Photos by Timothy Norris.
Text by Ryan Colditz
Eddie Vedder is taking it solo. Pearl Jam has broken up and all that is left is Eddie Vedder. Just kidding. REALLY.
In fact, Pearl Jam are touring this summer with shows announced on the east coast and there are rumors of a return to L.A. in July or August. Until then, Ed put together a short theater tour to support the soundtrack he wrote for buddy Sean Penn's movie, Into the Wild. Vedder made his way through the LA area first with a show in Santa Barbara at Arlington Theater on Thursday, followed by a weekend stay in Los Angeles at the Wiltern Theater.
Not your typical Pearl Jam rock show, a majority of the set-list came from the movie soundtrack, while some Pearl Jam b-sides and classic rock covers mixed in to create an electrifying energy that built in intensity all night. It is clear many people did not get the memo about the concert format before buying their $70 ticket. Repeatedly hounded by ridiculous requests for songs like “Blood” and “I love you, Eddie!” screams (which usually resembled that of a drunk 40-year-old man), Vedder gave an outstanding performance despite the attention whores. On top of everything, friends joined him on stage to take the show to the next level including Ben Harper, Liam Finn and Jack Irons.
Vedder was quite content to take his time and do the show the way he intended, and he pulled it off perfectly. I would have expected nothing less from Vedder, but he rose to the challenge of being alone on-stage after close to 20 years performing with his band and again solidified his place as a rock icon that will be around for a long time to come – with or without his comrades.
Above and below, Liam Finn on stage at the Wiltern. The son of Split Enz/Crowded House founder Neil Finn, his debut album I'll Be Lightning came out in the U.S. at the beginning of the year.
All photos by Timothy Norris