Music-loving billionaire Paul Allen and his Vulcan Enterprises coordinated one of the first major public/private partnerships when it opened the Portland Rose Garden in the mid-1990's, adjacent to the skybox-free Memorial Coliseum. Allen later ditched the partnership, buying the 15,000 seat facility outright, selling the naming rights for beer money to Moda, an obscure health insurance conglomerate. But even Mr. Allen would likely admit that, at least last night, the Moda was owned by Seattle's post-punk freight train Pearl Jam.
Pearl Jam played a theatrical and energetic show to a polite sell out. The sound in the Moda was acceptable and made even better by arriving too late for Mudhoney. We were in the second row of mid-floor seats with seat neighbors from Gig Harbor, Spokane, and Corvallis. No spilled beer, no detectable smoking, and lots of room to move -- kudos to Moda security for its seat hopper sweep and boot techniques.
Pendulum: Nice prelude and a hint at the green lantern pendula to come.
Low Light: Orange, like Portland in the fall (or like the OSU fans in the mix.)
Sometimes: Sunday at church style and a nod to Rev. Vedder's homilies to come.
Corduroy: Punk intro and plinkier than usual. We spoke with Mike McCready and his cute button-festooned backpack before the show in the lobby of The Nines Hotel and wished him luck for tonight. Mr. McCready does not need luck.
Mind Your Manners: Buzzcocky. Faintly discernible vocal harmony somewhere in the middle.
Mr. Vedder addresses Portland and erroneously claims his last visit was for The Northwest School -- Stone's Seattle alma matter. At some point Mr. Vedder realizes he has made a northwest private school geographic blunder: "I don't know what I'm talking about..."
Mr. Vedder's fact checkers pass him a note that the last Portland show was a benefit for the crohn's and colitis diseases.
Sirens: Beautiful. Mike starts on acoustic and ends on electric. Mr. Vedder does the opposite. Mike sheds his shirt at the end, a nod to the Timbers.
Mr. Vedder stops to applaud the confetti tossers and also to remind us he has enough money to shred some.
Even Flow: Mr. McCready can play this one with both hands tied behind his back.
Mr. Vedder gives thanks to Matt Cameron and his wife as the longest partnership in rock except Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard.
Given To Fly: A wingsuit off Pikes Peak. Stone is Lennonesque.
After Hours: Mr. Vedder does a Lou Reed tribute. This tune is second-most famous Lou Reed song mentioning Cadillac cars.
Spin The Black Circle: Not quite Eyes of the World.
Rats: Aborted buzz.
Mr. Vedder tries to throw P'town a bone, but again appears to forget where he is. But he makes up for it pairing Larry Olivier and Barry Obama. Plus a portending Portlandia shout out.
Lukin: Jammed out speed punk.
Last Exit: There is a song in there somewhere.
Rearviewmirror: Lambo fast in 4/4 time. You know its the closer.
The End: Acoustic and appreciated.
All Those Yesterdays: Everyone kneeling. Stone's twang gives the song an early Rolling Stones feel.
Just Breathe: Mr. Vedder makes a newlywed shout out and those who aren't married swoon anyway.
State Of Love And Trust: Power pop.
Why Go: Every person without gray hair is singing this like it's their teen anthem.
Porch: Sophisticated yet communal. Green lanterns swung pendulum style by the band. Mr. Vedder goes into the crowd cleopatra style.
Mr. Vedder wishes Matt Cameron happy birthday again.
Wasted Reprise: Mr. Vedder tries the Bono homily technique with Boom Gaspar on keys.
Life Wasted: Poignant.
Matt's Birthday Jazz: Improvised by Stone Gossard.
Alive: Not quite as good as the Israeli school kids.
Rockin’ In The Free World: Sleater-Kinney and its Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein join the lights up melee.
Portland got its euthanasia shout out tonight and maybe next year it will join Washington and Colorado at the forefront of flora freedom. We enjoyed our quirky Portland time with its no penny culture and watching its holiday tree get lit. Thanks Pearl Jam for returning home to the pacific northwest.
See you tonight in Spokane!