Sunday, October 30, 2011


I just watched the live concert film from Eddie Vedder's first big solo tour, Water On The Road. I caught this tour, and it was amazing.  This film is a great snapshot of the tour, but it's more: there's great extra footage - backstage, at Eddie's home in Hawaii, scenes with fans - beautifully shot by directors Christoph Green and Brendan Canty. You might recognize Canty's name - he played drums in Fugazi. And he gets out from behind the camera to provide the most exciting part of the film: he gets on drums to back Eddie for a cover of "All Along The Watchtower" (it's actually in the bonus features).

But the entire film was great.  I think Eddie put a lot of thought into the presentation of the show, and it paid off.  Everything from the song selection to the stage set worked.  The setlist drew from the Into The Wild soundtrack, with Pearl Jam  tunes and Bob Dylan covers ("Watchtower," "Girl From The North Country," "Forever Young").  The set itself had a pretty cool look, with a sky blue background, a pair of wings, and towards the end of the show, Eddie and his guests Liam Finn and Sleater-Kinney alumni Corin Tucker are wearing lab coats and playing in dried ice during "Hard Sun."

My highlights included Eddie and Tucker, backstage, recording a cover of X's "Golden State," all the Into The Wild songs, Eddie at home doing Pearl Jam's new classic "Unthought Known" and the Dylan covers. I hope that Pearl Jam keep rocking for a long time, but I'm glad Eddie now has a parallel career that acknowledges PJ's legacy but isn't dependent on it. I feel that this film makes a good argument for that (and by the way, so did his last tour for Ukulele Songs, which I saw earlier this year).

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