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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews

Photos + Review: Pearl Jam, Pluralone @ Scotiabank Arena

By: Curtis Sindrey –

TORONTO, ON. – Sept. 08 – Pearl Jam performs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario on September 08, 2022. (Photo: Curtis Sindrey for Aesthetic Magazine)

Grunge heroes Pearl Jam played a long-awaited concert at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena last night (Sept. 8th) in what was a performance that was two years in the making when their initial 2020 tour dates in support of their 2020 album Gigaton were postponed due to COVID-19.

As a stark contrast to PJ’s usual high-voltage energy on stage, the show kicked off in a subdued manner with a trio of songs in the form of “Daughter”, “Come Back”, and “Sometimes” performed with the Seattle-based five-piece sitting on stools.

The lighter side of PJ showed through during the early half of their 24-song set with the tour debut of “All Those Yesterdays” from 1998’s Yield, and “River Cross” from 2020’s Gigaton.

By around mid-set is when we reached peak frenzied ’90s energy PJ when Eddie Vedder and co. launched into classics like “Corduroy”, and No Code single “Hail, Hail”. Most notably, Vedder and guitarist Mike McCready were the most energetic and fun to watch during these songs and for the rest of the set with endless movement that effortlessly keeping the sold-out crowd mesmerized.

“Elton John is playing down the road,” said Vedder between songs as he launched into a brief vocal rendition of John’s hit “Tiny Dancer”. He admits that as a kid he thought the lyric was “all the head lice on the highway”, which was “before I started smoking pot,” Vedder said jokingly.

Later on, Vedder touched on the loss of acclaimed drummers in the last few years, most recently being Foo Fighters star Taylor Hawkins. “They changed the game and our lives,” said Vedder. “It makes us count our blessings every time we take the stage.”

As is tradition at PJ shows nowadays, they took the opportunity later on in the set to play a cover of (and tour debut!) of the Wayne Cochran classic “Last Kiss” to the seats behind the stage. It was a unique moment to say the least as the fans in probably the not so cheap seats got an opportunity to be serenaded by the alt-rock icons.

Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip received several shout-outs during the show, with Downie’s song “Here, Here and Here” being played prior to the show, and Vedder seeing and asking to be given a touching fan sign that said “Light Years for Gord”. During that moment, and before launching into the Binaural cut, Vedder said “it’s something that you have to keep getting through.”

Pearl Jam is a live band. Period. There is no better way to experience them than in concert and to enjoy all of the light, and touching moments, Vedder’s off-the-cuff storytelling, and on-point musicianship that PJ has become known for. And while it took a while to get there, they always come back.

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Pearl Jam
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Pluralone
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