More of a rock institution than a band now, Pearl Jam have transcended their grunge-era origins to become a touring concern beloved of not unsizeable cult following. Which basically mean, they’ve got some pretty hardcore fans.
One such example being 46-year-old Brian Farias of Rhode Island, USA who will now be the envy of every discerning Pearl Jam fan. Rolling Stone reports that one lucky member of Ten Club, the band’s longtime fanclub, would be chosen to win a trip to Amsterdam for a pair of shows, based on the task of creating “the perfect setlist” for the second evening’s performance.
Farias told Rolling Stone he went through up to 50 drafts to craft his final 27-song-strong set that was performed at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome on June 27th, as part of Pearl Jam’s 2012 European tour. Farias recalls that when he was contacted by the band’s frontman, Eddie Vedder, he could hardly believe his luck; “I thought I was hearing things when Eddie offered it to me.”
The longtime fan was one of Ten Club’s ‘character members’, which basically means – in his own words – he’s “been there since the very, very beginning.” His membership dates back the band’s pre-Pearl Jam days as Mother Love Bone, fronted by the charismatic Andy Wood whose tragic passing left the spot for Vedder to arrive and become and set the catalyst for what would become Pearl Jam.
As for the set itself, Farias certainly felt the pressure of an opportunity coveted by so many, “it was really stressful,” admits Farias, “because it’s something you know is never gonna happen again. You’re only getting one shot at it.” The setlist included some of the band’s biggest hits (‘Alive’ ‘Better Man’), rarities (Mother Love Bone’s ‘Crown of Thorns’) and the truly obscure. Such as ‘Bugs’, an accordion-led oddity that was played for only the second time ever (albeit it’s lead part rearranged for guitar).
Farias even got to grace the stage for the closing applause, “the bow meant more to me than everything… it still doesn’t seem real,” he says of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “It’s better than winning the lottery… it was like programming your iPod and then Pearl Jam show up in your yard and play it for you.”
You can have a look (courtesy of Stereogum) at the “perfect setlist” below: