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Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam

PEARL JAM

Lollapalooza, AT&T stage
Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007

Setlist:
Why Go
Corduroy
Save You
Do the Evolution
Small Town
Severed Hand
Education
Even Flow
Given to Fly
World Wide Suicide
Don’t Go BP Amoco
Lukin
Not For You
Daughter
State of Love and Trust
Wasted Reprise
Alive

First encore:
Better Man
Crazy Mary
Life Wasted
Rearviewmirror

Second encore:
No More (with Ben Harper)
Rockin in the Free World (with Ben Harper)

 


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Windy City Sounds: Marching through Lollapalooza 2007 (cont.)

PEARL JAM

After a long wait for things to finally get going, Perry Farrell emerged one last time to deliver only these words to a crowd reported to have stretched all the way back to Buckingham Fountain: “Here they are, my dear friends, PEARL JAM!”

The band ran on stage like they were being chased by angry bees, and kicked things off with “Why Go.” A cacophony of hard rocking songs followed, interrupted only briefly with a “Small Town” sing-along. The first big moment of the set came just after Mike McCready delivered his “Even Flow” solo almost completely behind his head, while Matt Cameron settled into his drum solo. Suddenly from behind the stage, fireworks went off without the band even noticing at first. The crowd erupted, enjoying listening to Pearl Jam rock out while watching a short but excellent fireworks display through the end of “Given to Fly.”

With the band settled in, the first political moment of the show arrived, and no one seemed to mind in the least. In appreciation of the petitioners who slaved all weekend to get signatures to stop BP/Amoco from dumping waste into Lake Michigan, Eddie Vedder informed the crowd of the cause, asking them to keep driving when they needed gas and BP was the closest station. To burn that thought into the collective conscience of the crowd, the band played a punk improv to the tune of “Don’t go / BP Amoco!”

The band then tore through a number of hits and fan favorites, including “Lukin,” “Not For You,” “Alive,” “Better Man,” and “Rearviewmirror” through the rest of the first set and encore, and emerged for a second encore that would be something truly special for the band and the 200,000-plus crowd, all gathered at this point for them alone.

As Eddie Vedder came out, he decided rather than voice his opposition to the war in Iraq, he would bring up a special guest. Tomas Young, the subject of the upcoming film Body of War, to which Vedder contributed a song for, gave a very quick speech about taking action to stop the war, and introduced another special guest, Ben Harper.

Back on the stage together again for the third time in four days (Ben performed “Indifference” with Pearl Jam at Chicago’s Vic Theatre on Thursday night as well), Vedder and Harper traded verses again, this time on “No More,” an anti-war song written by Vedder. After that thrilling version that had me singing the song in my head all the way home, Ben stayed on stage and joined the band in closing out the festival with “Rockin’ in the Free World,” a fitting final note on the 3 days. Halfway through the song, Vedder invited the entire backstage crowd to join him, of which looked like half the population of the City of Chicago, up there jumping around, dancing, and geeking out to an extraordinary Stone Gossard solo to close out the song. The night ended with Vedder thanking the crowd from Dennis Rodman’s shoulders, and everyone left elated, exhausted and feeling like they could wait until next year to see another live performance.

Lollapalooza felt as much an accomplishment for fans as it did the organizers and bands, who provided a weekend of a lifetime to 200,000 plus music fans.

E-mail Joshua Lieberson at joshualieberson@yahoo.com


POST-FESTIVAL NOTE

A set of humongous thank-yous and showering of appreciation on my part must go out first and foremost to Rick and Michelle, my weekend hosts. They were incredibly kind to me all weekend, and are the best hosts one could ever hope for, hanging out all weekend, and taking me around their Chicago, which was more fun than I could ever ask for. Thank you so much!

Also, I must add that I met so many great people out there in Chicago, particularly Dan, who went from deathstorm on the Given to Wail Forums to a really cool guy. It was nothing but a pure pleasure to experience many of these live acts in the company of him and his friends, who were just a really cool bunch.

At the close of this epic weekend, and ultimately this laboring review of the festivities, I’m honored to call these people friends.

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