What a fantastic evening!
One of my dreams was to see Pearl Jam play live in South America, the home of their craziest fans. After hearing the band play my favourite song (Rearviewmirror) for the first time at their 2014 Perth concert, my wish for this concert was to enjoy the moment and soak up the atmosphere.
Sao Paulo was the second of five Brazilian Pearl Jam concerts as part of their 2015 Latin American tour.
My Pearl Jam Sao Paulo experience began with an unofficial fan gathering the night before at O’Malley’s pub in central Sao Paulo. There I chatted with other fans, both Brazilian and foreign and shared our pre-concert excitement, including Cleide, a fellow runner and a passionate soccer fan. Coincidentally, that evening Brazil played Argentina in a world cup qualifier in Buenos Aires and loud cheers rang out when Brazil came back to draw the match 1:1.
The pub had an interesting payment system I had not experienced before. Upon entry each person was given a card. Food and drinks were put against that card like a tab. Prior to leaving, each person paid their bill in order to receive an exit ticket. No exit ticket, no exit. My bill totalled R$109 for two pints of stout (R$19 each), a grilled tuna salad (R$31) and the R$40 male cover charge. If I recall correctly, females paid R$30.
Thank you to Dimitrios, a fanatical Pearl Jam fan from Greece who found the venue and created the Facebook event. It was a great night except for the terrible news from Paris flashing up on the television screens.
With other Pearl Jam fans outside Sampa Hostel before going to the concert
Morumbi, officially known as Estádio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo, is one of Sao Paulo’s major soccer stadiums and the home of Sao Paulo FC. My Piste Premium concert ticket gave me access to the general admission section in front of the stage. Arriving after 5pm, I had hours to buy a t-shirt (R$100) at the merchandise stand, enjoy the stadium atmosphere, chat with other fans and watch the crowd build.
The Piste Premium general admission section in front of the stage
Vendor carrying esky of water, soft drink and beer
Fans wanting to eat or drink didn’t even need to leave their spot in the audience. Both before and during the show, vendors wandered amongst the crowd selling either drinks (water: R$6, soft drink: R$8, beer: R$10) or hot chips (R$12).
Voucher for hot chips (‘potatoes in cone’) bought at a kiosk
More food and drink was available from kiosks. There, instead of paying cash directly, one had to buy a voucher and exchange it for the items purchased. “Pearl Jam” featured prominently on each voucher and I bet a few fans bought extra vouchers for souvenirs.
As the concert got closer, Mexican waves started in the stands and the sense of anticipation grew
The crowd roars as Pearl Jam enter the stage; the video ends with the first notes of Long Road
After 8:30pm the band entered the stage to a huge roar. Long Road opened the concert followed by Of The Girl and, as I predicted beforehand, Love Boat Captain. Prior to Love Boat Captain, singer Eddie Vedder read out a few words in Portuguese regarding the recent attacks in Paris. Drummer Matt Cameron’s bass drum also featured an outline of the Eiffel Tower.
Fans shine their mobile phone lights during Pearl Jam’s cover of John Lennon’s Imagine
The stage glows
Strong winds and rain hit the stadiums, causing some interruptions. Eddie sang a solo acoustic version of Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town and the first encore break was extended in order to secure loose items, allow the spotlight operators to come down and to protect the stage.
After the rain
The audience rocking to the Neil Young cover Rockin’ In The Free World – the couple dancing typify the crowd’s enthusiasm and joy
The lights are on for the end of the show
Yellow Ledbetter usually signals the end and after this song the band thanked the crowd and said goodbye. However, as it was such a great night the band came back for a final song and third cover, All Along The Watchtower.
Pearl Jam put on a magical night for the ~ 60,000 strong crowd, performing 33 songs over three hours and eleven minutes. It’s very hard to pick favourites from the night but my highlights included Hail, Hail, State Of Love And Trust and Rearviewmirror. The main highlight, however, was the wonderful atmosphere brought about by the crowd and band feeding off each other.
For the full set-list and further fanviews: http://community.pearljam.com/discussion/247890/sao-paulo-brazil-fanviews-here-11-14-15
The good news I have two more occasions to experience the Pearl Jam-Brazil magic: in Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro. I can’t wait!