Pearl Jam – Live At Easy Street

While in Toronto a few weeks ago, I noticed this CD and, in a mild state of shock (I usually know about Pearl Jam’s releases long before they hit the street because I follow their web sites for news quasi-religiously), I asked my wife, “Uh, had you heard about this?” She hadn’t, but she well knows about my long-standing appreciation of this band. Intrigued, I pawed it for a long while, but I regretfully left it behind that day. I balked at the ridiculously high Corporate Bastard price tag on a short little EP.

Returning home, this intrepid reporter did some online sleuthing and, remarkably, with none of the main PJ sites mentioning it at all (!), it was amazon.com (not .ca), among others, who revealed that this EP was released back in June, part of a full set the band had done in a Seattle record shop back in April ’05. The show was in support of the 10th anniversary of something called the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS). Sounds like something they’d get behind, all right.

Anyway, back in Toronto yesterday, I grabbed a copy (despite the same high price), convinced by th elack of press that it would be a strictly limited edition thing. Time will tell on that score, but it really should stick around in mass release because this CD rocks. In fact, if somebody who has a say in such matters happens to read this, release the entire show, pretty please!

The sound quality’s great, the band is flying in top form, and the covers are aptly-chosen and blistering. Whatever you may think of Pearl Jam and their idiosyncrasies, politics and music, they are not to be denied as a quality live act, and this happy little EP proves it in spades. I recommend it.

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