Eddie Vedder | 08.01.08 | Boston

By: Andrew Bruss

Eddie Vedder :: 08.01.08 :: Opera House :: Boston, Mass

Eddie Vedder
Eddie Vedder's sold out set at Boston's Opera House gave every die-hard Pearl Jam fan a night they'll never forget. Vedder's first of two nights in Boston kicked off a brief run of solo performances throughout the greater Northeast region, offering up clever renditions of rare covers, a handful of tracks off his Into The Wild soundtrack, as well as some Pearl Jam classics that were given the intimate touch of being performed by one man and his guitar.

Vedder chose to inaugurate the night's event with his take on Daniel Johnston's "Walking The Cow," a tune Johnston performs on an organ, but was adapted by Vedder for six strings. As Vedder began working through his material, surprisingly, the crowd stayed seated.

Pearl Jam fans are known for their intense and intimate knowledge of the group's extensive back catalog, and it seems like whenever Vedder makes a setlist, every song, and every word is known by an extensive amount of attendees. This reality was highlighted during a performance of "Man of the Hour," a lesser known Pearl Jam tune that has only been released on the soundtrack to Tim Burton's Big Fish, as well as one of the groups greatest hits albums.

As he talked about a recent medical issue, he began to trail off and told the audience, "What I'm trying to tell you is that I'm on drugs." As unorthodox as this may seem, in no way did this come off as unprofessional. Pearl Jam fans truly love Eddie Vedder and there is a true connection that is authentically reciprocated by the man, and as a result, the walls between artist and fan are broken down. Vedder's mood, his music and his words are all felt by his fans as though taking place in an intimate conversation.

Eddie Vedder by Dave Vann
You could tell he was a bit geeked out, and on one song he noted after a false start, "Some songs are harder to play on drugs than others." But, his set remained consistent in its emotional intensity, and Vedder brought the formal segment to a close with Pearl Jam classic "Porch."

He returned to the stage to an adoring crowd to play "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In a Small Town," but what truly made the encore was the closer. The curtains closed following an emotionally riveting performance of "Arc" off Riot Act. The tune featured Vedder singing a meditative chant that he gradually began to loop over and over. The song has been said to be Vedder's tribute to the fans that died at the Roskilde Festival in 2000. Tragedy struck when nine attendees were trampled to death as fans rushed the stage, and, ever since, the group has been known to rarely perform before general admission crowds. Given the intensity of Vedder's feelings on this subject, the song came off as more than just another tune. As Vedder chanted and squeezed his eyes shut, he poured his heart out, and it seemed like he was in a deep trance, connecting with his fallen fans and keeping their memory alive in his own way.

As the curtain fell, the audience refused to clear out. The lights stayed dim, and chants for "Eddie" grew louder by the minute. Finally, Vedder returned to the stage, with opening act Liam Finn (see JamBase's review of Finn's stunning debut here) to perform "Hard Sun," quiet possibly the most popular tune off Into The Wild.

After a powerful set, with an encore that left his audience speechless, Vedder had returned to the stage, effectively raising the bar that much higher, and bringing the quality of the performance from mesmerizing to legendary. The energy in the crowd was through the roof, and everyone in attendance understood that they had just been a part of something special. With Vedder, it's not just about the tunes, it's about the connection, and on the first night of his solo tour, the bond he forged was one that truly showed his prowess as both a performer and as one man with nothing but gratitude for his audience.

Eddie Vedder is on tour now, dates available here.

JamBase | Massachusetts
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[Published on: 8/15/08]

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Chapelchilla starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/15/2008 03:32PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Pearl Jam is still great. I caught the recent DC PJ show, good stuff. This EV solo gig sounds like it was terrific. Nice write up too. Thanks

RothburyWithCheese starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/15/2008 04:00PM
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One of the great frontmen of all time. I've been listening to PJ since 1991 and finally saw them live at Bonnaroo. Best single performance I've ever seen. Even better than String Cheese or Kimya Dawson.

mcbacuma Fri 8/15/2008 04:06PM
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Great review. Can't wait til PJ (or Ed for that matter) return to the NW.

trini. starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/15/2008 05:30PM
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Goosebumps, goosebumps, goosebumps ....... thanks for that Andrew.

**Ziggy Stardust** starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/15/2008 06:26PM
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**Ziggy Stardust**

WOW! fantastic reveiw eddie never lets down

Halluxone starstarstarstar Fri 8/15/2008 09:28PM
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Bluntsnbisco....dude, just go away already. I can't imagine what a massive tool you must be to sit your baked ass in front of a computer and express what has to be the most retarded shit I have ever read. Give us, and especially yourself, a break from your meaningless life and end it already with a couple of tainted mollies and your bisco show, you fucking waste of space.

Carini83 starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/15/2008 09:41PM
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i fuckin second that

tgratefulapple Fri 8/15/2008 11:17PM
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into the wild soundtrack is a great cd.....

OaksterDan starstarstarstar Sat 8/16/2008 01:02AM
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"Walking the Cow" was a set opener for Pearl Jam @ the 1994 Bridge School Benefit show. Great show! "Man of the Hour" has been played at the Bridge School the last two times pearl jam played 2003 & 2006. Pearl Jam acoustic catalog is as follows Bridge School Benefits 1992, 94, 96, 99, 03, 06. Benaroya Hall (CA) 2003, Santa Barbara Bowl (CA) 2003 & Tweeter Center (MA) 7/11/03 first 12 songs acoustic. I have all these shows loaded on my IPOD. Happy me! I went to Bridge School shows years 1994, 96, 97 & 06 as well as Tweeter Ctr 2003. "Angel" 1992 Bridge School stands out as does "Corduroy" 1994.

Search Bridge School Benefit on Itunes and there's 3 cd's worth of songs culled from the 20 year history of these benefit shows. Bands like Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews, Phish (1999), Jerry Garcia (1988), The Dead/Other Ones (2002), Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins (Archive.org 10/18/97), Foo Fighters, Alanis Morisette, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blues Traveler and many more legendary musicians. Check it out!

daveapaug Sat 8/16/2008 09:29AM
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Hey Blunts, I bet he didn't do that one song that goes "little betty boops been thinkin it over"...No, I dont think Eddie sings songs with so much meaning....You are a tool, and I agree that you should go away.

Bryan24 Sat 8/16/2008 10:24AM
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^^^^ haha that was really funny.eddy's the man.

Rickymullet starstarstarstarstar Sun 8/17/2008 09:46AM
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bluntbiscoe- your comment made me laugh. I think vedder's a bit of a wanker but nowhere near a goof as your jon gut boy.

monacle Sun 8/17/2008 09:57AM
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BluntsBisco, you really must have no life, any article i open on Jambase has some ignorant childish comment posted by you, you must be 17 yrs old. Is it really that fun to live your life being negative all the time? waaw im a little tool who hates every band but bisco, i love bisco but come on bro its getting old, trying not being such a negative tool for once, you must be a reall asshole in real life hahahah. Ligten up lifes a lot more fun that way!!

UmphreyzMcgee Sun 8/17/2008 01:24PM
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i wonder what drugs he's on....hope he figures himself out...but messed up or not he's still good....it would be weird if eddie vedder overdosed haha so late after the early nineties....like staley

UmphreyzMcgee Sun 8/17/2008 01:26PM
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oh wow im a dumbass. hes on drugs for a medical problem my bad....i thought he was just being really honest

curtbraski star Sun 8/17/2008 06:16PM
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Jim James Paul and Tyrone

blee18 Sun 8/17/2008 08:19PM
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saw both nights in toronto

badd asss

gmoo Mon 8/18/2008 05:28AM
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'This is why I can never be on this site sober.'

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

ndant703 Mon 8/18/2008 09:39AM
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Please just ignore him, ignore him and he'll go away. keep on reacting to his stupid posts and he'll continue to write em. Ignore him starting now!.............

DesignVHL starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/18/2008 02:09PM
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Nice little write up. These shows have been bad ass! :) For more reviews and discussion of the tour - hit the pearljam.com Message Pit! :) Pearl Jam and its fan's are going as strong today as they were in the 90's...I've been a fan since their inception, and I'm just as die-hard now as I was then. I'm looking forward to tomorrows show in Milwaukee, and then the two Chicago shows....Thanks to the 10 Club I'll have great seats too! I'm really excited sorry had to share! WOO HOO! Nice to see Ed getting some love on here tho...I am surprised there aren't more comments!

jahcalling Tue 8/19/2008 08:37AM
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please change your name. i dont want people to think all biscuits fans are as retarded as you.

emberdawn Thu 8/21/2008 06:42AM
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Why is eddie sick? please let me know. I cant rest. Is it a flu thing or what? Someone from boston show let me know. Thanks!

Natethegrate Sat 8/23/2008 12:16AM
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Bluntsnbisco is one of the few today who displays the unapologetic irreverrence, unabashed honesty, and uncensored artistic integrity that it takes to be pertinent rock critic. He knows what he likes and likes what he knows - blunts and bisco. Nothing more, nothing less. Bow down!!!

DirtyRice Sat 8/23/2008 06:15PM
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isnt "walking the cow" a song from Mike Watt on Flying the Flannel from Firehose? yes, i just found my old scratched up copy of that cd. down with the base..