The U2 shows, unfortunately, were distinctly uninspiring – four sold-out stadium gigs in Verona and Rome, Italy, that were by all accounts a miserable experience for the band. Pearl Jam barely got a soundcheck before the two Verona gigs, the situation got remedied after the complaint to U2 drummer at an aftershow party. Pearl Jam was not received well at the shows opening for U2, the crowd was not into Pearl Jam they only wanted U2.
"That week was a nightware", Dave Abruzzesse.
"How can you have a religious experience watching a band in a place this size", Eddie Vedder.
The first show supporting U2 took place in Verona at Bentegodi Stadium on July
2nd. Eddie seemed a bit frustrated for playing for too many people, "I recognize the people over there from
we played a place as big as this one, we're not use to". Next day at the
same place Eddie came out sporting a devil mask and a green fly mask and his
shirt read "Paul" (Bono's real name). During the performance Eddie threw himself into the
audience from the long arms of the "Zoo TV tour" stage arms twice. During the Verona shows Lance Mercer (Pearl Jam's official photographer)
took photos of Dave to use in the Modern Drummer story.
"Eddie was seeking the advice of Bono a lot. After the shows you'd see Bono and Eddie over in a corner in deep discussion. And they would go off together and stay at Bono's place, and they would have stayed up and had some wine and really talked about the business and sort of argued about it", Nancy Wilson (Cameron Crowe's wife).
07/02/93 - Stadio Bentegodi: Verona, Italy
Flow, Animal, Go, Rearviewmirror, Elderly Woman, Why Go, Jeremy, Black, Alive, Porch
07/03/93 - Stadio Bentegodi: Verona, Italy
Rome came next on July 6th and 7th at Flaminio Stadium. Playing for 80000
people Pearl Jam was hard to see among all
the covered stage props awaiting U2's overblown set. On July 6th, in the
middle of the set someone shouts
'Fuck You' which led Eddie to say "Fuck me? Okay, you fuck me, and then Bono will
come out and fuck you".
07/06/93 - Stadio Flaminio: Rome, Italy
"Back in the dressing room, the band mills about, somberly picking at food. Abbruzzese already has a game plan for tomorrow: "I'm gonna lower the drum riser so I can see the audience. I'm gonna connect with those people." Within a few minutes, Vedder emerges upbeat and finds some American fans. "I wish we'd played a club here," he tells them, signing some shirts. He and Beth Liebling head out to the mixing platform to watch U2 with the rest of the band. Before long, a cluster of super- and semi-supermodels position themselves just behind him, clucking and whooping, taking pictures, trying to get his attention. Vedder remains fixed on the spectacle ahead. Finally one of the models manages an introduction to him. She speaks earnestly to him, shaking his hand. Vedder nods politely, turning back to the show. Total time investment -- three seconds. Later the band rides the tour bus back to the hotel. Stuck in traffic, a crowd of Italian fans discovers the bus and strains to look inside. Their expression is unmistakable. "Oh," they seem to say, "it's the other band." But still they stare, as if looking inside a fish-bowl. "Wish we'd played a club date here," says Vedder to no one in particular", Cameron Crowe (Singles Director).
On July 7th, at the Flaminio Stadium in Rome, the crowd seemed a bit more into Pearl Jam than the previous shows. Lots of interesting quotes by Eddie about the size of the venue "You all OK? I saw you all working it out up here in the front, which is good. The love music comes later on in the evening", after 'Even Flow'; and after 'Jeremy', "Isn't this a soccer stadium? What the hell is music doing here? I'll tell you what I'll meet you guys back in a club next time". While Pearl Jam was doing a What the hell is music doing here? I'll tell you what I'll meet you guys back in a club next time". While Pearl Jam was doing a short jam Eddie was off the stage to share his wine bottle with the fans down front. At the show's conclusion, Eddie donned Bono's fly mask saying, "the fly says goodbye" and exit.
07/07/93 - Stadio Flaminio: Rome, Italy
"I'll meet you back here at a club next time," Vedder says, to sprinkled applause. Later, he begins to goad them, telling them their stadium was built for soccer, not music. And below a neon Zoo TV sign, he playfully taunts further, "Are we animals?" Let it never be said that Vedder doesn't enjoy the fine taste of the hand feeding him. His green T-shirt contains today's gaffer-taped message: PAUL IS DEAD. (Look up Bono's real name.) The set closes with Vedder donning a huge fly mask, dancing as if caught in a web. It is Pearl Jam's own lo-fi answer to Zoo TV. Not many fans here get it, but one who does is Bono, who watches curiously from the pit.Bono responds later that night, onstage. "So you can't play music in a soccer stadium," he muses. "Well, if you do, it better be good music..." But before the set is over, he hails Pearl Jam as "a great rock & roll band" And Vedder, Liebling and Ament will stay up all night with Bono and the Edge, talking passionately in a diner, debating the issue of the day, the emotional exchange rate on success. And at 6am, there are Vedder and Ament exchanging hugs with Bono on an empty Roman street, arriving at the bus just in time for the trip to Dublin. "I got all my questions answered," Ament confides. In the course of the dates with U2, he had discussed the hugeness vs. purity issue with all four members of that band. "And they basically told us this: 'We used to be like you. We used to be anti-anti... We used to be angry. But we love technology, like you love what you love. Next tour we might only play 3,000-seat halls. But this is where we are today. Ten years from now, you tell us where you are", Cameron Crowe.
"Today In Dublin, the day before Pearl Jam play before an estimated 50,000 at nearby Slane Castle, Abbruzzese stands and watches as thirty or so young Dubliners sing resolutely to street-busking versions of "Black" and "State of Love and Trust." Abbruzzese is grinning, handing out flowers on Grafton Street, playing with street kids. "Gone is the bleachy sunshine of Italy. In its place is rain... pale faces... romantic beery arguments in the street... it feels like home. Elsewhere, there are rumors that McCready has fallen off the wagon, running naked through the streets of Dublin late the night before. McCready, shopping for bootleg tapes today, does not confirm or deny this behind his reflector shades. "I love this place," he says. Backstage the next day at the show, there are few of the trappings of big-time rock. No open bar, no stereo rack pumping psych-up music, no bodyguards, no supermodels. Just Vedder talking about why he couldn't care less. It is a crowd happily perched on the edge of danger and today they get the best out of Pearl Jam. Onstage, the band is narrowly missing each other as they all, in different ways, leap for joy, pogoing and twirling, just missing each other's skulls with the instruments. The volatile crowd does not scare Vedder; he's seriously singing to those serious faces listening to him the way he listened to The Who -- with their whole lives attached. He stands on the edge of the stage, just watching them, and turns to share it with Liebling, who catches it all on Super 8. It's the show they've been waiting for, a glimpse of the future. "If it all ends tomorrow," Abbruzzese says, "I will be the happiest fucking gas-station attendant you ever saw." Best of all, Pearl Jam are no longer a band with only one very, very big album to their credit. "There's no school to go to for some of the weird shit that happens," says Vedder. "The fucking weirdness of it all. But some of these guys, they can help out a bit. Bob Dylan's advice was 'Go to Dublin.' I wrote him a postcard today." "It said, 'Made it.'", Cameron Crowe.
On July 10th, Pearl Jam played a show in Slane at the Slane Castle supporting Van Morrison and Neil Young. When Pearl Jam took the stage, security was already pulling the semiconscious out one by one, before a note was even played. Eddie walked on in a gorilla mask, pulled it off and hurled himself into 'Why Go'. 'Even Flow' started a-la video, 1,2,3... and it was stopped at the end, with Eddie saying “make sure everybodys gets up, is everybody right? It’s a good day to be best friends, everyone alright?", and it re-started where it ended. 'Glorified G' had a great intro by Eddie "Hey can I tell you something? Can I tell you something about grunge? It has nothing to do with music, its has just to do with what its on your teeth, and you know what? I think grunge was invented here. This song is about stupid Americans with big guns".
07/10/93 - Slane Castle: Slane, Ireland
After Italy and Ireland, Pearl Jam returned to England to play a few shows in London. The first one was at the Finsbury Park on July 11th supporting Neil Young. Eddie as he did in previous shows expressed some concerns about disliking playing large venues like Finsbury "I'm really lookin' forward to Brixton -- it's just gonna be very nice. I just can't see you all -- I feel like I'm about this big". Before 'Glorified G' Eddie mumbled two lines from an L7 song (Shove) saying that it became America's new national anthem, referring to U.S. military actions.
07/11/93 - Finsbury Park: London, England
Brixton Academy came next, on July 13th and 14th. Two sold-out shows (6426 people), with Tribe After Tribe opening for them. The Three Fish connection [Jeff's sideband] started here. Eddie played guitar on 'Rearviewmirror' and 'Whipping' with his black Fender with the "Skateboarding is not a crime" bumper sticker -- the one he smashed and gave away two years later at a stadium show in Chicago. He introduced 'Rearviewmirror' by saying "I want you to listen to this song in a car really fast, driving away from someone you hate". Next day, at the same venue, Eddie announced the first encore as "here are some Journey songs for you", referring to a highly critical review of the Finsbury Park show a few days earlier in Melody Maker, where the journalist use the term loosely, Everett True, compared PJ to Journey. 'Alive' intro "Hey look, 1991 the Year punk broke".
07/13/93 - Brixton Academy: London, England
Rearviewmirror, Whipping, Sonic
Reducer, Once, Indifference
07/14/93 - Brixton Academy: London, England
Encore 1: Leash, Fuckin' Up, Sonic Reducer
Encore 2: Indifference
Holland next, two sold-out gigs (9500 people), Tribe After Tribe being the support act. On July 16th, the guys played at the Sportspaleis Ahoy in Rotterdam with Eddie showing their respect for the Holland crowd "tonight is a great night to be best friends, everybody okay? Nice club you`ve got here". He also introduced 'Go' as "... so how you`ve all been? Its nice to see you still alright, a song you can sing to your own body, its called don't Go out on me". On July 17th, Pearl Jam improvised the Rolling Stones' 'Angie' with lyrics about Utrecht with the crowd joining in and Eddie telling them, "Good singing ... much better than me. I'd better buy a ticket."
07/16/93 - Sportspaleis Ahoy: Rotterdam, Holland
Encore 1: Sonic Reducer, Rockin' in the Free World, State of Love and Trust
Encore 2: Indifference
07/17/93 - Sportspaleis Ahoy: Rotterdam, Holland
Encore 1: Elderly Woman, Leash, Porch/Drum Solo
Encore 2: Fuckin' Up, W.M.A., Footsteps, Baba O'Riley
On July 18th, Pearl Jam played a surprise gig in Amsterdam at the Paradiso club. 1000 tickets were distributed but only 500 were allowed inside. Eddie was suffering from a cold so the show was stopped briefly after 'Why Go'. After two more songs with little vocals, Stone apologized and the show ended. After this show, Europe had to wait 3 more years to see Pearl Jam again.
07/18/93 - Paradiso: Amsterdam, Holland