After the disappointment of last weeks show in Newcastle, we were itching to move on and play the kind of night we know we’re more than capable of.
The Diamond, situated just outside Nottingham seemed like the perfect way to exorcise the demons of disappointment.
The venue itself on arrival, seemed a bit nondescript — situated on the edge of a housing estate, we were slightly worried it was going to be a bit “phoenix nights” if truth be told. However, like an Aladdin’s cave, once inside we were lifted by the venues charm and obvious history. It was akin to a Rock Cafe vibe, with gig posters on the walls from years gone by.
Soundcheck went well, utilising the time to have another full run through of “Deep” (the pre-tour pain in the ass song…) which settled any nerves we may have had, along with “Corduroy”, “Daughter” and “Wash”.
We hit the stage at exactly 9.15pm, opening with the now-typical “Wash” into “Once” combo that Pearl Jam seemed to favour on this tour, before working our way through the rest of the set they played some 21 years ago.
“Garden” has become probably our favourite song to play at this point, along with a special mention for “Leash” — which tonight finally clicked 100%. I felt like we finally owned the song and played it without any thought or trepidation, with the performance reflecting this confidence we’ve grown into.
The second set kicked off with “Elderly Woman…” — back in tonight’s set, as it’d been a while since we played it last, also keeping with true Pearl Jam tradition of rotating songs as often as possible.
My throat was in quite a bad way tonight (something I felt in the days leading up to the show) and Worldwide Suicide is probably the hardest song in the Pearl Jam catalogue at the best of times, but it (oddly) seemed to help the performance.
The final trio of “Daughter”, “Do The Evolution” and “Rearviewmirror” (the setlist says “Betterman” but we changed our minds…) built the perfect crescendo to a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
For a Sunday night in deepest, darkest Nottinghamshire, I’d say it was about as good as it gets.
Next up is Birmingham. A gig we’ve got a really good feeling about…