Did you know that Paste owns the world’s largest collection of live music recordings? It’s true! And what’s even crazier, it’s all free—hundreds of thousands of exclusive songs, concerts and videos that you can listen to and watch right here at Paste.com, from Louis Armstrong to The Who to U2 to Wilco. Every day, we’ll dig through the archive to find the coolest recording we have from that date in history. Search and enjoy!
On Oct. 2, 1994, Pearl Jam were just reaching peak Grunge-god status when they played the second of two shows at the Shoreline Ampitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., for the eighth annual Bridge School Benefit. Eddie Vedder and Co. were riding high: They’d recently released their sophomore album, Vs., which had topped Garth Brooks’s record for the most copies of an album sold in the first week of release. But as they began their ascent into stardom, trouble was brewing in paradise. This show at the Shoreline was the first with new drummer Jack Irons, the replacement for Dave Abbruzzese, who had been let go for “political reasons—just a hint at the stress that acclaim was bringing to Pearl Jam. Irons’s tenure would also be short-lived; he left the band four years later.
The set, an acoustic collection of some of their greatest early hits, includes a performance of “Black” that features the thoughtful piano of Benmont Tench, of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, and a unique acoustic version of “Immortality” off of Pearl Jam’s then-unreleased third album, Vitalogy. Watch and listen below.
Featuring acts like Mazzy Star, The Indigo Girls, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Neil Young himself, the Bridge School Benefit was quickly becoming a draw for stellar artists. Due to popular demand, Young and his then-wife Pegi added an unprecedented second night for the fundraiser in 1994, a trend which would continue in the years to follow. The benefit would go on to feature greats like The Who, The Smashing Pumpkins, Phish and St. Vincent. The Bridge School announced the end of the long-running benefit this year following Neil and Pegi’s split in 2016.
Thanks to the Paste Vault, you can also watch Neil Young and Crazy Horse play “My My, Hey Hey” at the event in 1994.