Live: 07-11-03 Mansfield, MA
Pearl Jam eases into its epic 48-song Mansfield, MA, show with the poignant "Long Road" from the 1996 film Dead Man Walking. It is the perfect opener for these aging alternative giants who have made a mission out of avoiding the path of least resistance and putting on marathon live shows. This first set of the evening sticks to acoustic versions of fan favorites like "Indifference" and "Sometimes" before breaking for a Sleater-Kinney set (not included). Set two kicks off with an ominous version of "Can't Keep" from Riot Act before exploding into brutal, full-throated renderings of "Breakerfall" and "Brain of J." Frontman Eddie Vedder sounds tired yet incrementally possessed as the show continues, delivering the anthemic "Why Go" with its chorus of "Why go home/Why go home" like a schoolyard dare. The audience takes his advice and screams through three encores, including classics like "Jeremy" and classic covers like "Fortunate Son" and "Rockin' in the Free World," before delivering the enduring singalong B-side "Yellow Ledbetter" like the blue-collar road dogs the band has become.