This is what happens when your favourite band performs a different set list every time they play a city. You don’t know what you gonna get, and in time, you get to tick off deep cuts that prolly only you love. Yeah, that track number 8 that everyone skips. And for someone who hates audits in his line of work, it is my love for their music that I could manage to complete this lil’ analysis. I would also like to add that this so-called audit was inspired from this video of a presentation by Dr. Greger Larson, a big fan of the band and evolutionary biologist currently with the School of Archaeology at Oxford University:

To read Larson’s full analysis, please click here.

Here is the Excel file containing the data which comprises a list of their studio releases, including out-takes and B-sides, against the gigs I have seen them live. I have not included cover songs, even those that are well-loved by the fans (eg RITFW).

To see my data in detail, please click here.

To date, I have seen them seven times, two of which are consecutive gigs in the same tour in 2012. My first Pearl Jam gig was in 2000[1], which was the tour in support of Binaural.

The band has ten studio albums, and whilst they have an extensive number of out-takes, some of which were included in the Lost Dogs album, I have only included out-takes/B-sides that I have seen live in the list of songs.

From the number of times they have played a song from each album in all the gigs I have seen, Ten seems to be the most played album.

Talking about Ten, to date I have seen all the songs from this record, including the B-side/outtake Wash, bar one – Oceans. If I had attended the 2nd London show in the 2018 tour[2], I could actually tick the seen the whole of Ten box. Another way of looking at the above data is to look at the percentage of songs from each album that I have seen the band perform live:

I didn’t get to see them play any material from No Code and Riot Act in the first two shows I attended. Despite this, the percentage of No Code songs that I have seen live (in five subsequent gigs) is the second highest next to that of Ten, thanks to the 2014 and 2018 shows in Leeds and Berlin, respectively. The number/percentage of Riot Act songs had started to creep up although I really long for them to play You Are so desperately, especially when I heard the roadies line checked Stone’s slicer effect twice – in 2006 and if I am not mistaken in 2009.

The above bar chart illustrated the total song count of all seven gigs I attended. Even Flow was played at every gig I attended, including the two consecutive nights in 2012. I guess this was considered the crowd favourite, and this tallies with the data from The top ten songs played in them seven gigs were Even Flow (7); Alive, Black, RVM, Given To Fly, Do The Evolution (6); Daughter (5), Why Go and Corduroy (4). Interestingly, Alive was not played in the 2000 gig I attended which mirrored the fact that it was not played very much in the Binaural tour. RVM was the last song for either the main set or first encore every time I saw them live, with Indifference, Why Go and Porch being the other songs that were slotted in the same manner.

Using the total song count, I compared the data with the list of 15 songs provided by Rolling Stone magazine as being the “songs that only the hardcore PJ fan would know”. From this list, I have seen them perform Long Road, Thumbing My Way, Of The Girl (twice), Breakerfall (twice), In Hiding, Come Back, and Leatherman (my fav and at my first gig to boot). That’s just under 50% of the listed songs!

In the seven gigs, there were a few rare moments too. I saw the first ever live performance of Education and that was in Dublin in 2006. And when I saw the Binaural outtake, Hitchhiker, at the second Manchester gig in 2012, that was the first and only performance ever! Those two consecutive nights at Manchester also deserve another mention, as a total of 49 unique songs were played in both nights with only four songs (Even Flow, Alive, Better Man and Just Breathe) that were repeated and not included in the count.

I was thinking of doing a similar statistical analysis for SCANDAL, a band that I had seen eleven times (sue me). However, due to the ever so Japanese way of playing identical set lists with so little variety and a lack of deep cuts, I think the song list will comprise songs that I had seen eleven times for pretty much the entire Excel file. Nevertheless, I may just check the data out and see if it’ll be as boring as I suspected.

[1]I could have seen them in Newcastle in 1992 for less than five quid. A friend asked if I wanna go and I said “Pearl who…?” Biggest regret of my life.
[2]Or the 1992 Newcastle gig. Sheesh.