If you’re a longtime musical artist with a deep catalog of albums, mixtapes, and EPs, creating a show setlist is a daunting endeavor. Though you may be excited to play newer, fresher material, you realize that fans paid good money to see you perform the songs they love and can sing along to. You also know that there are longtime fans itching to hear rare cuts that 90% of your audience might not be familiar with. It’s a delicate balance to strike—to create a show that means something to everyone.
But imagine if you—a fan—were given the chance to create the entire setlist for your favorite band? Pearl Jam did just that, granting 46-year-old Brian Farias—a charter member of the group’s fan club—the chance to create his ultimate concert on June 27th.
Farias—who has seen Pearl Jam in concert 108 times—was selected by Pearl Jam’s fan group, the Ten Club, and was sent to Amsterdam to attend a few shows and meet the band, Rolling Stone reports.
“I thought I was hearing things when [frontman] Eddie [Vedder] offered it to me,” Farias told Rolling Stone.
40 to 50 drafts later, Farias created a setlist that many fans are calling “the greatest” Pearl Jam has ever performed. Save for a few songs that the band decided not to play, 90% of Farias’ requests were met. The Rhode Island native dipped way back into the band’s catalog to include rarely-performed tracks like “Alone,” the b-side from their single “Go,” and “Crown of Thorns,” a song by Mother Love Bone, the precursor band to Pearl Jam.
“I’m still freaking out that I’ve seen/heard this song live!! This setlist was epic and one of the best shows I’ve seen them do!!!” YouTube user missAIC commented on a video of “Crown of Thorns” posted from the show.
The band brought Farias out for a bow at the end of the show, an unbelievable moment for the superfan. “It still doesn’t seem real,” he told Rolling Stone.