Pearl Jam at The O2, London, UK – 18th June 2018

Posted by Bianca on Monday Jun 18, 2018 Under Alternative, Grunge, Rock

Review + Photos by Frank Ralph

What do you get when you see a band like Pearl Jam two nights running?

Well, normally you’d get two pretty much completely unique and different set lists, a sore throat from singing along like you were 18 again and a euphoric feeling that turns you into one giant goose bump.

That’s what you’d normally get, and that was the hope as we ventured down south from the safety of the North to see Pearl Jam’s sold out shows at the O2 Arena. Night one went with barely a hitch and the scenes inside the venue were amazing. The set list covered tracks from their vast back catalogue including Even Flow, Deep and Porch from their faultless debut, fan favourites like Brain of J and Love Boat Captain and even new track Can’t Deny Me.

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It was two and a half hours of pure joy. They even turned their set up around to play Last Kiss directly to the part of the crowd sat behind Matt Cameron’s drum kit. A great gesture from the guys. They capped the night off with a stunning encore that included Alive and their perfect version of Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World.

However, Eddie did complain that his voice wasn’t up to scratch. He explained he’d seen two throat specialist and even though his offer of £50k to them if they could get him to sound like Adele was turned down, we were glad he didn’t accept the offer to sound like Liam Gallagher for £50.

As he said his voice trouble made the sad songs sadder and the angry songs angrier. Thankfully for Eddie though there were 20,000ish willing voices to lend a hand.

That made the news we all got on Tuesday morning that they had cancelled the second show due to Eddie losing his voice a little easier to swallow. It was still tough news but easier to understand the decision. It must be a really hard one to make as Pearl Jam fans don’t just rock up from 5 minutes down the road to see their heroes they fly in from all over the world, book hotels and make holiday plans around their shows. It’s not cheap being a Pearl Jam fan and with the prospect of having to do it all over again next month for the rescheduled date is a bit daunting.

That make up show should be spectacular though!

So that left many people with no plans for a Tuesday night in London. Not a quiet place, it has plenty to offer it just so happens that we could’ve chosen between seeing The Stones at Twickenham (an expensive alternative), David Byrne and Laura Mvula (which would have been a great show) or some NXT wrestling at the Royal Albert Hall.

After deciding The Stones was a bit out of our price range for a last minute music fix we decided to stay at the hotel and watch some football until a tribute band called Pearl Jamm announced they were stepping up to play a last minute show somewhere in London to give a small amount of fans something to do.

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Within an hour they’d announced a show at The Borderline, within half an hour they’d sold it out and within two hours there was a throng of eager Pearl Jam fans lining the street outside the venue. They got a heroes welcome when they came on stage and put on a great show – probably the best of their career – as every single person in there was absolutely bang up for it. I can only imagine how they felt hearing the crowd singing back to them so intensely. It will definitely be a story they tell for the rest of their lives, and if Matt Cameron had accepted their offer to appear with them it would have been one of those insane stories for everyone who managed to get a ticket.

So, a great two days experience derailed by a lost voice but saved by the quick thinking and actions of Pearl Jamm and a few hundred other voices. Eddie please get well and find yours again soon. We’ll be here when you’re ready!

3 Responses to “Pearl Jam at The O2, London, UK – 18th June 2018”

  1. Matt Says:

    Hey guys, thanks so much for including us in this piece! It was an amazing gig, wish we could have got everyone in who didn’t have a ticket. Such an amazing atmosphere! We’re putting together a video as a momento for people who were there, if you have any photos or videos, would you mind sending them over to our email please? We’ll be sure to credit you. Thanks again!

  2. Tim Love Says:

    Wow thanks guys. We absolutely loved the gig and we are over the moon that we managed to get a show together to give PJ fans some small consolation.

  3. mal Says:

    screw pearl jam. we always get midweek gigs in the UK when the big bands come over from the US. I had to take 2 days off work, travel 6 hours to london and book a hotel to stay overnight. While they couldnt help cancelling the concert they could have arranged the rescheduled night for a weekend day. Im sure many people are in the same position as i am, I cant get anymore time off work to go to london again so am trying to sell my ticket for less than i paid for it because no wants them now

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