Playlist – Ten rarely aired songs we’d like Pearl Jam play at Milton Keynes

Madeinamericapearljam
Pearl Jam are back on the road in Europe – they play Milton Keynes Bowl tomorrow (11 July) and unsurprisingly, with this being the Lightning Bolt Tour and all, the title track to their 2013 album has been thrashed out fairly regularly during live sets. The band have also become reliably efficient at playing the odd, the obvious and all that’s in between when it comes to cover songs. The recent run of European dates have been no exception to this. In Italy the band segued 1993’s Vs. track Daughter into Disney’s Let It Go (Frozen). While Austrian crowds were entertained by the joyful noise of The Beatles Rain. What can never be certain is what will be next. But what about those not often heard live tracks from the bands own back catalogue? Here are ten we’d like to hear when the band round off their European stay at the Bowl.
Kirsty Fraser (@KirstyFwrites)

Angel
This 1993 Ten Club Christmas single hasn’t been heard since the band played it way back in 1994. The lyrics to the song are apparently an interpretation of William Watson’s short story The Eloping Angels: A Caprice.

Black, Red, Yellow
Originally a B-side to the 1996 single Hail, Hail. It then made an inspired appearance on the band’s B-sides and rarities collection Lost Dogs. It hasn’t been seen on
the live circuit since the band literally shook Madison Square Garden’s in New York back in 2010.

Dirty Frank
Even Flow’s B-side, it also featured on the Lost Dogs release. The song tells the story of “Dirty Frank Dahmer,” a cannibalistic tour bus driver who prowls concert venues, eating groupies. It’s a no-show since 2006.

I’m Open
With sparse spoken word vocals and deep bass rumbles I’m Open, the penultimate track on 1996 album No Code, is not typical live set material. This point is proved by the fact it hasn’t been played in Europe since 2007.

Strangest Tribe
Written by Stone Gossard, this is a mellow, winter inspired acoustic number. The track was originally the bands 1999 Ten Club Christmas single. It’s so rare that the track do not get a live debut for years.

Sweet Lew
The Jeff Ament led song is a bizarre half-sung, half-rap homage to Kareem Abdul Jabar (Lew Alcindor.) It rightfully never made the cut on 2000’s Binaural but hasn’t been played since 2010.

Hitchhiker
Yet another track, which formed part of the flotsam and jetsam of Lost Dogs. It’s an odd, sometimes angular, pop-driven song which splits opinion. Just like Strangest Tribe it has also never been played on the live circuit. (It seems Hitchhiker has made a recent comeback along with Strangest Tribe’s debut, see comments below)

Rival
Blues-rock reigns on Rival, a slow driven track from Binaural, a track which see’s Matt Cameron’s ragged drum beat come to the fore. Despite the love that hardcore Pearl Jam fans have for the song, Vedder and co haven’t played it in Europe since 2000.

Just A Girl
One of the first songs the band wrote together and part of the 2009 re-release of Ten, The snarling guitars of Just A Girl haven’t been heard live since 1991.

Last Soldier
Written by Mike McCready, this is a statement about the war in Afghanistan. The band played it at both nights of their 2001 Bridge School Benefit in California and it hasn’t been played since.

For more head to Pearljam.com

  • Dottles

    Hitchhiker was played in Manchester in 2012 and Strangest Tribe this tour in Oslo. There’s a really good PJ stat app for iPhone that would provide all the research you need for these sorts of things ;)

  • ericlered

    I saw Hitchhiker in 2012 in Manchester, Dottles is right about Strangest Tribe too, nice research d’oh!