Rehage Entertainment and Voodoo Experience 2013 present Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam at Voodoo Experience 2013 ©Jo Anna Jackson | StarDogPhotos.com

Pearl Jam at Voodoo Experience 2013
©Jo Anna Jackson | StarDogPhotos.com

Former Saints safety Steve Gleason  introduced Pearl Jam to the New Orleans crowd from the Voodoo Ritual MainStage ©Jo Anna Jackson | Stardogphotos.com

Former Saints safety Steve Gleason introduced Pearl Jam to the New Orleans crowd from the Voodoo Ritual MainStage
©Jo Anna Jackson | Stardogphotos.com

The first headlining act for the three day Voodoo Festival got under way when former Saints safety Steve Gleason, in a wheelchair and by way of voice synthesizer, introduced Pearl Jam to the New Orleans crowd from the Voodoo Ritual mainstage. Gleason, who is battling Lou Gehrig’s disease, has been a longtime friend of guitarist Mike McCready, a long time fan of the band “if not part of the group” according to Vedder, and is a hometown hero to New Orleans and the masses in the stadium. He received a roar of support from the crowd after his introduction, before the band quietly kicked off the start of their 2 hour plus set with “Sirens”.

Pearl Jam played through a diverse range of songs, the setlist handpicked by Gleason, from old Mother Love Bone classics and the biggest hits off the debut cd, up to the new single “Mind Your Manners” off their most recent venture Lightening Bolt.  Throughout the show Saints’ Gleason watched from the wings, and singer Eddie Vedder, wearing a “Team Gleason” wristband, dedicated “Inside Job” to the fallen player during the show. McCready sported a Team Gleason Tshirt and during “Yellow Leadbetter” performed a personal solo directly in front of Gleason and then gave him a hug that left the crowd in tears.
The thousands of people filling the Rutial field joined in to sing “Jeremy” and the energy was incredible, for the entire song you should barely hear Vedder because the crowd knew and sang every word. This was a repeat phenomenon as the band progressed into “Even Flow”, “Black”, and “Alive” as the crowd sang full on from the field. Matt Cameron from Soundgarden pulled drum duties this tour, joining Vedder, McCready, guitarist Stone Gossard and Bassist Jeff Ament for the Voodoo event.
Pearl Jam at Voodoo Experience 2013 ©Jo Anna Jackson | StarDogPhotos.com

Pearl Jam at Voodoo Experience 2013
©Jo Anna Jackson | StarDogPhotos.com

At one point Vedder checked out the in-costume crowd and pointed out a unicorn and dancing giant bunny, kidding about NOLA being the place where you find people who like to dress up as stuffed animals and get a little fetish on, claiming “I knew it! My hotel room number is…” to the crowds laughter. Half a song later the giant bunny and unicorn dancing on stage enhanced the surreal version of Neil Young’s “Rocking in the Free World”, and the antics got even wilder as Vedder decided to take a “wrecking ball” ride on a hanging light, swinging way out over the crowd one handed, as you could practically feel security cringing below.  Vedder has been known to climb balconies, walls, stage dive from above and crowd surf the audience, so this was tame to his youthful standards, almost more surprised he didn’t let go and go flying into the crowd.

Vedder reminisced about being arrested in New Orleans in the early 90’s, asking if anyone in the throng had been arrested in New Orleans to a round of hands in the air. Then Vedder asked if anyone planned on getting arrested that night, and gave out a phone number to call for bail money. He said the phone number belonged to earlier performer Macklemore, to a roars of more laughter.
Never one to shy away from voicing his opinion, Vedder gave his take on the state of the gulf and voiced that “someone” has spent a lot of advertising trying to convince us that every thing is alright with the oil and the gulf, “and their initials are BP”, and the recent storms in the gulf and what washed up proved otherwise. He shared his support of the Gulf Restoration Network, and it’s clear he feels kindred to the area and the people, and has a passion for the revival of the New Orleans and the culture it makes a home for.
The band finished out the set with Rearview Mirror, then returned for an encore that was another set in itself, and during “Black”, Vedder, holding a wine bottle aloft, gave a heartfelt toast “from front to back, middle to the sides, to the outside, to whatever the f#ck that is over there (VIP bars) to everybody in the back, to the ferris wheels, to the weekend, to the future, to the sustainability of this part of our great country, this part especially with so much color and culture… here’s to New Orleans”.
Unicorns and dancing bunnies, pseudo wrecking ball rides, BP rants and the state of the state, and Steve Gleason sharing the stage made for a magical night. Pearl Jam always puts a personal stamp on their shows and the NOLA crowd felt the love the band has for the city as well as the Saints, and was a phenomenal start to a three day weekend of art and music at Voodoo.

Setlist at Voodoo:

Pearl Jam at Voodoo Experience 2013 ©Jo Anna Jackson | StarDogPhotos.com

Pearl Jam at Voodoo Experience 2013
©Jo Anna Jackson | StarDogPhotos.comSet list at Voodoo

Sirens
In My Tree
Save you
Corduroy
Animal
Lightning Bolt
Mind Your Manners
Given to Fly
Getaway
Even FLow
Present Tense
Severed hand
Daughter
Jeremy
Inside Job
State of Love and Trust
Rearview mirror
Encore:
Chloe Dancer
Crown of Thorns
Do the Evolution
Go
Black
Alive
Rockin’ in the Free World
Yellow Leadbetter

About The Author

Jo Anna Jackson
Photographer | Writer

Jo Anna Jackson, Photographer | Writer

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