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Monday, June 25, 2007

Pearl Jam "Live at the Gorge" (7 CD Box Set)

Let me first say that this isn't so much a review as it is a fanboy's reaction. I'm writing this as I'm listening to Pearl Jam's Live at the Gorge. So if you don't care about the music created by Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, Ed Vedder, and Matt Cameron - with "Boom" Gaspar - stop reading now. If you're just a casual fan (i.e., only like the radio singles, which only date from 1991 to 1994), this is not for you. No worries, it's cool that you're digging on "Jeremy" everytime it shows up on your randomized iTunes playlist. Anyway, bottom line: Only two kinds of music listeners should pick up this live box set.

The first kind are fanboys and fangirls, people who are members the Ten Club...like yours truly. In fact, I'm listening to my Ten Club copy, which (like last year's self-titled album) doesn't have any UPC bar codes. That itself is cool. But even more so is that I received this box set on Saturday, when the official release date is tomorrow.

OK, so the three concerts presented in this box set took place at the Gorge, in George, WA. Yes, I said the Gorge in George, Washington. There's a gorge in George Washington. (I should've ranted about that in my podcast). Like I said, you really need to be a better-than-average Pearl Jam fan to enjoy this because the whole thing is a sing along. It's like church, but with Ed's warm baritone and Mike's blues-infected leads and Stone's riffage (and vice versa for Stone and Mike) and Jeff and Matt's groove. Boom's Hammond B3 drives it home. The first songs on the first disc are definite sing-alongs: "I Believe in Miracles" (Ramones cover), "Small Town," "Off He Goes," "Low Light," "Man of the Hour," "I Am Mine"...etc., etc., etc.

There's this vibe because of the outdoor venue. The open air reduces any sort of reverberation, with all sounds leaking into space (if that were possible). So far, it feels totally different from the show I went to last year (at an indoor venue). Anyway, this particular show was recorded near the end of summer, so you can almost feel the heat. And it's freakin' hot right now, so it's perfect. I can't wait to listen to the July 2006 Gorge shows because that's when it was a really scorching summer. So I'll stop writing this non-review and continue listening (whilst I work).

Oh yeah, the second kind are people who are open to music and open to more Pearl Jam. You might not like it in the end, but at least you took a chance. Well, you can always go to http://www.pearljamlive.com/ to listen to a plethora of other shows (and thus save some bucks).

This is not much of a review. Sorry. Go to www.pearljam.com/goods for the special fanclub package, otherwise pick it up elsewhere.

I said in my podcast (which I'll post soon) that it's great to be a twentysomething/thirtysomething teenager. And it is. Next time I'll write another non-review, of the Halfing Pumpkins' return to form - Zeitgeist.

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