Watch camcorder footage of Pearl Jam’s first gig in 1990

If only they knew: watch the surprisingly nervous band who would become Pearl Jam play Black and Even Flow at their first-ever show in Seattle.

The origin story of Pearl Jam is surprisingly simplistic, given their meteoric rise to fame. A band who had only been jamming together for days quickly found a serious rhythm to their lineup, and booked a show as quickly as possible.

They played their first gig at Seattle’s Off Ramp Cafe on October 22nd, 1990, and luckily enough somebody had the sense to point a video camera in their direction.

pearl jam first show gig seattle eddie vedder

What I love about this is that, after only playing together for a few days, Pearl Jam already had a righteous setlist. Black and Even Flow were both later represented in their first LP Ten – clearly these fellas were onto something amazing right from the get go.

Check out the footage below.

Obviously take Youtube comments with a gigantic pinch of salt, but user mmriley had the following to say about the Pearl Jam show:

“I was the one theshoalspharmacy.com holding the camera here. Greg Beckett is sort of correct, the set list, date, and location are correct. This was before they were called anything (before Mookie Blaylock).”

“I actually talked to Eddie after the soundcheck and I asked him how long they’d been together. His response: “six days, this being the sixth…””