Images and Words by: Andrew
Pearl Jam :: 10.18.13 :: Barclays Center :: Brooklyn, NY
What makes a great concert? Is it the music alone? Perhaps it’s the light production, or
it could be the song selection and execution. One could make the argument that it's “all
about the energy.” While the veteran rock band Pearl Jam covers all those bases,
they also deliver something different. Intent.
Pearl Jam’s intent has been the same for 20+ years: to give every bit of their musical
essence to the group of fans that has showed up to see them. Riding high on the recent
release of their new record “Lightning Bolt,” Pearl Jam blew the top off the Barclays
Center in Brooklyn on Friday night by mixing fan-favorites, rarities and plenty of new
material that soared as high as the moving metal bird-like sculpture perched above drummer
Matt Cameron. Giant light bulbs descending down from the ceiling gave Jeff Ament (bass),
and Mike McCready (guitar) toys to push out just above the reach of the fans in the front
rows. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Eddie Vedder took a crack at sending the ball of
light out for a ride. But upon its return, the ball found itself on a collision course
with another moving object. As the glass shattered on the stage and the crowd cheered
louder and louder Eddie made the impromptu decision to hop on one of the bulbs for a ride
out of the spotlight and closer to the Brooklyn faithful.
Hearkening back to the early days of the band, when it would be commonplace for the front
man to climb high in the smoke-filled rafters of clubs, Vedder looked as thrilled as the
thousands of smiling fans around him did. Again, what separates a good band from a great
one? “Intent” makes all the difference.
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