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Eddie VedderMitsubishi Electric Hall, Düsseldorf, Germany
30th June 2019
Eddie Vedder - 2019 European Tour - Special guests: Glen Hansard

Singer/ songwriter EDDIE VEDDER announced that he will perform a series of European concert dates in June and July. The tour fortunately led the lead singer of PEARL JAM also to Berlin and Dusseldorf, and the concerts sold out in a heartbeat, despite the heavy (and welcome) restrictions for ticket buyers, such as the purchasing limit of four and the ticket personalization. These concerts were a rare opportunity to see one of the greatest singer/ songwriters of recent rock history in a relatively intimate setting, and also get insights in to what inspires and drives a music legend like EDDIE VEDDER.


Glen Hansard

The Irish singer/ songwriter has long been associated with the PEARL JAM / EDDIE VEDDER universe since the hiatus of his first band THE FRAMES in 2006. Since 2011, he has accompanied Eddie on various tours. Besides acting in several films (amongst others in the 1991 classic ‘The Commitments’), he has released four studio albums so far, the last of which is called ‘This Wild Willing’, which has been released in April this year. https://www.facebook.com/GlenHansardMusic / http://www.GlenHansard.com

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Music & Performance
As befitting for a singer/ songwriter, GLEN HANSARD entered the stage rather unceremoniously, took his place at an old piano at the stage centre and started to perform the opening song ‘Bird of Sorrow’ from his 2012 debut album ‘Rhythm and Repose’. This gave the already largely present part of the seated audience a glimpse into his inspiring talent and vocal range. For the next songs, he switched to his signature beat-up acoustic guitar, which made his performance not any less intense. He dedicated his third song ‘Grace Beneath the Pines’ to Greta Thunberg, saying that she manifests grace in so many ways, not striving for attention or profit, just exhibiting sheer conviction.

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The song ‘When Your Mind’s Made Up’, which was recorded for the ‘Once’ soundtrack in 2007, ended in an insanely intensive strumming orgy, during which he added significant distortion to his acoustic guitar, which paired well with the intensity of his singing. This combination made sure that the seated audience was no longer glued to their seats in the - thankfully air-conditioned - hall but broke out into standing ovations. The last song ‘Leave’ (also from the ‘Once’ OST) then had almost everyone standing up giving him a big round of cheers and applause, and I assume many of the approximately 5,000 people present made a mental note to check out GLEN HASARD’s studio works.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 7 / 10

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Eddie Vedder

EDDIE VEDDER has served as PEARL JAM’s front man since 1990, and he can ultimately be credited with making flannel shirts immensely popular with a certain demographic. His debut solo release was the 2007 soundtrack album for the film ‘Into the Wild’, for which Vedder won a Golden Globe for the song ‘Guaranteed’. In 2012, Vedder’s sophomore solo album, ‘Ukulele Songs’, received a Grammy nomination for “Best Folk Album”. Vedder was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of PEARL JAM on April 7, 2017. Check out www.pearljam.com or https://www.facebook.com/eddievedder for more information.

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Music & Performance
During the change-over, a large poster on stage informed the audience that “due to the intimate nature of Eddie Vedder’s solo performances all smartphone activities were prohibited”. The stage layout, which was arranged by stage hands wearing white doctor’s coats, looked like someone had cleaned up his attic. A huge, old-fashioned tape recorder was standing next to several guitars and beat-up suitcases, while the stage was sparsely illuminated by tube-like lightbulbs. Live appearances of EDDIE VEDDER have been extremely rare in the last decade, so the anticipation level rose to sky-high levels in the wake of the performance. This began around 9:20 pm, when the four members of the Dutch RED LIMO STRING QUARTET took their places on the left side of the stage and intonated the PEARL JAM song ‘Even Flow’ as a classical instrumental version.

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For the second song, ‘Long Road’ (also from Eddie Vedder’s band), a visibly upbeat EDDIE VEDDER took his place in the front of the stage, and within the first moments, he gave everyone inside the arena goosebumps with his trademark dark timbre in his voice. Fan favorite ‘Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town’ proved extremely effective in that context, as you could see plenty of people singing the lyrics with tears of joy in their eyes. The following cover of the TOM PETTY song ‘I won’t back down’ was once again dedicated to Greta Thunberg, whose dedication Eddie praised full of admiration. In the song breaks and also during instrumental parts, Eddie stood up and walked to the stage edge to engage in random acts of kindness. For one he pointed at a kid and motioned him to come forward and handed him a plec, while his dad got a drink of wine. The other time, he got up to shake the hand of a man wielding a huge sign saying ‘Thank you for who I am’, which made the man burst into tears, while the crowd gave him a huge applause as he walked back to his seat.

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At times, the security really had a hard time freeing up the escape lanes between the seats, as more and more people streamed to the front to be closer to their idol. The main part ended after fan favorite (and PEARL JAM song) ‘Porch’ and left the audience in standing ovations clamoring for more. Fortunately, encores are a real thing for Mr Vedder, so he swiftly returned to perform more songs from his seemingly infinite repertoire of moving songs. The encore was opened by the String Quartet performing an instrumental of the iconic PEARL JAM hit ‘Alive’, while Eddie happily poured some lucky people from the first rows cups of red wine, and the audience sang the lyrics back to him. For the JOHN LENNON Cover ‘Imagine’, everyone pulled out their smartphone flashlight, and the arena became an illuminated, starry cosmos. After a nine-song encore (!), Eddie and his musicians left the stage for a little longer, but the audience did not have enough even after over two hours of playtime and kept screaming and clapping for more.

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The second encore was opened by a visibly emotional Eddie dedicating the upcoming song to the daughter of Chris Cornell, and then he performed ‘Seasons’ as a final gem in a memorable evening, which lasted over two and a half hours, and which left grown men sobbing in their friends’ arms, as it was one of the most emotionally touching performances of this generations.

Setlist
01. Even Flow (Pearl Jam song) (with Red Limo String Quartet)
02. Long Road (Pearl Jam song)
03. Love Boat Captain (Pearl Jam song)
04. Around the Bend (Pearl Jam song)
05. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town (Pearl Jam song)
06. I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty cover)
07. Just Breathe (Pearl Jam song)
08. Wishlist (Pearl Jam song)
09. Off He Goes (Pearl Jam song)
10. I Am Mine (Pearl Jam song)
11. Soon Forget (Pearl Jam song)
12. Far Behind
13. Long Nights
14. Rise
15. Black (Pearl Jam song)
16. Unthought Known (Pearl Jam song)
17. Porch (Pearl Jam song)
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18. Alive (Pearl Jam song) (with Red Limo String Quartet)
19. I’m So Tired (Fugazi cover)
20. Corduroy (Pearl Jam song)
21. Last Kiss (Wayne Cochran cover)
22. Imagine (John Lennon cover)
23. Better Man (Pearl Jam song)
24. Song of Good Hope (Glen Hansard cover)
25. Society (Jerry Hannan cover)
26. Hard Sun (Indio cover)
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27. Seasons (Chris Cornell cover)

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 9 / 10

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All Pictures by André Wilms

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