That Guy Named David submits the following CD reviews for your edification:
Pearl Jam – State College, PA, May 3, 2003 (A+)
As an admitted Pearl Jam fanatic, I must say that I have listened to quite a few of their performances over the past 12 years. I’ve also seen them in concert on every tour through Texas (with the exception of the No Code tour). This concert is by far the best performance I have ever heard from this band. The concert is made up of 36 songs and 3 1/2 hours of some of the best Pearl Jam music that they have recorded. Highlights from the show include a version of “Daughter” with a “Highway to Hell” and “Another Brick in the Wall” tag in which the crowd gets involved and is as loud as the band, an acoustic set by Eddie Vedder including the Beatles’ “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “Gimme Some Truth,” and the closing of the show with CCR’s “Fortunate Son,” Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” and the regular closing number, “Yellow Ledbetter.” In addition, there are performances of songs from every album, rarities, covers, pretty much everything a fan would want from this band. Amazing.
Pearl Jam – Mansfield, MA, July 11, 2003 (A-)
During this tour, Pearl Jam played Mansfield, MA outside of Boston on 3 different nights. In those 3 nights, they tried to play as much of their collection as possible. This 3-c.d. performance is the last performance in Mansfield and, included with the staples that you will hear at most Pearl Jam shows, there are quite a number of songs that I have never heard of them playing live. The performance begins with a 12-song acoustic performance before the opening band goes on (in other words, they were the opening act for the act that opened for them). They then come back with a 33-song set that includes some favorites of mine that aren’t normally played in concert (including “Why Go” and “Tremor Christ”). The only problem I have with this concert is the acoustic set is incredibly good, while the regular concert set is a bit monotonous. Overall, it’s an out of the ordinary performance and nice addition to the collection.
Pearl Jam – Madison Square Garden, July 8th and 9th, 2003 (B-)
Normally, I would have to say that 5 c.d.’s worth of concert material from Pearl Jam would be considered a musical delight on the grandest of scales. However, this collection just didn’t do it for me. Maybe it was just Pearl Jam overkill. I did thoroughly enjoy the rendition of “Indifference” with Ben Harper (an incredible artist in my opinion), but the c.d.’s just don’t flow enough for me. The first night’s performance was exceptional, the second was pretty bland. There are much better performances out there if you are considering buying Pearl Jam concerts (see reviews above).