the stage, because it can be fun to tell people to fuck off. But you guys don't deserve that, because you guys have been the best crowd that Iggy Pop's had - not in his life, and thanks for being polite to Mudhoney, they came all the way out from Seattle." [The crowd gave Iggy a standing ovation at the end of his set, a sensational performance of Chuck Berry's 'Johnny B. Goode.'] No 'DTE' tonight; 'Elderly Woman' is dedicated to "all the people that have a long way to drive to get back home after the show." Ed goes into a long tirade about the fucked up state of the world, how bad the news is, about all the bombings that've been going on and says the Liberty Bell is going to be the next terrorist bomb attack, leading to: "... the last thing I'm gonna say is 1, 2, 3, 4" and 'Porch' is next. 'Porch' lyrics are modified to, "I just need to say ..."
poster [Link to Video Guide]

08/29/98 - Blockbuster Music Entertainment Centre: Camden, NJ [120m]
attendance: 25,000
support act: Mudhoney, Iggy Pop
soundcheck: no soundcheck today
set: Long Road, Corduroy, Brain of J, Red Mosquito, In Hiding, Animal, Given to Fly, Lukin, Wishlist, MFC, Not for You, Alive, Nothingman, State of Love and Trust, Present Tense, Hail Hail, Jeremy, Do the Evolution
enc 1: Dissident, Even Flow, Better Man/(Save It For Later), Push Me Pull Me, Rearviewmirror
enc 2: Last Kiss, Rockin' in the Free World
notes: Ed's voice seems to be much better tonight. After 'GTF,' he says, "Hello, we're band number three; we're very fond of bands one and two; but we've never written a song about band number two, but we did at least about a member of band number one," and they launch into 'Lukin'. During 'SoL&T,' Mike takes his shirt off. For 'Present Tense,' Ed comments that he's been thinking about it lately, it's kind of weird in the present tense, there's a lot of crazy crap going on, but we're gonna play it anyway. In 'Hail Hail,' Ed changes the words to, "You can only be as good as I'll let you ..." 'DTE' is totally mangled (rather hilariously); instead of going into "I'm a thief, I'm a liar," Ed starts the whole thing over again from the first verse, and it tends to disintegrate again, but they salvage it in the end. 'Save it for Later' is extremely extended, and goes straight into the first playing (other than a tag) of 'Push Me Pull Me'! At the end, he says, "Fuck, I forget the rest ..." and yep, he forgets the lyrics at the very end. Stone applauds Jeff and Ed at the end. Ed refers to a show PJ played at JC Dobbs, a local Philly club [7/12/91]: "It sure has been a nice couple of nights, are we in Philly or Jersey - where the fuck are we?! Philadelphia? (and everyone goes nuts) This is an old song, it was written before we played at Dobbs (crowd cheers). There were only 30 or so people there, so quit lying!" and then they play 'Better Man.' 'RITFW': "There's a thousand points of light for the east coast man, there's a kinder, gentler security man's hand." Mike finishes the song rolling around on his back, putting his guitar down and shaking it wildly.

08/31/98 - Hardee's Walnut Creek Amphitheatre: Raleigh, NC [117m]
attendance: 18,445
support act: Mudhoney
soundcheck: Soldier of Love, Driven to Tears, Hard to Imagine, No Way (several times), Mankind, In My Tree (1/2 without vocals)
set: Sometimes, Corduroy, Animal, Given to Fly, Tremor Christ, Hail Hail, Not for You, Habit, Wishlist, Even Flow, Daughter/(Beginning to See the Light), Footsteps, Immortality, Brain of J, Faithfull, Go, Jeremy, Alive
enc 1: Do the Evolution, State of Love and Trust, Black, Elderly Woman, Better Man
enc 2: Soldier of Love
notes: Mike and Ed are in particularly great spirits. 'Corduroy' features a great Townshend leap by Ed with his white Gibson SG. The 'Wishlist' lyrics include "I wish friends would always be friends until the bitter end." Ed notes, "We've been tryin' to feel y'all out ... we think you can handle this," introducing 'Footsteps.' During 'Brain of J,' a someone in the third row passes out and while everyone is helping her, Ed is watching throughout the whole song (not dancing) to make sure she is OK. He even throws one of his water bottles out to one of her friends for her and comments, ""We've got people passing out up here ... I can only imagine what its like in the back" (big roar from back of the lawn). 'Faithfull' is dedicated to the people in the back. Mike tears the stage up on 'Go,' playing the entire solo for about a minute with the guitar behind his head and seems to get stuck near the edge of the stage and a bed of speakers, prompting Stone to ask if he had gotten stuck! Upon returning for the first encore (Ed sporting a 'blonde era' Lou Reed shirt), the crowd cheers wildly and Ed says, "Aww, you probably say that to all the bands. You're probably the same assholes that were cheering Dave Matthews here last night!" During 'State', Mike starts doing laps around the stage and Ed turns his mic to follow him. On his second lap Ed nails him with a shoulder and almost knocks him down and changes the lyrics to refer to Mike ("help him from himself"). Ed tells a humorous tale about the Mudhoney show the previous night in Chapel Hill, where he bought a beer for some guys standing by him and heard one of them say "I'm under" to which he said "Don't worry, man, I got you covered." He thought the guys were short on cash but they were saying they were underage. The two guys got dragged out of the show halfway through because some "celebrity asshole" (Ed calls himself that) got them in trouble. Ed calls them "poor fuckers" then says he made it up to them and they had backstage passes and definitely had beers in their hands right now! 'Better Man' is dedicated to Michael Jordan, with Ed just referencing someone in a light blue jersey, with number 23. Before the last encore, Ed looks at the crowd and mouths "fucking awesome." Once again, Ed brings a fan onstage for the final encore and has him hold his song book while he sings 'Soldier of Love.'

09/1/98 - Lakewood Amphitheater: Atlanta, GA [120m]
attendance: 19,000
support act: Mudhoney
soundcheck: Lowlight, No Way, Parting Ways, Dead Man (2X with drums), Blood (slower version), I Got Shit
set: Hail Hail, Animal, Given to Fly, Do the Evolution, Dissident, Corduroy, I Got Shit, Wishlist, Even Flow, In Hiding, Last Exit, (Yeastie Girls song), Off He Goes, MFC, Better Man, Brain of J, Alive
enc 1: Go, No Way, Rearviewmirror, Daughter/(Talk About the Passion)/(All Those Yesterdays)/(The Wrong Child), Black, Porch
enc 2: Yellow Ledbetter
notes: Ed says the Yeastie Girls are a feminist punk band from San Francisco and he does a rap-style improv with a drum beat provided by Matt: "We're the Yeastie Girls, with yeastie power, We don't shave and we don't shower ..." Ed leads into 'Off He Goes' saying this is what's it's like to be his best friend. They play 'No Way' thanks to the guys down front with a sign and Ed jokingly says he had seen the "No Way" sign at every show and "I don't want to have to see that fucking sign again" (laughter) and they play it. (He also saw a "Lowlight" sign and responded with a confident "no.") Before 'RVM,' Ed says that he remembers playing it at the Fox Theatre the last time they were in Atlanta and that he thought it was on Easter and that "... was when I believed in God, that was a long time ago." Ed asks if anyone is coming tomorrow night to see The Beasties and he says he's going. 'Talk About The Passion' and 'The Wrong Child' are R.E.M. songs (R.E.M. being from neighboring Athens, GA). Ed is very crowd-friendly and comes into the crowd during 'Porch.' The security guard seemed less than thrilled to go after him. [A shirt is tossed onstage reading "stop skateboard harrassment" and Ed says, "Oh, you have that down here, too!" following with, "Well, I think we need to stop concert harrassment," leading to more comments about security being too tight the previous night (NC) and tonight.] He says we were well behaved and their tactics weren't necessary. Stone screws up the beginning of 'Black' and Ed jokes that it was the first time they'd ever played it. Mike's 'Black' solo is wonderful. During 'Yellow Ledbetter,' Ed changes the lyrics to "... actually, I'd like to stay."
review [Link to Video Guide]

09/03/98 - Birmingham-Jefferson Coliseum: Birmingham, AL [117m]
attendance: 19,000
support act: Mudhoney
soundcheck: Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynrd song; Mike only), Yellow Ledbetter jams
set: Release, Hail Hail, Animal, Given to Fly, (Dueling Banjos), Corduroy, Immortality, Wishlist, Go, Daughter/(Androgynous Mind)/(Stuff and Nonsense), Footsteps, Even Flow, Jeremy, Faithfull, Brain of J, Better Man, Rearviewmirror, Porch
enc: Elderly Woman, Leatherman, Do the Evolution, Alive, Black, Baba O'Riley
notes: During 'Hail Hail,' Jeff has his eyes closed the whole time, grooving. Mike hits his stride during 'Corduroy.' 'Immortality' lasts forever with the strobe light; on 'Go' - Ed can DANCE! Ed sings "I wish I could tell my friends how much I really care" during 'Wishlist.' In 'Daughter' he starts howling and barking before going into the tag. "We wrote this this morning" before 'Even Flow'. Ed changes the lyrics to "I gather speed from me fucking with you" during 'RVM,' with the strobe lights crazy, Ed dancing with his arms going in a million directions, Mike putting the guitar behind his head, Ed breaking the mic stand. The start of 'Porch' is botched; Ed quits singing until Stone catches the rhythm. Ed jumps into the crowd during Mike's solo during 'Porch,' tripping over one of the monitors climbing back onto the stage. At the beginning of the encore, Ed comes out, pumped and jumps over the amp beside Matt's drum kit. With no music and the crowd screaming, he does a little step like 1,2 cha cha cha, looks at the crowd and says, "What am I doing?" and starts laughing, repeating "What the fuck am I doing?" :) During 'Alive,' Jeff plays to Stone, Mike's on fire, Ed runs all the way around the stage. Ed gets a lot of feedback through his mic during 'Black' (the third time it had happened) and gets mad, going over to the soundboard and shoves his finger in the air, yelling ... later and smiling at him. The band all has on big silver sunglasses (and really big smiles) during 'Baba O'Riley.' A fan makes it onto the stage from behind and is dragged down by several rough security staffers after nearly pulling down one of the candles. Ed ends it with a huge Daltrey mic-swing, finally tossing his mic over the lighting rig and leaving it hanging there as the band leaves the stage.
review with photos

09/04/98 - Bi-Lo Center: Greenville, SC [116m]
attendance: 14,027
support act: Mudhoney
soundcheck: ?, Red Mosquito, ?, Leatherman
set: Oceans, Do the Evolution, Animal, Given to Fly, Corduroy, I Got Shit, In Hiding, Jeremy, Even Flow, Nothingman, Not for You, Rearviewmirror, Wishlist, Brain of J, All Those Yesterdays, Porch
enc 1: Go, Hail Hail, Daughter/(Noise of Carpet)/(WMA), Mankind, Elderly Woman, Fuckin' Up
enc 2: Indifference
notes: 'Oceans' is a beautiful opener, with a film on the backdrop showing water ripples and Ed includes the "oh, Beth" line. During 'In Hiding,' Matt hits the drums hard at the "cracks along the wall" part ... everyone stops and then Matt kicks back in (a la John Bonham) doing the quick snare, tom, floor tom, bass drum thing ... and the song starts back up. After 'Even Flow,' Ed comments on how this was the second show held in this venue, with Janet Jackson being first, and that they're gonna "burn up the stage" and "cleanse the place." Stone has two BIG solos during 'Not for You.' 'RVM' features a fast start and never slows down--spectacular! Ed turns and sings to those seated behind the stage during 'All Those Yesterdays.' Matt maintains a strong tribal beat throughout 'Porch,' and Ed takes a small mirror, walking along the front of the crowd, showing people their our reflections. When he returns to the mic, he tries to reflect someone's laser pen that had been up on stage all night. Stone is hilarious before singing 'Mankind' saying, "I have to twist everyone's arm ... I never ever get to sing what I want." Ed sings backup and plays tambourine, breaking the head, putting it over his head and then tossing it to the crowd. Mike does his finger tapping solo. Ed makes a quip about how Stone had been "begging to play a song." He says something about how the last time they were in South Carolina, they saw a lot of small towns and they were glad Matt "got to see you," leading to 'Elderly Woman.' During 'Fuckin' Up,' Mike goes on top of a speaker stack and lies on them on top of his guitar after looking like he might go into the crowd for a moment! Stuff is thrown on the stage all; toward the start, Ed makes a great catch of a shirt and when another one is tossed up shortly after, he says, "Okay, that's enough. Only one catch a night." 'Indifference hasn't been played since the Australia shows. 'MFC,' 'Black' and 'Trouble' are on the setlist but not played. Many different solos and breakdowns in tonight's songs. Solid show, good crowd but the GA on the floor was rough.
review with setlists

09/06/98 - Thompson-Boling Arena: Knoxville, TN [114m]
attendance: 24,535
support act: Mudhoney
soundcheck: Leaving Here, Whipping, Present Tense
set: Long Road, Corduroy, Brain of J, Given to Fly, Animal, Red Mosquito, Jeremy, Whipping, Wishlist, Lukin, Even Flow, Habit, MFC, Present Tense, Daughter/(My Heart Will Go On)/(Monkey Gone to Heaven), Better Man, Alive
enc 1: Go, RVM, Do the Evolution, Hard to Imagine, Black, Last Kiss
enc 2: Leaving Here
notes: After 'Brain of J,' Ed steps up and says, "I hate to say it, but you guys are kinda quiet," but after the first encore he says, "I knew you guys would liven up." He messes up the second verse in 'Even Flow,' forgets it completely and gets the next one right (with the crowd helping) and looks out and says, "Got that fucker right, didn't I?" The 'Habit' line is along the lines of "speaking as a man who loves everyone regardless of race, creed, color or sexual preference." After 'MFC,' Ed takes a swig of beer and a woman yells, "Hey, Ed! Gimme some of that beer," prompting him to respond: "What? All I heard was 'Hey, Ed. Gimme some of that either beer, pick or your dick' ... and I got lots of beer, lots of picks and only one dick ... and I ain't wasting it on a boring ass place like Knoxville." After the next song, Ed singles her out and gives her his pick. Ed talks about how there isn't much to do in Knoxville on a Saturday night. He says he watched SNL and masturbated. 'My Heart Will Go On' is the Celine Dion (Titanic theme) song ("near, far, wherever you are ...) !!! During 'Alive,' Ed notices a fan a Cubs jersey and mouths "Cubbie fan?" The dude says "yeah" and Ed mouths "Atta boy." During 'RVM,' Stone is dazed-looking during the jam, and Ed steps up and stares at his hands as he plays. Stone startles, noticing Ed and they both die laughing and Ed mouths "Rock on, son." 'Hard to Imagine' is introduces as as song that probably "only 1 or 2 or 10 or 20" people in the audience has heard before. Mike has difficulty with his typically long solo during 'Black,' so he cuts it short, looking frustrated. Ed introduces 'Last Kiss' by saying he used to think 'Black' was the saddest song he had ever heard until he heard 'Last Kiss.' Thompson-Boiling Arena is the home of the Univ. of TN basketball champions and Ed picks up on this, noting that "women kick ass in this building," leading to 'Leaving Here.' All night PJ is in great spirits, with Ed fucking around with the crowd up front ... lots of picks tossed out and spit flying. Mike seemed to have trouble with his sound as he cuts his solos down quite a bit, but still plays in fine form. Ed and Stone kept breaking guitar strings.
setlist scan
review with photos

09/07/98 - GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheater: Virginia Beach, VA [116m]
support act: Mudhoney
set: Animal, Hail Hail, Given to Fly, Corduroy, I Got Shit, Daughter, Brain of J, Rats, Jeremy, Even Flow, Improv/MFC, Wishlist, Leatherman, Off He Goes, RVM, Black, Do the Evolution
enc: Immortality, Better Man/(Save it for Later), No Way, Alive, Sonic Reducer, Porch
notes: A near full moon tonight and an outdoor venue. Before 'Given to Fly,' Ed tells the crowd to check it out and he notes, "It's nice to be here ... beautiful moon ... nice and hot ... a really good night for singing." There isn't a 'Daughter' tag--Ed sings "shades go down ... the moon is round ... shades go down." 'Rats' is a BIG surprise, introduced as the first time played with Matt C., [we haven't heard this since Buffalo '96] off the second album, doesn't get played much and "if I screw up the words, fuck you ... at least we're giving it a try." The improv leading to 'MFC' is much like the improv leading to 'Habit' at many of the Australian shows earlier this year. Later Ed says, "Is there a difference between a dreamer and someone who wishes for something? I think there is. I still haven't figured out which I am," leading to 'Wishlist.' Ed chokes on some of the 'Leatherman' lyrics so he sings "la, la" for a whole verse and makes fun of himself. During 'RVM,' the band is silouetted and different colors are cycled through on the backdrop, making a nice effect. Mike absolutely rules 'Black' every night. The stage is very wide at Virginia Beach and he runs all over it. Ed makes a crack about how they just found out there's a curfew but they'll play right up to it and then says that they also just learned that Stone's zipper was down during the first set but "no one got hurt." 'Porch' is outstanding with a shirtless Mike playing the flying V, fast breakdown with the tribal drums and Ed has the hand mirror out again. Other highlights: rocking 'Alive' and 'Sonic Reducer;' long 'Save it for Later' tag. Band was great; crowd was drunk.

09/08/98 - Continental Arena: East Rutherford, NJ [114m]
support act: Ben Harper
set: Oceans, Hail Hail, Animal, Given to Fly, Daughter/(Jersey Girl)/(Androgynous Mind), Corduroy, MFC, Wishlist, Even Flow, Faithfull, State of Love and Trust, Brain of J, Nothingman, Leatherman, Better Man, Black, Do the Evolution
enc 1: Go, Immortality, Elderly Woman, Rearviewmirror, Alive, Porch
enc 2: Yellow Ledbetter
notes: After 'Daughter,' Eric brings out a ping pong paddle, placing it on Ed's amp and Jeff tosses a guitar pick and Ed hits it into the crowd ... in honor of Mark McGwire breaking the home run record (it happened while they were performing 'Daughter'). 'Wishlist' lyrics are modified to, "I wish I was as fortunate as New Jersey" and "I wish I was the verb to trust and never let me down." 'SoL&T' is introduced as "a song about being faithful." After 'Better Man': "This is the last song of the trilogy." When the band returns for the encore, hundreds of "BREATH" signs are held up by the crowd and the band laughs their asses off! Ed says, "That's pretty impressive, but it's not gonna do you a damn bit of good." Later (in reference to 'Elderly Woman'), he says, "This song has the word 'breath' in it if it helps at all." :)   During 'Porch,' Ed walks along the side of the stage and drops down into the crowd. When they return for the second encore, Ed and Stone are talking and talking, as if they are deciding on a song, and Mike begins 'Yellow Ledbetter,' pretty much making the decision.
Caryn's review [Link to Video Guide]

09/10/98 - Madison Square Garden: New York, NY [114m]
support act: Ben Harper
set: Long Road, Corduroy, Brain of J, Last Exit, Given to Fly, Animal, Dissident, Jeremy, Daughter/(Mother), Even Flow, In Hiding, I Got Shit, Better Man, Do the Evolution, All Those Yesterdays, Alive
enc 1: Wishlist, RVM, Hail Hail, Black, Elderly Woman, Fuckin' Up
enc 2: Soldier of Love
notes: Many, many equipment problems tonight. Mike has to change guitars THREE times during 'Given to Fly' ... but his solos are just outstanding. Stone screws up the solo in 'All Those Yesterdays,' leading to Ed's comment: "Come to Madison Square Garden; fuck the song up ... John Lennon would be proud." When PJ returns for the encore, fake security guards come out with tons of archive boxes and Ed jokes about Ken Starr wanting show passes and that they traded passes for the records ... a very, very long speech about how we have no business knowing, etc. Ed introduces the second encore as a "song about how we feel" and Mike plays the very start of 'Yellow Ledbetter' and stops with Ed saying "I'm sorry, I fucked up," and they play 'Soldier of Love' instead. [Breath sign campaign update: the signs were noticed as they extended through all levels of MSG. Ed said something along the lines of it being the best organization he'd seen outside of New Jersey; and that while they'd had a day off yesterday, someone had slipped him some Viagra and he was busy doing "something else six times."]
Caryn's review

09/11/98 - Madison Square Garden: New York, NY [130m]
support act: Ben Harper
set: Release, Hail Hail, Animal, Even Flow, Given to Fly, Corduroy, MFC, Habit, Faithfull, Daughter/(Beginning to See the Light)/(WMA), Wishlist, Nothingman, Immortality, RVM, Brain of J, Black, Do the Evolution
enc 1: Breath, State of Love and Trust, Off He Goes, Leatherman, Better Man/(Save it for Later), Mankind, Baba O'Riley
enc 2: Indifference (with Ben Harper), Alive
notes: Returning for the encore and yet another sea of "Breath" signs on ever single level of the Garden, Ed tells the crowd they are never satisfied:

"You fucking cocksuckers. [shakes head] You fucking bitch! You know, we come up here as a collective band and we give and we give and you just fucking want more ... and you know what? You deserve it. This is like some kind of organized religion here; I've never seen anything like it. Do you see what's happening? ... the third night in a row, right? [applause] Well, fuck you. We're gonna play it!" mp3 soundbyte Ed's intro to Breath (992K)
leading to the first playing of 'Breath' since 1994!!! woo hoo!!! With a brief announcement ("same record, different track"), they follow with 'SoL&T.' 'Mankind' is introduced by Stone saying, "Well, since we're playing every song in the catalog..." 'Baba' is intro'd as being a response to "corporate rock bands who make the mistake of trying to cover a real rock song." 'Indifference' is played with an ecstatic Ben Harper (who has been including 'Indifference' at some of his shows). During 'Alive,' Ed makes four attempts to toss his microphone over the vocal monitor rig above his head, and finally gets it over, but instead of just standing there, he proceeds to CLIMB UP THE MIC CORD and hang there for the rest of the song. Possibly the best show the band has ever played in their life. Period. (And they knew it, too.)
Caryn's review
Breath (5h Song X for August 98; updated)
the Breath story
Better Man (5h Song X for May 99 [Link to Video Guide]

09/13/98 - Meadows Music Theater: Hartford, CT [100m]
support act: Ben Harper
capacity: 35,000 (although capacity is 30,000)
set: Corduroy, Animal, Hail Hail, Given to Fly, I Got Shit, Go, Dissident, Tremor Christ, Daughter, Jeremy, Even Flow, Faithfull, MFC, Spin the Black Circle, Wishlist, Do the Evolution
enc: Brain of J, Breath, RVM, Better Man, Alive, Porch
notes: The security staff at this venue are horrible and pepperspray is smelled during the show. Ed messes up the 'Even Flow' lyrics in the exact same place for the fourth straight performance, asking the crowd for the lyrics. 'Faithfull' intro: "The next song is about belief. Don't get a tattoo of a guy's face unless he's dead so he can't fuck up. I was really proud of that Clinton tattoo ... Everyone raise your middle finger and yell, 'Get on with it!.'" At the start of the encore, many people in the crowd raise "thank you" signs (the thank you for PJ playing 'Breath the previous night) and Ed says, "Ah, so you all were in New York?" and makes a joke about how all of the Connecticut people must be in the back of the venue. 'Breath' is introduced as "one we haven't played in a while but it sounded pretty good last night" and they seem to really enjoy playing it. During, 'Alive,' the show takes a dramatic turn when Ed notices asshole security fucking with someone in the crowd (who is holding up a flashlight?) and Ed grabs Eric Johnson's flashlight and puts it on the security staff, displeased. He tells everyone to go dance in the aisles, and everyone rushes forward. There is a crush toward the front that continues through 'Porch.'

09/15/98 - Great Woods: Mansfield, MA [109m]
support act: Ben Harper
set: Sometimes, Corduroy, Hail Hail, Animal, Given to Fly, Daughter, Immortality, Rearviewmirror, (Crazy Mary), Wishlist, Jeremy, Even Flow, Nothingman, Brain of J, In Hiding, Alive
enc 1: Elderly Woman, Not for You, Last Exit, Do the Evolution, Black, Fuckin' Up
enc 2: Yellow Ledbetter
notes: Ed comes out looking really happy. 'Wishlist' has the "radio song" last verse; during 'In Hiding' instead of singing "cracks along the wall" he fucks up and sings "I had a bong" (lol!). During 'Alive,' Ed takes Mike out on the front of the stage, and Mike falls to the ground, rolling around and playing. During 'Not For You,' Ed drapes himself over the monitors and plays lying on his back. For the encore, he comes out and says, "What an unbelievably shitty Seattle day it's been!" (it had rained earlier in the day). "Actually, there's a couple of things in common between Boston and Seattle: you got history and old buildings, and we got Jimi Hendrix. So, fuck you ... and we got Mike McCready, and also, via San Diego, we got Matt Cameron." and then gives Matt's side project, Wellwater Conspiracy, a big plug.
review #1 and photos
review #2 and photos

09/16/98 - Great Woods: Mansfield, MA [125m]
support act: Ben Harper
set: Throw Your Arms Around Me (Ed solo before Ben Harper); Release, Brain of J, Hail Hail, Given to Fly, Dissident, MFC, Corduroy, Wishlist, Even Flow, Faithfull, Spin the Black Circle, I Got Shit, Improv/Habit, Off He Goes, Present Tense, Black, Do the Evolution, Porch
enc 1: Go, State of Love and Trust, Better Man/(Save It for Later), Rearviewmirror, Alive
enc 2: Last Kiss
notes: An amazing show with Ed's emotions all over the place. Ed takes the stage prior to Ben Harper's set, plays the riff to 'Wishlist' saying, "I wish I was Ben Harper" before playing 'Throw Your Arms Around Me.' Opening music to PJ's set is 'Aye Davanita' and *not* 'The Color Red!' 'GTF' and Dissident are extremely emotional; it appears as though Ed is crying, and as a result, he flubs a few words. Before 'MFC' he says he had to compose himself before going on. Before 'Even Flow,' he comments, "It's take no prisoners time;" he gets the words right and laughs about it. The 'Habit' saying is "Speaking as a someone who pahked the cah at the Gahden," (a reference to the Boston Garden) delivered with an exaggerated Boston accent. Before "Present Tense,' Ed says he was reading this thing in the hotel room, and he wanted to see if it said anything about the concert coming up, and he pretends like he's reading this pamphlet, and says: "As yet another summer of drunken musical orgies comes to a close at the Great Woods Amphitheatre ... Pearl Jam and Ben Harper: sold out, SUCKER ..." During 'Porch' Ed comes into the crowd, telling people not to pull on him. Right before 'Go' he says, "It's coming to a close ... if this was my summer, this is what I'd be thinking." Some idiot is throwing quarters at Ed and he launches into a huge tirade (rightfully so) and then catches himself ("Ahh, that felt good.") mp3 soundbyte of Ed's rant about the quarters (664k)   'Last Kiss' is started and stopped, with Ed noting, "They've got it now ... same drums though." The show is closed with, "Have a nice millenium; until next time." This is one of the finest shows of 1998, with excellent versions of songs and the band in great spirits. As is often typical, the second show at the same venue is the best!
review [Link to Video Guide]

09/18/98 - Merriweather Post Pavilion: Columbia, MD [123m]
support act: Ben Harper
set: Hail Hail, Animal, Given to Fly, Daughter/(I Believe in Miracles)/(WMA), Corduroy, Wishlist, Immortality, State of Love and Trust, Even Flow, Footsteps, Mankind, Alive, Better Man, Leatherman, Jeremy, Do the Evolution
enc 1: Elderly Woman, Brain of J, Improv/MFC, (Crazy Mary)/Rearviewmirror, Black, Porch
enc 2: Last Kiss, Yellow Ledbetter
notes: 'Aye Davanita' is once again the intro music. Images are projected onto the backdrop again during various songs: 'Animal' = stars; 'GTF' = white clouds on blue sky; 'Footsteps' = water ripples. Mr. Pickles' face is now painted green and red. In 'Wishlist,' Ed sings, "I wish I was the president and I could change my ways." He notices a sign in the front row and says, "You guys are expecting to have desert first without the having the main course; it'll ruin your appetite." In "Immortality" Ed flubs a lyric, Mike and Matt's solos are excellent. Before 'SOLAT,' Ed is reaching into the crowd; Mike and Jeff are playing off each other and Ed is singing to Mike; at one point, Ed checks his reflection in a hand mirror that's on his amp. (???) 'Even Flow,' once again, Ed flubs the lyrics in THE SAME SPOT (bring that man a cue card) and Stoney is dancing around in circles. Ed reaches for his tea during Mike's solo and loses his balance, falling backwards, laughing and spilling tea everywhere. Stone loses his glasses before 'Footsteps'; Mike does a bluesy solo. Before 'Mankind,' Stone says, "We're gonna play mine tonight, see if you know it." During 'Alive' Ed nearly falls right into Matt's drum kit. The 'Leatherman' lyrics are substituted halfway through with "la la la" again. 'Elderly Woman' is introduced with, "This is for the residents of Chevy Chase, we can't figure out who was named after what." The improv before 'MFC' is just Ed and Matt together with some lyrics along the lines of, "it's so hard to alone, but sometimes you just gotta go ... it'll take 10 minutes or so" (sounding similar to the 'Hold On' improv from the 4/11/94 Boston show). Mike plays behind his head during 'Porch'; Ed picks up the hand mirror and starts catching the lights and reflecting it back on the crowd; at the end, he flips it over, looks at his reflection, acts scared, and drops the mirror! 'Last Kiss' is introduced with a banner from a fan. After 'Last Kiss,' Ed introduces Matt and plugs Wellwater Conspiracy again; then he says, "We're playing a benefit tomorrow. Hovercraft is opening, my wife's in the band. I'm real excited I get to see her, we've been on the road so long; this is Jeff, this is Stone, and they've been together as long as my wife and I," and Jeff and Stone get really red and hug each other.

09/19/98 - Constitution Hall: Washington, DC (Voters for Choice benefit) [125m]
support act: Hovercraft
capacity: 3,500
soundcheck: Act of Love, Push Me Pull Me (4X), Last Kiss (2X), Soldier of Love (Ed notebook in hand reading the lyrics), MFC, Leaving Here (they absolutely nailed it!)
set: I Am a Patriot (before Hovercraft); Long Road, Act of Love, Hail Hail, Dissident, Given to Fly, Corduroy, Wishlist, Not for You, All Those Yesterdays, Daughter/(Roc kin' in the Free World)/(WMA), Whipping, Immortality, Push Me Pull Me, Faithfull, Present Tense, Rearviewmirror, Black, Do the Evolution
enc 1: I Got Shit, Better Man, Alive, Soldier of Love
enc 2: Yellow Ledbetter
notes: Ed says, "Hi, it feels like we're in the White House ... we haven't played a place with carpet in a while; I think this place is the last bastion of sanity in town. Music is the choice; we're here tonight, you're gonna hear words and entertainment, not in any particular order; Hovercraft's gonna come out (applause ... someone shouts 'Ed for President') ... It's not gonna happen, unless you agree to release the tapes that say, 'Ed was sitting in his hotel room smoking pot out of a bong (applause)" and he goes into 'I Am a Patriot.' Several speakers follow from Voters For Choice, and then Gloria Steinem speaks: "I pledge to you that I will go to jail before I tell Ken Starr anything that goes on here tonight ... These guys live their beliefs; they're smart and good-hearted; they use their heads and their minds, they started out, they had tough times, but they weren't broken by them, and it's rare that any other group that they've remained themselves with their success ... they look after their true selves and your true selves" and then she introduces the band, making mistakes on Stone and Mike's names. =) The band comes out and Ed says, "You know why we're here; we'll talk later." During 'Not for You,' Ed comments: "We want to dedicate this next set of lines to the CC" before the "all that's sacred line" (referring to the Christian Coalition, who are meeting in DC this week). Ed's delivery during 'All Those Yesterdays' is particularly notable and distinct. 'Push Me Pull Me' is a little rough, and Ed shrugs at the end, and then says, "This one we'll do better ..." leading to 'Faithfull.' Somebody passes up a big sign, and he reads it: "Dear PJ: word up, dogs ... you guys fucking kick it. Look us up when you're back in DC, we're in the book; Bill, Hillary and Chelsea." (That was not what the sign really said =)). And then in a Clinton voice, Ed says, "He just needs to go on TV and say, 'Shoot, it's no big deal'...but I guess he already did that a couple of weeks ago." Someone shouts "I love you Eddie," and he replies, "Watch it, keep it consensual ... this isn't about issues." Then someone yells, "I love PJ" and Ed says, "Well, so do I ... this just is bipartisan politics in motion, that's what's ruining the country, ruining the office of the President ... people are playing king of the hill while there's people with lives, families, debts and injury who really need help," before starting 'Present Tense.' Mike's solo during 'Black' is right on, and Ed applauds him, and notes him when the song is over. "The last time we played here was with L7 and Young Neil ... he gave me a song writing lesson at a half-price rate; this is what I came up with ... on my final, he gave me a B+ I think" leading to 'I Got Shit.' Mike sings with Ed during 'Better Man' during the "she dreams in color" line! Ed has a bunch of VFC condoms inside his tambourine and starts handing them out toward the end of 'Alive.' Ed thanks the VFC people, "They're not up there to lead any one astray; don't let the funny business down the street think that voting isn't worth it. Vote for what you believe." 'Soldier of Love' is dedicated to "people on the other side of the issue." Gloria comes out with roses before 'YL,' and says, "There's history here tonight; this is the first time Hovercraft has played Voters for Choice; Pearl Jam's third; Sadie 7 is really Beth Liebling, Ed Vedder is Ed Vedder; these are two artists, married to each other, here tonight, both for this cause, and dedicating their time. I want to thank Stone and Mike for not getting pissed at me for messing up their names. I don't know if I can get Beth out here .. (the audience chants 'Beth, Beth') ... this is the crew's bread and butter, I want to thank them for donating their time tonight." Then Beth comes out, takes a rose, she and Ed do a little dance; Beth leaves, and Gloria says, "Democracy comes to those who vote," and the band goes into 'YL.'
Ed's lyrics for "Act of Love"
poster [Link to Video Guide]

09/22/98 - Coral Sky Amphitheatre: West Palm Beach, FL [113m]
support act: Rancid
set: (Interstellar Overdrive)/Corduroy, Brain of J, Hail Hail, Animal, Red Mosquito, Given to Fly, Even Flow, MFC, Improv/Habit, Wishlist, Daughter, Jeremy, In Hiding, Lukin, Rearviewmirror, Immortality, Do the Evolution, Porch
enc 1: Last Exit, Leatherman, Better Man, (Angie), State of Love and Trust, Alive
enc 2: Baba O'Riley
notes: Stone is spotted during Rancid's set from side stage; he appears to know all the lyrics. The lead-in music is 'Aye Davanita' again. It is a hot, humid night and Ed jokes about how the humidity is fucking up his hair (he has a serious 'fro thing going on). The improv leading to 'Habit' (sounding much like the 2/20/98 Maui improv musically), includes the lyrics "dropped three times." mp3 soundbyte of improv (1,408k)   Instead of a "speaking as ..." line, Ed plays a slow, distinctive guitar riff. Before 'In Hiding,' he comments how the next song has a chorus he'll need help with from the crowd and how he has trouble remembering ... it "must be that pot I smoked last night." During the 'RVM' solo, Ed strikes a pose with one arm to the right while he is looking left, and he's totally still, not moving, but his sweat is pouring down. More effects on the backdrop: clouds on 'GTF;' water on 'Immortality;' lightning on 'Better Man.' During the 'Porch' jam, Ed starts singing "last dance ... last chance." (Donna Summer anyone?) The 'Angie' snippet is a surprise, seeming as if the intent is to play the entire song but they abandon it after Mike and Ed can't quite get it together after the first few notes. mp3 soundbyte of angie (792k) Ed tosses the microphone above the scaffolding during 'Alive' (he doesn't climb the cord), and it isn't retrieved but remains looped into the final encore. Before 'Baba,' Ed thanks Rancid and challenges them to play a Who song. Rather than tossing the tambourine into the crowd during 'Baba,' he throws it frisbee-style at the backdrop, and he joins in on guitar for a rousing ending. A rocking show with the band having fun, despite the heat. (On the setlist but not played: 'Black,' 'Go' and 'Nothingman.')

09/23/98 - Coral Sky Amphitheatre: West Palm Beach, FL [133m]
support act: Rancid
set: Release, Hail Hail, Animal, Spin the Black Circle, Given to Fly, Corduroy, Rearviewmirror, Wishlist, Faithfull, Even Flow, Daughter/(Time Bomb)/(WMA), Improv (Life), Whipping, Present Tense, Not For You, Brain of J, Black, Alive
enc 1: Breath, Elderly Woman, I Got Shit, Do the Evolution, Rats, Smile, Leaving Here
enc 2: Yellow Ledbetter
notes: Mike is apparently cross-dressing again, wearing a feathery black stole around his neck briefly at the start and end of the show. He also sports a tight, black (spandex?) shirt with a silver bead design (spelling out "Rolling Stones") in the front with a low circular neckline. Ed welcomes everyone to the last night of the tour and says, "... besides the hurricane's gonna kill us all so let's go out with a bang." 'Wishlist' lyrics are modified to: "I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish ... sometimes it works out." The 'Daughter' tags are Rancid's 'Time Bomb,' followed by 'WMA,' with the lyrics altered to "... big hand slapped a white male Floridian." mp3 soundbyte of timebomb (2,123k)   After 'Daughter', Lars Fredriksen from Rancid comes onstage, hands Ed his strat, towels off his face, puts a cigarette in his mouth and lights it, shines his shoes, hugs him and tosses the towel to the crowd. The improv is actually named: Ed says, "OK, we're gonna call that song 'Life'." mp3 soundbyte of 'Life' improv (1,656K)   During the encore break, the crew pulls out a ping pong table and sets it up while the 'Star Wars' theme plays over the loudspeaker. Eric Johnson gets on the mic and announces, "Ladies and gentlemen, we're going to have the ping pong challenge, and the sponsor is the PJ road crew. There will be two teams, the red team is Jeff Ament and Eddie Vedder; the black team is Stone Gossard and Matt Cameron; refereed by star Mike McCready." The band begins playing ping pong (with the 'Star Wars' theme continuing), a couple of points go by, and Eric says, "This ball's going a little bit flat. Let's get another ball here," and someone up above drops a whole bunch of ping pong balls, dozens, on the table. mp3 soundbyte of the ping pong match (2,222K)   The band is totally surprised and they start hitting the balls into the crowd for a minute or two. Ed ends it saying, "What the fuck was that? ... snowing in Florida?" Then he makes mention of people who have been to a lot of the shows and picks out a few in the crowd, "18 or 20 shows ..." and thanks them. Then Ed changes the songs, and he goes into 'Breath'. "Oh, I just changed songs on them." Toward the end of 'Breath', Ed is tossing ping pong balls at Mike who is batting them into the crowd with his guitar. At the end of 'Leaving Here,' Mike smashes his guitar. After 'Smile,' Ed says, "This is the only tour we're gonna stop where we wished we could play some more ..."
review w/photo

10/10/98 - Crocodile Cafe: Seattle [39m]
supporting: Cheap Trick
capacity: 341
soundcheck: Naked Eye (bits), Angie (snippets), Corduroy, Not For You, Spin the Black Circle, Leaving Here, Leatherman (little vocals), I Got Shit, MFC
set: MFC, Habit, Corduroy, Immortality, Spin the Black Circle, All Those Yesterdays, Leatherman, Leaving Here, Do The Evolution, Soldier of Love
notes: The rumor that had all Seattle a-buzz came to fruition tonight, the last night of Cheap Trick's three night stand. A very rested and relaxed looking PJ (featuring a newly raven-haired Mr. McCready, sporting the MSG I Van Halen shirt) took the tiny Croc stage after a really warm introduction by Rick Nielsen. The set is notable for the fact that 1) no radio hits, and 2) almost all were songs with Eddie on guitar. This has to be the most adventurous setlist in years. 'Immortality' is nothing short of tremendous thanks to none other than one Matthew D. Cameron, who OWNS the song, to the point that the Cheap Trick fans in the audience all noted it after the set as a standout (and were asking what record it was on!). Ed's eyes are closed and he doesn't start to make eye contact until 'STBC,' where he sheds the guitar and breaks out into the trademark Ed shuffle-dance (as best he could in that tiny space - PJ set up IN FRONT of Cheap Trick's equipment). Mike runs up on top of Rick Nielsen's guitar platform during the song as well, to much amusement. After the song ends, Ed remarks to the crowd that the previous song was about vinyl - "Remember vinyl? ... imagine how different it would be if all Cheap Trick's records had been [and he outlines a cd sized square with his hands] ... 'Got my Kiss CD's out' doesn't have quite the same ring ..." [quoting from Cheap Trick's 'Surrender']. Matt sings backup (along with Stone and Jeff) on a super version of 'All Those Yesterdays.' Jeff plays one of Tom Petersson's 12-string basses on 'Corduroy'; 'Leavin' Here' is notable in that the solo order was Stone, *Jeff*, Ed, Mike. Mike further adds to it by running and grabbing a handful of Rick Nielsen's guitar picks and tossing them at the audience (just like Rick does!). 'Soldier of Love' is not on the setlist, but is added at the last minute after a hurried conference. Tight, razor-sharp and perfect, while staying within the 40-minute time slot allotted to the opening bands. (Security was very tight, so we have no photos, however, there are some lovely shots in the "photo gallery" section of the Croc's web site.)
Caryn's review (& Nov 98 Song X)

11/06/98 - Karma Club: Boston, MA (Ed only supporting Neil)
supporting: Neil Finn
soundcheck: History Never Repeats, Throw Your Arms Around Me, Off He Goes (several times)
set: Stuff and Nonsense, World Where You Live, History Never Repeats, Off He Goes, Throw Your Arms Around Me
notes: After Dave Dobbyn's opening set, Neil Finn plays a short solo set, later accompanied by his son, Liam. Eventually, a newly blonde Ed joins Neil and they play 'Stuff and Nonsense' (Split Enz song), 'World Where You Live' (Crowded House song) and 'History Never Repeats' (another Split Enz tune). Ed leaves the stage and Neil's excellent set continues. Neil calls for his guests to return for the second encore, and Ed comments, "Neil asked me if I wanted to do one of our (PJ's) songs, but I think it's more fun to do his. But it's tough to turn down an opportunity to play music with people like this" (referencing Neil and his very talented son). This lead to a wonderful 'Off He Goes,' (Neil playing piano, Liam on electric guitar and Ed on acoustic). Ed's hand is bandaged and he explains he injured it surfing, his doctor advised him not to play guitar for 6-8 weeks, but he wasn't listening ;) . They then continue into 'Throw Your Arms Around Me,' with Neil and Ed alternating verses. After Ed leaves, Neil says, "The good thing about losing your band and playing solo is that you get to play with a lot of great people" (referring to Ed). (Sadly, a few obnoxious PJ/"Eddie" fans rudely blabbed during Neil's set and were generally unruly.)
EV with Neil (5h Song X for December 98)

11/24/98 - PJ's first live album, Live on Two Legs, featuring cuts from various stops on the '98 tour, is released

12/23/98 - A photo book, featuring band photos by Lance Mercer and Charles Peterson, Place/Date, is published and made available to fan club members