Pearl Jam Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul MN – August 31st 2023

Pearl Jam Live at Xcel Energy Center St. Paul, MN – August 31st, 2023

Pearl Jam play at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  This kicks off 2023 Gigaton Tour featuring both hits and rarities.  This sold-out show is what the Twin Cities has been waiting for. As any Pearl Jam fan knows, the setlist is everything. The band opened with the first four plus songs in a seated low-profile setting. “Indifference”, normally a show closer, opened the concert. The energy of the band and the crowd built from there leading to an unforgettable night of music that new and old fans could appreciate.

One of the cooler aspects of the stage setup is that the band can completely turn around and play to the folks that are behind as it is an open stage with no obstructions. It provides a 360-degree view of the band for the fans and vice versa. Another notable crowd observation, and one of the coolest about this crowd, was not everyone pulled out their cell phones to record what they were seeing. They honestly enjoyed what was happening on stage, listening to the music and weren’t all trying to record it.

Back to the music, they played songs from Gigaton including “Buckle Up”, “Seven O’Clock”, “Dance of the Clairvoyants”, and “Super Blood Wolf Moon”. They also included old school favorites like “Daughter”, “Go”, “Love Boat Captain”, “State of Love and Trust”, and “Porch”.

The band left the stage and Eddie returned with an 8-string guitar to start off the extended encore. He played a tribute to Tom Petty singing “Wildflowers” and talking about how he and the band had an opportunity to open for Tom Petty right there at the Xcel Energy Center in 2006. Being a huge Pearl Jam fan “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” was one of my favorites and of course performing a cover of “Crazy Mary” by Victoria Williams is always a classic go-to song for Pearl Jam. Closing out the night they played “Alive” and “Yellow Ledbetter” which brought up the house lights making a large arena feel very personal.

From this long time PJ fan’s perspective this is a great way to kick off the 2023 Gigaton tour.

By Ryan Bresnahan

Photos provided by Joe Lemke