Tuesday 3 July 2012

Pearl Jam Is Aging Beautifully

Watching your heroes age can be painful. Bands like The Rolling Stones and U2 have been around for decades and sometimes you can see them struggle, losing a bit of their greatness. Pearl Jam have been around for over two decades now and are slowly moving into the line of bands that seem to have been around forever. Their music left their traces in history and now they were going to play the brand new Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam two nights in a row.

Pearl Jam at the Ziggo Dome, June 26 2012

Another band that has been around forever are X, the punk rockers who started in the late 70s and despite not achieving any mainstream success are considered a major influence. They play a tight set and are clearly still going strong. At the end of the set Eddie Vedder steps in with his tambourine to play with them.

A short while later he steps back on stage with the rest of Pearl Jam starting off with Pink Floyd's 'Interstellar Overdrive'. Immediately making clear that they may have gotten older, but definitely haven't slowed down, it is followed by 'Corduroy' and 'Why Go'. They only slow down in the always great 'Given To Fly'.

What follows is a spectacular night. The band have more energy than ever and look very eager and inspired. Eddie Vedder has a sparkle in his eyes throughout the show and is moving around the stage a lot. Maybe he's not that wild as in the old days but is definitely looking very fit and full of fire. He reads a small speech in Dutch which makes him even more beloved this evening.

There also are a few surprises tonight. They play The Kinks cover 'Better Things' for the first time ever and don't play 'Alive' at all, which is pretty rare. 'Do The Evolution' closes their regular set, but this night is still young. A five song encore follows with a beautiful 'Just Breath'. A second encore follows with two fan requests, 'Smile' and 'Green Disease'. Several times Vedder is running towards his band mates to discuss changes to the set list. Of course fan favourite 'Black' is one of the highlights. Neil Young's 'Rocking In A Free World' assisted by X's John Doe, followed by 'Indifference' close this terrific night. Pearl Jam is proving that a rock band can age very well. Like good whisky it may lose it's rough edges but gain more depth and variety. This way we can hopefully enjoy them for some more decades to come.

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1. Interstellar Overdrive (Pink Floyd cover)
2. Corduroy
3. Why Go
4. Given To Fly
5. Brain Of J.
6. Amongst The Waves
7. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
8. In Hiding
9. Even Flow
10. World Wide Suicide
11. Rats
12. Lukin
13. Not For You
14. Better Things (The Kinks cover)
15. Nothingman
16. The Fixer
17. Do The Evolution
Encore 1:
18. Last Kiss (Wayne Cochran cover)
19. Just Breathe
20. Comatose
21. Unthought Known
22. Porch
Encore 2:
23. Smile
24. Green Disease
25. Love, Reign O'er Me (The Who cover)
26. Black
27. Rockin' in the Free World (Neil Young cover)
28. Indifference

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