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Pearl Jam Debut Seven New Songs At Dark Matter Tour Opener

Seattle Rock and Roll Hall of Famers hadn't been on stage since September 2023
Pearl Jam on May 4, 2024 at the 'Dark Matter' tour kickoff in Vancouver (photo: Andrew Chin / Getty Images)

Pearl Jam debuted seven new songs from their latest album, Dark Matter, last night (May 4) during their world tour opener at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. Two others, “Scared of Fear” and “Running,” were played in front of an audience for the first time after being premiered live during an April 22 appearance on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show.

In their first show since September 2023, Pearl Jam sounded powerful and well-rehearsed, particularly on layered new songs such as “Won’t Tell” and “Wreckage.” Utility man Josh Klinghoffer was evident throughout, adding the vibrant bits of musical color and vocal harmony found on the tracks’ recorded counterparts. He also got a shout out from Eddie Vedder for helping write the music for “Something Special,” a song about the latter’s two teenage daughters.

After familiar chestnuts such as “Given To Fly,” Corduroy,” “Porch,” “Black” and “Alive,” the 25-song set wound down with a nod to Pearl Jam’s “favorite Canadian” Neil Young for “Rockin’ in the Free World,” with the new album’s “Setting Sun” providing a slow-building, dramatic close to the evening.

Pearl Jam is back on the road in support of the Andrew Watt-produced Dark Matter, which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and at the top of four different rock-focused charts. The title track became the band’s biggest hit on the Mainstream Rock Airplay chart since 1998.

Vedder and company will be on the road in support of Dark Matter in North America and throughout the world until Nov. 23 in Sydney. They return to Rogers Arena on Monday.

Here is Pearl Jam’s setlist:

“Low Light”
“Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”
“Given To Fly”
“Scared of Fear”
“React/Respond” (live debut)
“Wreckage” (live debut)
“Dark Matter” (live debut)
“Red Mosquito”
“Upper Hand” (live debut)
“Won’t Tell” (live debut)
“Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns”

“I Won’t Back Down”
“Do the Evolution”
“Something Special” (live debut)
“Rockin’ in the Free World”
“Yellow Ledbetter”
“Setting Sun” (live debut)

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Matt Cameron (photo: Andrew Chin / Getty Images)