Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gig Review - Pearl Jam, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Last Friday night, Pearl Jam was in town. This was easily the most that I'd ever paid to see them, but as we know, everything is more expensive here. Etihad is the biggest venue I've been to in probably 8 years. I haven't been doing the arena shows lately. It was big.

We had standing room tickets on the floor, which was split into the cheap floor seats and the close floor seats. We were in the cheaps, but right at the barrier, so we (or at least those of us that are tall) could see reasonably well. I'd probably only put the stadium at 65-70% full. Must be the economy.

Liam Finn was the first opening act. He was basically horrible. He tried to use an electro-theremin but he isn't the Beach Boys and shouldn't. Not impressed.

Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 were next. Quite good. Harper is a really talented guy, and this variant of his band is too. Eddie Vedder came out and did a cover of Under Pressure with him. Solid.

Next, the main event. Sound quality was good, with the vocals mixed too low (as most live shows are). Stage setup was simple, but it worked pretty well. Set list was solid (see below). Pretty heavy on the play from Ten, which isn't a bad thing. It didn't seem like the crowd was responding very well to much after Yield, so this may have been intentional. Maybe they knew that stuff is a little behind here!

While I didn't get to see Smile (which I have seen live) or Hail, Hail (which I haven't... grr) I was pretty pleased to see Brother, and the Who cover, which were both new to me. Vedder did a good job with the Neil Young cover (and that happens to be my favorite NY song).

Of note that isn't indicated in the setlist: Daughter morphed into Another Brick in the Wall. Mike McCready was sporting a Bon Scott t shirt for a while, and just before the end of YLB broke into a few sharp riffs of Whole Lotta Rosie, which I think shows that they know the audience. The last two songs were played with the house lights on, indicating that the venue had enough. The set went for just under 2.5 hours. Throughout the night, the band asked the crowd to keep an eye on each other, and had made a point to have crew bringing water around to people on the floor. I thought that was a great way to keep people sane and civil. Well done.

Also, Stone Gossard needs to cut his hair. He just looked shaggy. And Matt Cameron is my favorite drummer in the Pearl Jam drummer collection.

1 comment:

finn said...

I was in the fixer field between eddie and stone. Best concert