Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Eddie Vedder Solo Tour
Eddie Vedder is basically a god.
Last night, I had the wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the one and only Eddie Vedder at the Palace Theatre in Albany. He put on a stellar performance and played some incredible songs.
The only thing I wasn't really expecting is for him to screw up his songs so much. But, he is still amazing. He could mess up songs a hundred times and I wouldn't like him any less. He would stop sometimes because he missed the guitar chord and yell a swear word, or he would stop playing and pause because he forgot a song lyric. The crowd helped him out sometimes, and he thanked them.
Supposedly, as Vedder talked about during the show, The Times Union noted that he was drunk at the show the night before, and that is why he was messing up so many times. Vedder made some laughs about it, noting that the reporter had obviously never seen him drink before. He was just rusty, for he hasn't played in six months.
Still, I was in awe of him throughout the entire show. He interacted very well with the crowd. He played alone, using different kinds of guitars--acoustic, electric, and a smaller eukelele-type guitar. He also used a foot pedal to have a steady beat. That is so talented, to sing, play guitar, and keep a beat. I was amazed.
He also told stories about being in Albany for the past few days. He even started off his first encore with a hilarious quick song he wrote for Albany. He swam in the Hudson River for the first two days he was here, and he read an article about how it's not safe to swim in the Hudson in the Capital Region because there are so many toxins in the water. (Basically, fecal matter and human waste) He then wrote a song about how we should probably clean up that mess.
Vedder also swam in Round Lake. My jaw dropped when I heard this. I grew up right next to Round Lake, and to think that my rock idol was swimming by himself in the lake on a Tuesday afternoon just blows my mind. What a small world it is.
Anyway, Vedder played for an hour and a half to two hours. The crowd was really into him, singing with him most times. People were chanting his name when he was on and off the stage. Vedder even went out to shake hands with the crowd after his first encore. He even jammed on his guitar in front of them, down on the floor, during his last encore. He really plays for the people.
Here are the songs that I can recollect from the set. They are not exactly in order, but they are the best I can do. I don't know ALL the songs he played, as some were not Pearl Jam or Vedder songs.
"Tolumine" (opens with)
"Who You Are"
"Throw Your Arms Around Me"
"Arc" - Looping his voice
Maybe played but unconfirmed?? "Gone," "Soon Forget," "Low Light?"
Vedder also played a lot of covers that I didn't recognize. Can someone please put up the setlist? My memory isn't that great, and I've tried my best!
I also want to commend Vedder's choice of an opener: Liam Finn. He is a New Zealander who really enjoys looping his songs. I was blown away that he could basically play an entire song all by himself--singing, guitar, and drums. He did have a female play with him who would also loop, sing, play drums, tones, and maraca. The two of them were just incredible together.
Finn played some faster and slower songs, and I found myself enjoying his faster songs a lot more. He can really jam out on those drums. He is an animal! His limbs are flying so fast; you can tell he's really putting a lot into it. Even when it comes to the guitar, he really can play. He really knows how to get a good riff and then keep adding to it. I was impressed.
There were a few parts where I couldn't help but make faces though. Some of his music got a little out of control. He would play with the electric guitar so much that it sounded like someone was putting on scary Halloween sounds. It sounded like a dinosaur was let loose in the audience. And then later on, they both started cackling and that started looping, and it was kind of creepy. I guess it was different and different is good, but it creeped me out a little bit.
But, overall, if you're looking for a cool, new sound, check out Liam. Vedder likes him so much that he had him come out and play his encores with him. Liam played "Society," "Throw Your Arms Around Me" and "Hard Sun" with him; they both sang and played guitar. They weren't bad together.
Overall, the concert was phenomenal. You can tell how much Vedder likes to play and really connects with the audience. Even though he wasn't the sharpest, he's still a rock god to me. I love Eddie Vedder with all my heart, and last night proved that. Pearl Jam still remains my favorite band. Thank God Eddie visited my hometown.
So, what do you think of Eddie Vedder or his concert?