Last night was a great night out and everyone including the boys from Pearl Jam was having a great time. It is evident the band has moved on from its angsty days and the performance and set list reflected this. Vs is quite an angst filled (but brilliant) album and there wasn’t too many songs off this album that made it into the set list. There were quite a few songs off backspacer and these live had more energy and were great – it might make me enjoy the album more after seeing them live! Highlights for me were Black, Given to Fly, Yellow Ledbetter and Rocking in the Free World – all of which would be on the set list if I had picked it… No Alive, no Go, and missing some other big hits, some might be disapointed but not this punter, definitely got my moneys worth. ‘Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a small town’ was for “anyone from Te Awamutu” and Vedder’s voice had never sounded better, singing “its been 11 years” (since they last played in NZ) saw a cheer from the crowd.
Ben Harper joined the stage to play slide guitar on Red Mosquito, here’s some of it shot from my phone.. so err excuse the quality:
At the beginning of the second encore, Vedder invite up “Uncle Neil” and son Liam and the played a Not Given Lightly by Chris Knox. This was a special treat for everyone with Neil prefacing the song “He’s still here, we are all blessed for that, lead us off son” referring to Knox’s recent stroke – support Chris by buying Stroke – Songs for Chris Knox.
In terms of the sound of the show, it was pretty good. I was sitting off to the side in the lower stand and quite an angle and there you got a little too much guitar but Eddie’s vocals were powering through and could be heard clearly over the band. My only complaint would be the bass could be a little louder, as could the drums – at least the Kick Drum. Oh and my ears are still ringing the next morning… ear plugs next time.