Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy 20 to Pearl Jam

Labor Day weekend saw one of the best American Rock and Roll groups of all time celebrate their 20th year playing together as Pearl Jam hosted a festival in Alpine Valley.  Day 1 Setlist, Day 2 Setlist. I didn't get a chance to travel out there but by the gracious power of the internet and particularly youtube, you can feel like you did...  

Ahh, "Breath" one of my favorite from the Seattle group...While I praise them highly now, I was not always into PJ.  I enjoyed their first two releases sure but if I must confess Vitalogy was the album that resonated the most because honestly it was the weirdest...and I was a weirdo who at the time dug Sonic Youth much more then I dug any classic/arena rock, which is what their first 2 albums really strove for and achieved.

I slipped out of their slipstream for awhile after that and it was not until April 29th 2003 when I even thought of them that much again.  I was bored on a Tuesday night in Albany and my friend Pete had an extra Ten Fanclub ticket that he offered me.  I had read about Eddie clashing with fans in Denver earlier that month regarding Bush Jr. and I figured what the hell as I hadn't listened to that band in over 6 years at that point.

I was blown away.
No other way to state it, I had never expected them to turn into the live powerhouses that they obviously were. From the opening song "I Am Mine" which I consider one of the greatest songs they ever wrote (I can't believe they didn't play it at PJ20) until the set closing cover of "Baba O'Riley" I was hooked and on the train from here on out.  The setlist that night wasn't especially epic, but the playing was razor like, "Corduroy" was fiery (another one they skipped this weekend) and the "Porch" set closer was all over the map.  Since then I have considered it an obligation to try to catch them every tour.

I have reviewed them a bunch for Glide and hope to catch them next time they swing east, but until then lets check out some of the PJ 20 Youtube least until Cameron Crowe releases the full length documentary of the bands career later this month.    
Festival opener "Release"

"Yellow Ledbetter"

"Who You Are" with John Doe, Liam Finn and Dan Peters

As you can see some new and old friends joined them as well to create an epic event, like Chris Cornell who helped resurrect the Temple of the Dog days....

"State of Love and Trust" blasting out with the help of Dhani Harrison
Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age playing on "In The Moonlight"

and Mudhoney who ripped the fuck out of "Sonic Reducer" with the fellas:

The group returned the favor, helping out their friends during the earlier shows...
Glen Hansard w/ Eddie Vedder "Falling Slowly"

The Strokes w/ Eddie Vedder "Juicebox"

Here's hoping the band has 20 more years left in them...

Festival Closer "Rockin' In The Free World"  (where was uncle Neil?)

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