- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 13 September 2022, 9:34AM
Pearl Jam brought gravitas and catharsis to the Madison Square Garden stage last night on the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with frontman Eddie Vedder speaking at length throughout the show in tribute to the numerous first responders who were in attendance.
Vedder said one, a man named Mike, told him that he traditionally leaves the city on 9/11 as a way of not having to relive the trauma, but this time, he “thought it would be a good idea to be here tonight with you.” Paraphrasing another first responder, Vedder recalled how the United States unified in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, in stark contrast to how bitterly divided the country is today. “There was a time we supported each other,” he said. “That’s the part we cannot forget. Let those lessons be remembered as our solidarity to come together and keep this country straight.”
“This is the 37th time this band has played in New York City,” Vedder said. “I think we’ve only played Seattle 50. Here’s the thing — I don’t remember half of those f**kin' Seattle shows. I just don’t. But I feel like we remember every Manhattan show. This potentially has the chance to be the most memorable of them all. We are quite honoured to be spending this important date with you.”
McCready closed the evening with a solo guitar version of “The Star Spangled Banner” with the house lights on, as many in the crowd removed their hats and put a hand to their heart. “This was the best night ever,” Vedder said before departing. The sold-out crowd was inclined to agree.
This article was first published on rollingstone.com
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