Gig Reviews

10

Eddie Veder, Copely Symphony Hall, San Diego (July 5, 2011)

Eddie Veder live in San DiegoReview Snapshot: Eddie Vedder is touring solo across North America with a brave and beautiful show, crossing musical generations and styles, challenging his audience and himself.
 
The Cluas Verdict: 10 out of 10
 
Full Review: Eddie Vedder has got soul and guts. He's touring solo again, this time playing stuff from his new 'Ukulele Songs' album, as well as stripped down versions of Pearl Jam gems, songs from his 'Into The Wild' album, and some amazingly great covers. Eddie can make a lot of noise with just a guitar or ukulele and that beautiful booming baritone voice. He jumps across decades to croon a 20s ukulele love song, on to a 60s Beatles heartbreaker, 80s Springsteen & X covers, and the whole breadth of Pearl Jam's time.
 
As with Pearl Jam shows, he has great faith in his audience, and we have complete faith in him, and that feels good.
 
Eddie started with a set of beautiful ukulele songs, strumming and picking, then moved on to electric and acoustic guitar versions of Pearl Jam songs, including a radically re-worked Betterman – many in the crowd didn't know what he was playing till the "Can't find a betterman" line- and a communal ode to Lennon/McCartney (and Vedder) ideals, in Love Boat Captain:
Love boat captain
Take the reins,.. steer us towards the clear.
I know it's already been sung,... can't be said enough.
Love is all you need,.. all you need is love,..
Love,.. love,...
Love.
He followed with a set of Into The Wild songs, then closed the 19 song main set with a string quartet backing him up on a couple recent Pearl Jam ballads. Then on to the first (10 song) encore. He just kept going, and the energy and invention never wavered.
 
A few highlights...
  • On the spur of the moment, Eddie changes the plan and he and Glen Hansard, who opened the show, leave the circle of mics and chairs and instruments, he brings a ukulele, and they step out onto the edge of the stage. They stand like two buskers harmonizing & strumming, with no technology involved, crooning the 1950s country love song Sleepless Nights. The couple of thousand listeners went dead silent, sensing that something real special was happening. That was grand.
  • Eddie turning You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - not exactly a pleasant sentiment -  into a sing-along, much like Betterman (similarly bleak) has become an anthem sing-along. Weird, but he lets the audience make that call.
  • Eddie singing ass-kickin' versions of the L.A. legends X/Dave Alvin's song 4th of July and of Springsteen's Nebraska stomper Open All Night, which was bravely and raucously sung much like Springsteen did on his own solo tour in 2005.
Eddie covered moods from vulnerable and tender to angry & near violent, crossing musical generations and styles. It was a sight to behold.
 
Alas, he does very few of these shows. But you can get a taste by getting hold of the new DVD Water On The Road, a film of Eddie's last (2008) solo tour.  You won't be disappointed.
 
John Ford
 
Set List - Eddie Vedder, Copely Symphony Hall, San Diego (July 5, 2011)
 
01. Can't Keep
02. Sleeping By Myself
03. Without You
04. Broken Heart
05. Hey Fahkah
06. You're True
07. Longing To Belong
08. Deadman
09. I Am Mine
10. Off He Goes
11. Love Boat Captain
12. Betterman
13. Long Nights w/Glen Hansard
14. Far Behind
15. No Ceiling
16. Guaranteed
17. Rise (incomplete)
18. Just Breathe w/string quartet
19. The End w/string quartet
 
Encore 1
20. Unthought Known
21. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
22. 4th Of July
23. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
24. Sleepless Nights w/Glen Hansard
25. Society w/Glen Hansard
26. Falling Slowly w/string quartet
27. Wishlist
28. Open All Night
29. Porch
 
Encore 2
30. Hard Sun w/Glen Hansard

 

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