March 3rd, 2003 – Tokyo, Japan – Pearl Jam

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First, I love the red screen print on the booklet. Every other live release is just black. The red and white color scheme really stands out.

This is a 2 CD set – recorded during the Riot Act Tour and the only officially released bootleg of the Japanese leg of the tour. Evidently they only released six official bootlegs from the entire tour.

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Recorded at Nippon Budokan which has a capacity of 14,000 and where seemingly everyone has released live albums including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and of course, Cheap Trick.

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Riot Act is the album that got me back into PJ. 

I grew up loving the band during the Ten, Vs and Vitalogy years, but when I began college, my music tastes had gone into a different realm with bands such as Fugazi, Superchunk, Drive Like Jehu, Jawbox, Sleater Kinney and more. Basically, I found all the bands PJ would have wanted me to find, ha. During that time the band released No Code, Yield and Binaural, two of which I ignored because I bought No Code, listened a few times and put it away.

Riot Act is the album that brought me back and allowed me to revisit the albums I skipped and all of a sudden it clicked again. I had an opportunity to see them live in 2003 and didn’t go which I regret, especially after revisiting this live set and hearing how much of Riot Act they played.

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Here are some of my favorite highlights:

EV speaking Japanese after Hail, Hail is a good effort and one I wouldn’t have wanted to try.

EV asks to “take that echo thing off” during Daughter and then starts singing Edwin Starr’s War and at one point begs “Please, no war”.

EV intros the band starting with MC after You Are and it sounds like he’s clapping for MC specifically and almost exclusively.

I’ve listened to Bu$hleaguer many times before but for some reason the lyric, “Born on third, thinks he got a triple”, really stuck out to me today and made me laugh.

The band comes back after the second encore break and covers Don’t Be Shy by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens).

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Track Listing:

Disc One:

  1. Release
  2. Can’t Keep
  3. Even Flow
  4. Save You
  5. Hail, Hail
  6. Dissident
  7. Love Boat Captain
  8. Small Town
  9. Given To Fly
  10. Lukin
  11. Not For You
  12. Daughter
  13. You Are
  14. I Am Mine
  15. Betterman

Disc Two:

  1. Corduroy
  2. Do The Evolution
  3. Blood
  4. Encore Break
  5. Bu$hleaguer
  6. Know Your Rights
  7. Go
  8. Black
  9. U
  10. Breath
  11. RVM
  12. Encore Break
  13. Don’t Be Shy
  14. Soon Forget
  15. Last Kiss
  16. Yellow Ledbetter
  17. Alive

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One song that stood out most on this listen was Blood which ripped into the first encore break.

And, as always, I love the cover of the Clash’s Know Your Rights in the first encore set.

More to come soon…

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