Ed Vedder Solo- Albany, NY June 8th/9th, 2009

by Kathy Davis on June 9, 2009

UPDATED:  Setlist for the June 8th & 9th shows are posted in our Eddie Vedder Concert Chronology here.

First reports are coming in from Ed’s tour-opening stop in New York State’s capital, Albany.  Here’s a review from the Schenectady Daily Gazette:

Vedder show unpolished, but enjoyable

— ALBANY — Eddie Vedder started his solo tour in Albany Monday night — his first of two sold-out shows at The Palace. Calm and relaxed, he rambled through stories, stopped singing in mid-tune, and offered excuses throughout the show, though he didn’t need to make any.

Vedder’s voice commanded the same authority it does when Pearl Jam is behind him. His tone and power captured the packed Palace whether he shouted or whispered. The audience was eager to explode, and Vedder spent some effort keeping the lid on.

“Everyone just get comfortable,” he said, trying to lower the energy and set the vibe for his acoustic tunes — this from a man known to body surf the audience. The lid blew during some of his more intense tunes, like “Sometimes,” “I’m Open,” and “Dead Man Walkin.”

He continuously forgot lyrics during “Guranteed,” stopping to tell us how all his preparing for the tour has made it hard for him. “This is the longest version I’ve ever played of this song.” The screaming went up and down quickly through these parts, stopping abruptly as soon as he strummed again. Few performers have the ability to turn silent on a dime a packed and partying Palace.

He covered Bruce Springsteen’s “State Trooper,” his deep voice keeping the verses low.

He surprised even his more loyal fans with Bob Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country,” the prettiest tune of the night. He followed with the Beatle’s “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” everybody joining him for the chorus. He blew a few simple harmonica chords to complete the picture. “Pretty good singing for the first night,” he said, not sure if he was congratulating himself or the audience.

Vedder said it was his third day in Albany, and he was enjoying some paddling on the Hudson River. He told a lengthy story that he swore he wouldn’t tell again on tour. But he seemed to be feeling out the audience, getting a pulse for the upcoming shows.

He did little with the guitar beyond accompanying his voice, staying away from leads or guitar tricks. He kept the songs fairly straight, relying on his throat and intensity to carry the night. He turned it over to the audience a few times, particularly in “Fade Away,” after he set the tone. He ad-libbed a song, trying to rhyme “Albany,” coming up with “You look so tall to me,” squeezing in “Utica” too.

Vedder is one of those figures that has become more than a rock star, revered in a number of circles beyond music. His show Monday night was far from polished — the tweaking of equipment and sound was constant — but that was the best part.

Here’s a photo of the poster ($35) and a glimpse of merch from the stand courtesy the Inside The Rock Poster Frame blog:











Merch pix and info: (Courtesy Pearl Jam Message Pit):  Amongst the items are:  a water bottle, blue windbreaker with EV target design logo on the back ($60); White T-shirt with white zippo design ($35);  Black T-shirt with classic EV surfing graphic in blue ($35); White Zippo;  Silver Stars and Stripe Zippo &  Sticker/Badge Set .








Unique Albany Baseball Jersey

Update: Another newspaper review, this one from the Albany Times-Union:

By Michael Eck

ALBANY — Rocker Eddie Vedder has been camped out in Albany since Saturday, whiling his time by rehearsing some new tunes, paddling along the Hudson River and enjoying, apparently, a few legal beverages.

An admittedly tipsy Vedder launched his new tour in Albany Monday night at the Palace Theatre and he wowed an already adoring crowd with a selection of Pearl Jam rarities; tunes from his “Into The Wild” soundtrack; and a handful of well-chosen covers (including Daniel Johnston’s “Walking The Cow” and Bruce Springsteen’s “State Trooper”).

Vedder is best known as a charismatic frontman, but he was quite comfortable being the only man on stage Monday, whether strumming an acoustic guitar, tearing into an electric, trilling a mandolin or finger-picking a ukulele.

Whatever he did, the crowd ate it up.

Vedder’s voice is huge and it filled the Palace easily, especially on rocking numbers like “Sometimes,” “I Am Mine” and the raging “Lukin.”

But he also cooed, and a mutated version of Bob Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country” was one of the evening’s clear highlights.  Vedder also offered Dylan’s “Forever Young” as an encore.

In between tunes, Vedder was like an affable uncle in the corner at a party — spouting quips, slurring a touch and once in a while telling full-out stories. One of the latter was delivered from a chair shaped like feet — one of a number of Neil Young-like surreal touches to the staging of the event.

Many of the tunes from “Wild” are fragmentary, almost glimpses of songs rather than full compositions. In their brevity and melody some called to mind Tim Hardin.

But each shone in its own right, with “Rise” shimmering and “No Ceiling” coming and going like a dream.

“Guaranteed,” a lengthier piece, was extended by Vedder forgetting some of the lyrics and looping back to catch them.

“Thank you for your patience,” he said to the crowd. “That’s the longest version of “Guaranteed” I’ve ever played.”

Later, for the encore of “Arc,” Vedder literally looped his voice, using electronics to multiply his wordless singing into a symphony.

As the improvisation wound down Vedder took to the pit in front of the stage to shake hands with fans.

To fully close the show, he was joined by opening act Liam Finn and Eliza Jane Barnes for a rousing, rocking “Hard Sun.”

The duo dazzled on their own in their chaotic yet melodic opening set, which, too, was loaded with loops. Often enough Finn would build and build a song until finally crashing it home with a Keith Moon-like rampage on the drums.

Vedder’s show was sold-out wall-to-wall. He returns to the Palace tonight, Tuesday, for another round, but it, too, is sold-out.

If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket you will enjoy a show, which is dramatic, goofy and entrancing all at once.

Michael Eck, a freelance writer, is a frequent contributor to the Times Union.


Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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