02 May 2011

THE MUSIC AND PRESTON BLACK Pearl Jam, Madison Square Garden, September 11, 1998


    "You know, I would've died for Joe Strummer or Eddie Vedder."

Pearl Jam was my band. Not Nirvana. Not Guns N' Roses. Kurt was too much a poster child for the new stuff. Pearl Jam were underdogs.

Maybe it was because Stone Gossard played a Strat. Not a Les Paul like Slash and not an ESP like Kirk Hammett. I played a Strat. Like Jimi and Clapton. Old guys. Everybody knew Strats weren't heavy. Then Pearl Jam releases Evenflow. Shut 'em all right the hell up.

Maybe it was because they maintained an element of control over their chaos. Punk held against a ruler. Maybe it's because Ed's lyrics sounded like poetry to my naive little ears. Like he really had something to say to kids like me.

Breath is played for the first time since 1994 at this show. Breath, from the SINGLES soundtrack, from the year I was in a band, the year I transferred to Cal, the year I became a bigger fish at the rafting outfitter, the year I met my wife and shed the trappings of high school in a big way. I found people who lived like I did. One of my clearest memories of Cheat season is Bo Harshine cranking Pearl Jam's Black out the side of his old van before putting on the river. My band.

Note the date. Guess that had a little something to do with me picking this show. For me, and a lot of people, the 90s ended in 2001. Maybe today will mark the end of the 2000s for some people. It's certainly the end of an era.

Download the show at Sugarmegs.

Pearl Jam
September 11, 1998
Madison Square Garden: New York, NY


Source: 2-source mix: [Schoeps MK5 (cardioid) > R-Mod > Sony SBM-1 > Sony PCM-M1 (right risers) > dat] + [Core Sound Cardioid > Sony TCD-D7 > dat] > cdr > dEdit > dEQ > flac

Digital Matrix Mix: "Sneaky Bastard" (mixed with Pro Tools)
Digital Editing and Remastering: Allen Robertson
Artwork: Allen Robertson


01 Release
02 Hail Hail
03 Animal
04 Even Flow
05 Given to Fly
06 Corduroy
07 MFC
08 Habit
09 Faithfull
10 Daughter/(Beginning to See the Light)/(W.M.A.)
11 Wishlist
12 Nothingman
13 Immortality
14 Rearviewmirror

01 Brain of J
02 Black
03 Do the Evolution
encore 1:
04 Breath (#)
05 State of Love and Trust
06 Off He Goes
07 Leatherman
08 Better Man/(Save it for Later)
09 Mankind
10 Baba O'Riley
encore 2:
11 Indifference (^)
12 Alive


(#) = first time played since Boston 4/11/94
(^) = performed with Ben Harper

Recording Notes:
The editing performed was to minimize the spots of static, clicks/pops, and handclaps. Many of these were during the first thirty seconds or so of "Animal" and during the first minute of "Immortality", but there were many others here and there throughout the entire show (which supposedly happened during the mixing, or were present on one of the sources prior to mixing). There is also a mild glitch @ 4:13 of "Release" which
was improved a little, but could not be fixed completely, and there is something unidentifiable @ 0:20 on "Black" which was could not be completely corrected. Approximately 100-150 pops have been manually removed. The end result is absolutely by no means perfect; there is an annoying whistler, the audience noise gets a little
overbearing sometimes, and there are still some occasional pops. It is possible that this show could be made better in the future by doing a new mix of the two sources and isolating the pops beforehand (instead of after mixing), but this source is probably the best until then, if that ever happens.

Special Note:
This is the second of two remastered versions that were done for this show. The sound on the first one was accidentally made too tinny, so this new one has more bass brought back. Also even more pops were edited (primarily on the second disc). The beginning of "Alive" sounds a little strange through headphones due to a filter that was added there on the left channel to filter out a high-pitched feedback problem that was present for most of the song (thanks to roberob23 for identifying that). Also, you may want to pay close attention to the flac fingerprints to make sure that you have the correct better version.

Artwork Notes (spacedvest):
The artwork is a 9/11 tribute, using the coincidence of the date and the band playing in New York. The only thing that has been modifed from before for this "rerelease" is a modified tray file (some of the times on the second disc where slightly changed from before).

Show Notes (thanks to Five Horizons):
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..." 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.)

This is being distributed by blackredyellow.com in tandem with j.sidewalkcrusaders.com, and is part of a series of the best Pearl Jam shows in existence (BTW, the spell checker is now on). If the artwork is not included, you
can find it at blackredyellow.com.

Compiled by spacedvest on 5/16/04, more notes by spacedvest on 7/13/04.

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