Back in the summer, James awesomely sent me gift card birfday monies for Chapters/Indigo and I was totally gonna use it when we were in Toronto a little while after that because our town, while we probably have an Elderly Woman Behind A Counter somewhere, doesn’t have that particular store (and I know I can go online, but let me tell the story). Anyway, we were about halfway to the city when I realized I’d helpfully left the card at home. Go me! Hm.
So I came across this most generous gift again recently, and I went online (see!) and ordered three very different pieces of awesomeness! Thanks heaps, James!! Wahooo!
This DVD marks 2007 Birfday Awesomeness #1.
I’ve stated recently here that I really like Pearl Jam. And a new DVD of the band in concert always makes me happy, so this was one of the things I ordered. I just watched it the other night and it is fantastic. The video quality is superb (as is the sound), the production itself is peerless, and I’ll say once again that this is a band that is an entirely different Animal in a live setting, and that energy is perfectly captured here.
Filmed during five tour stops in Italy in 2006, this is a brilliant documentary of the band back stage, in conversation and on stage (of course). Intercut between songs is what amounts to a fan doc and a tour guide video all in one. At first I thought that this was going to be distracting. After all, I’d plugged in the DVD expecting to see Pearl Jam in concert. And that is there, but with these interludes between. After a while they grew on me and I switched gears in my head from show-only (Like Touring Band 2000) to Documentary Film. Then it worked perfectly.
Anyway, I saw online somewhere where one person noted that they took one look at the short track listing of this set and were initially disappointed before they even watched the disc. It is true that a usual Pearl Jam show pushes two hours or more and 20-25 songs. With all the documentary stuff in between, on this set we get about half the usual number of songs (plus three bonus feature performances). But it hardly matters, and I’m sure that once that person saw this disc in its entirety, they were thrilled with what is included. Each song is awesome and worth the ticket price alone.
I love every song here, and it’s (once again) nice to see them totally mixing up old and new material as if it’s no big thing. I get the feeling that, for them, it really isn’t. There are many highlights from the performance footage, like Mike McCready and Matt Cameron showing off during Even Flow, or Eddie’s little wipe out after jumping off an amp during Alive. Watching him during that song, one can see that he’d found a place of total abandon. I don’t know how much is performance and how much is real (or if they’re the same thing for him) but it’s captivating viewing.
Every song has moments of brilliance, and each stands as proof that Pearl Jam is a highly efficient live music machine by now, and firing on all cylinders every minute without fail.
Run out and buy this, kids. It’s a keeper.
01 Severed Hand
02 World Wide Suicide
03 Life Wasted
05 State Of Love And Trust
07 Even Flow
12 Come Back
13 Rockin’ In The Free World
01 Eddie Vedder w. opening act My Morning Jacket – A Quick One While He’s Away
02 Eddie Vedder solo – Throw Your Arms Around Me
03 Pearl Jam – Yellow Ledbetter