Pearl Jam performed a fantastic concert in Sao Paulo but Belo Horizonte’s performance was amazing!
It rained consistently the concert afternoon and evening. Rain combined with peak-hour in Belo Horizonte leads to crawling traffic. My taxi to Isabela’s apartment (R$25.10 on meter; R$30 including tip) experienced some delays. However, this was nothing compared with the drive to Mineirao Stadium.
Bruna drove admirably for over two hours to cover the limited distance (as short as 13.5km according to Google Maps). To dodge the worst of the traffic we took many side roads. We even went up a road too steep for the vehicle and had to delicately turn around to go back down.
We eventually arrived to the stadium around 8:30pm, the time Pearl Jam has previously started. Pete, Pearl Jam’s head of security was viewing proceedings at my entry gate. After seeing how many people were still lining up, I expect he advised the band to start later. Although my ticket wouldn’t scan, entry staff let me through. After a quick toilet stop and water drink I was on the ground, ready for the band.
Entering the stadium Pista Premium section
Within minutes, Pearl Jam came out and gave an epic performance, starting with a song I didn’t recognise (The Beatles’ Rain). The rain had stopped by now and hardly a drop fell during the concert.
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A partial video of Even Flow from the night. Even though I have seen this song played at every Pearl Jam concert, in Brazil the audience participation never makes Even Flow boring
Singer Eddie Vedder talked about the mining disaster in both English and Portuguese during the night. He expressed his sympathy with locals and slammed the operator. A crowd recorded video of Eddie saying this was shown on the news with the next day. Eddie also said concert proceeds would support the families hurt by the disaster.
The crowd lights up during Imagine (Lennon)
In tribute to the terrorism victims at the concert in Paris, the band covered Eagles of Death Metal’s Want You So Hard (Bad Boy News).
Tonight the band played 36 songs in just less than three hours. Even in my tenth concert, I still saw eleven(!) songs for the first time. Personal highlights included Sometimes, Rearviewmirror and Mankind, the latter sung by guitarist Stone Gossard.
Singer Eddie Vedder at the side of the stage
Mineirao Stadium’s seating is largely covered and the covering helped keep the sound in, creating an amazing atmosphere. Even though the crowd wasn’t as into the concert as in Sao Paulo, the atmosphere was better. It appeared that many of the attendees in my section came to concert for the ‘event’ and not for the music. People lined up for beer throughout the concert and I’m sure Heineken and the promoter made massive profits.
The lights are on near the concert end
Pearl Jam band members waving good night
The crowd exiting the ground
Once out of the stadium I caught up again with Bruna, Bruno and Isabela. We all agreed that Pearl Jam put an a fantastic show. Thankfully, the Uber ride home did not take two hours. Not that I would have noticed, as I slept most of the way back.
For the full set list and more fan views: http://community.pearljam.com/discussion/247991/belo-horizonte-brazil-fanviews-here-11-20-15
Pearl Jam nerds, here are the songs I’ve seen live: http://pjdb.net/user.php?f_user=571
I’m about to catch the metro to Maracana for tonight’s Rio de Janeiro gig, Pearl Jam’s fifth and final Brazilian concert of their 2015 Latin American tour. Stay tuned for my report on this as well as a write up of my time in Belo Horizonte.