Saturday, June 28, 2008


Our seats were just as good for night two of Pearl Jam's two night stand at Madison Square Garden. This time, instead of being behind the stage, we were in front, but a little farther away: in the 13th row. From a photographer's point of view, it's probably better to be in front, and my lovely wife had a great time taking photos: see above. I was surprised that they played quite a few of the same songs as the night before, but there were enough different songs to have made it worth it.

They opened with "Release," which was great, and other great songs that they added included "World Wide Suicide," "Severed Hand," "State Of Love And Trust," "Garden" and "Rats." "Rats" has always been one of my favorites, and I wish they'd do more funky stuff like that. "Suicide" and "Severed Hand," both from their latest album, are classic. The backup singers were once again on hand, as was CJ Ramone. One notable other guest was Ace Frehley, who joined them for Kiss' "Black Diamond." That was pretty cool: the backup singers joined for that one, Eddie Vedder actually left the stage, Mike McCready actually sang the first line (as Paul Stanley does on the original), and Matt Cameron sang lead from behind the drums (as Peter Criss did back in the day).

It's funny: back in the '90s, Pearl Jam was seen as the anti-KISS. Their look wasn't typically rock star, and they seemed against flashiness. But, watching the band jam with a member of KISS and a member of The Ramones in the same night, you realize they were equally influenced by both bands. I wonder what Gene Simmons would think? He used to bitch about Pearl Jam all the time.

I could write about how mind-blowingly great Pearl Jam were all day, but I think you kind of get it. This is a band you should see if you get the chance. And, hopefully, you'll get lots of chances. I wonder when we'll hear from them next. I know Stone Gossard's other band, Brad, have a new album coming out. I also hear that Stone is working on his second solo album. Matt has a new jazz group called Harrybu McCage, they played Bonnaroo, and they just released their debut. But, hopefully the guys will get back together for a new album in the next few months. I can't wait to hear what they'll come up with next.

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