UK (Manchester), August 17, 2009
unregistered, on august 19, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: In the pointer questions above this box I'm typing into it asks me to mention singer skills. Do I really need to say all that much about Eddie Vedder? of course he was fantastic; he was mind-blowing, as always. He has an amazing voice on the records, and he is one of those talents that is certainly no worse off Live. While Eddie is in my opinion, most of this band's life, you cannot takew anything away from the other members, and they too were brilliant, demonstrating their superb musicianship as a band in their soloing and jamming that never once did I think "they could have done that better".
Here I've also been instructed to give a quick outline of their equipment, so here goes. Well after using a bit of a mish-mash of guitars for about half of the show, after Eddie's strat broke half way through rearviewmirror it was his signature tele from here on in. It was also good to see Jeff Ament playing a double bass on a couple of the songs too. Plagued by trouble (in addition to Eddie's guitar breaking, at a similar time his mic was giving loads of feedback, and earlier on, an amp had gone haywire, and Mike McCreedy's pedal board set on fire), the sound did not change one little bit. I think whatever equipment you tossed on Pearl Jam, they would still come out blazing in all of their simultaneous raw and refined glory. // 10
Perfomance: Last night (this is the morning after that I'm writing this review), Pearl Jam rocked Manchester in two. There is no other way of saying it. The crowd were just taken up and went wild! there were two encores after everyone went nuts and refused to stop cheering until they came back out again. I cannot be certain of this, but in their second Encore, after two and a half hours of playing, I think it was actually the organisers Who reigned them in, since about two minutes into their last song, all of the lights came on. Obviously I'm not pointing fingers, but I reckon it just goes to show how much mutual pleasure Pearl Jam and the crowd were getting out of each other.
Mike McCreedy was a showman. Right from the start, he was bouncing around his side of the stage and really engaging with the crowd in a way that you don't see him do that often, playing about a four minute solo to Even FLow with his guitar behing his back! Stone Gossard seemed quite reserved in terms of energy levels at the start of the show (which Jeff REALLY made up for), but by the end of their set, he was running around more than any of the others.
What need I really say about Eddie? Anyone who cares enough about Pearl Jam to be reading this knows what sort of persona he is, and therefore I really don't think I need to go into it too much, but he was on top form at the men this particular Monday night.
In a way, it was a pity that for the first hour and a half he probably spoke for less than a minute, because he is a good guy to listen to, but towards the end, he opened up a bit, telling of his little brother's baby boy that was born the night before and dedicating a who cover to him, going on about his bad hair day and singling a guy in the audience out for his particular haircut, and also dedicating a the second to last song (I think) to a lady in the audience who's been to "69 plus 1, 70 f--kin' shows, that's a lot, man. Now back in the day, 69 shows and you got to sleep with Mike McCreedy, but nowadays he's a married man, so this'll have to do...etc". // 8
Overall Impression: As Eddie thanked Manchester's MEN arena's (UK) crowd towards the end of August 17th 2009's show, the sincerity in his voice was almost hard to believe it was so profound. Out of all the bands in the world, just one crowd should probably hardly make any difference, when to a supporting band (this time it was Gomez)it should be a huge deal, it seemed to be the other way around. I could talk about Gomez now, who I was in fact quite impressed with, but that's probably a story for another day.
With a back catalogue like Pearl Jam, they didn't play every song I was hoping for (I was hoping for Betterman, but it wasn't to be), but they and the crowd certainly raised the roof with a few numbers, including but certainly not limited to Even flow, Alive, Black, given to fly and rearviewmirror. That 40 was most definitely worth it, and my heart aches that I won't be able to get to their next gig. // 8