Ticket scan coming soon...
August 21st, 2008
Auditorium Theatre
Chicago Illinois

Main Set...
Walking the Cow/Trouble/Ship Song/I Am Mine/Hurt/Sometimes/Man of the Hour/No More/Setting Forth/ No Ceiling/Guaranteed/Far Behind/Rise/Here's to the State of George W./Goodbye/Drifting/Hide Your Love Away/ Betterman/Porch
First Encore...
Elderly Woman/Someday We'll Go All The Way/Helpless/Society/Parting Ways/Arc
Second Encore...
Hard Sun

I was looking forward to the Ed solo shows like crazy. I had listened to the West Coast tour and loved what I heard. It didn't matter that the setlists didn't vary like Pearl Jam sets, I thought the shows were great. I also loved the banter/storytelling. Plus, I really needed more Pearl Jam. Even though I saw 7 shows this summer, it still left me wanting more. Factor in a beautiful, intimate (compared to the typical Pearl Jam venue) theater...and I knew I would not be disappointed.

Bob and I ended up with tickets in row U (the best non-close row, right?) Great view, was not disappointed with the seats. Watched Liam Finn. He was good but I was ready for his set to be over: I had walked all around the city earlier in the day with my sister and brother. I kind of wore myself out before the show even started.

Ed opened with Walking the Cow...no surprise there...and it's not a knock. Who would've thought only a few songs later that Ed would break out Ship Song? Never in a million billion years would I have guessed we would've heard that song. He did have to use a “lyric sheet” and by “lyric sheet” I mean a piece of cardboard propped up in his suitcase. Nevertheless, it was a great version and I was geeked.

I was content there...something off the beaten path....the rest of the show could've gone like all the other shows and I still would've thought it was special and it rocked the party based on Ship Song alone. But no...Ed prefaced a song talking about how it was written by someone who was born in Chicago...

Ok, I never would've guessed that Ship Song was going to be played that night...but a cover of Hurt by Nine Inch Nails??? Say what? Seriously? It was one of those things that you didn't really believe as you were hearing it. And to top it off, it didn't sound bad! It sounded natural and totally mellow.

One of the most touching parts of the night was when Ed brought out Tomas Young. I had seen Tomas come out on stage at Lollapalooza but I felt like it was a more emotional ordeal at this show because I knew the circumstances surrounding Tomas' condition in recent history.

Ed wasn't going to play No More at that point, but decided the timing was right and he sang it with Tomas on stage. I don't know how you couldn't have been affected by this. Yes, I teared up.

Other highlights, for me, included an EXCELLENT rendition of Porch and Parting Ways. If Pearl Jam played Parting ways at every show, I would be thrilled. Seriously.

The show, overall, was spectacular. I was a satisfied customer. As I rode the el to my sister's place I flipped through the program. I was exhausted but so excited for night two.


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