The standard word on 1998’s Yield is that it was a “return to form” after the experimentation of No Code. I’ve never bought that idea entirely, because it underemphasized the musical growth of the former, and overstated that of the latter. No Code had more than its fair share of innovation, but it was also extremely listenable, and not wholly out of line with past efforts. Likewise, Yield introduced many new facets to the band’s direction and sound. And what does “return to form” really mean anyway? A return to Ten? Because Yield most definitely isn’t that. Still, I suspect that there are two songs on that record that people have in mind when they invoke the “back-to-their-roots” description. The first is “Given To Fly”, the reasons for which will be thoroughly discussed on that song’s entry. The second is “In Hiding”.
On recent tours, there are usually two songs from the album that’s being promoted, that rarely get played at the same show. Usually it’s one or the other. I first noticed this phenomenon with Yield. Either “Faithfull” would get played, or “In Hiding” (with Riot Act there was “Ghost”/”Cropduster”, and on Pearl Jam “Army Reserve”/”Unemployable”). It might have to do with the fact that “Faithfull” and “In Hiding” are both brawny, anthemic structured songs, and the band typically likes to balance its shows between those types of rockers and more lithe material. The more classic rock, bombastic quality of “In Hiding” is also probably what connects it in people’s minds to the days of Ten and Vs.
The song is built around a soaring, distinctly Stone Gossard guitar riff and features typically self-examining Ed Vedder lyrics. What separates them from the early days is the feeling of having made through the storm, rather than being in the eye of it. “It’s funny when things change so much / It’s all state of mind.” “In Hiding” most explicitly articulates the shifting perspectives and outlooks of the band at that point in time. I’m not sure how much I’ve ever been interested in being told that there’s a new-found serenity or acceptance or understanding; I prefer to have that communicated implicitly, through songs like “Wishlist”, “MFC”, and “All Those Yesterdays”. So “In Hiding” has never been a favorite of mine, interesting more as an acknowledgement of personal change and growth, than as a song unto itself.