WORCESTER — Toward the end of an epic show Tuesday night at the DCU Center, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, trusty wine bottle in hand, mused that “for some reason whenever we come to this area we play really long shows.”
Indeed, at the time of this writing the Seattle rockers had just finished a scorching version of “Crazy Mary” and had lit into “Alive” and were nearly 2 hours and 45 minutes into a performance that had at least three more songs on the set list.
Perhaps a big part of the reason the band always gives its best effort here is because of the rapturous response of the soldout crowd. Tuesday they numbered 13,286 and sounded like twice as many as they sang along to more than 30 songs, old and new, from anthemic opener “Release,” to fevered takes of “Spin the Black Circle” and “Do the Evolution,” to the lilting “Better Man,” to the jaunty “Last Kiss.”
The quintet was also buoyed by the fact that its new album “Lightning Bolt” was released Tuesday and, as Vedder announced, it had already gone to number one on the iTunes charts in 54 countries. The band also happened to score tickets to Sunday’s Red Sox game and Vedder joked that its miraculous end had him believing in God, “and his name is David Ortiz.”
Whatever the reason, it was another in a long line of top-notch shows that was not only lengthy but infused with a kinetic energy both onstage and off, powered by the mighty groove of Matt Cameron, Mike McCready’s stinging leads, and Vedder’s full-throated howls.
Vedder and his cohorts bounded around the stage traversing their entire catalog from early hits like the breathless gallop of “Even Flow” to the brand new brooder “Yellow Moon,” which was performed during a seated encore, before the band cranked the volume back up.
Throughout the show Vedder — who was in great spirits and even swung from one of the light fixtures at one point — made several toasts and gave thanks to the band’s faithful community.
The band returns to Worcester Wednesday and tickets remain available.