Vancouver Show Reports

by Kathy Davis on September 26, 2009

VancEdProvince1Here’s the setlist for our band’s performance in Vancouver Sept. 25th, courtesy an amazing network of relayers, modified by PJ Official Message Board poster Jecica:

GM Place – Vancouver, BC  Friday, September 25, 2009

Main Set:
In My Tree, Save You, Fixer, Severed Hand, Johnny Guitar, Given to Fly, MFC, Even Flow, Amongst the Waves, Sad, Unthought Known, Light Years, Small Town, Grievance, No Way, Got Some, RearViewMirror

Encore 1:
Got Shit, Love Reign O’er Me, Breath, SOLAT, Alive

Encore 2 (not confirmed): Wasted Reprise into Betterman, Last Kiss, Indifference with Ben Harper, Yellow Ledbetter

Here’s the poster:

courtesy PJ Official Message Board

courtesy PJ Official Message Board

According to the “pit”, “Light Years” was dedicated to great Canadian Terry Fox, and $20,000 from the nights show would be donated to  the Terry Fox Foundation (for cancer research). Further information about Terry and the Foundation can be found here; below is a little information about the man.

Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and raised in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, a community near Vancouver on Canada’s west coast. An active teenager involved in many sports, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977.

While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

He would call his journey the Marathon of Hope.

After 18 months and running over 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles) to prepare, Terry started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 with little fanfare. Although it was difficult to garner attention in the beginning, enthusiasm soon grew, and the money collected along his route began to mount. He ran 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through Canada’s Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario. However, on September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs. An entire nation was stunned and saddened. Terry passed away on June 28, 1981 at the age 22.

The heroic Canadian was gone, but his legacy was just beginning.

To date, more than $400 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry’s name through the annual Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world.

Here’s an early review from the Vancouver Sun’s Randy Shore:

VANCOUVER — Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder is a man who simply refuses to grow old gracefully. Vedder and his mates left it all on the stage Friday night at GM Place with a live performance that certainly deserves a place among the band’s 263 authorized live bootlegs. 

From the first clap of bass thunder that rolled around the Garage, Vedder, guitar players Mike McCready and Stone Gossard, bassist Jeff Ament and drummer Matt Cameron held hearts and ears in their hands.

Vedder screamed, spat and hurled himself into a trio of new tunes capped by the band’s radio hit The Fixer, which only weeks after its release was already tripping off the tongues of the fist-pumping crowd on the floor.

In fact as Vedder yelled frantically paced rocker after rocker at the crowd, they yelled the words right back at him.

The first break on the assault came 30 minutes in with the classic ballad Given to Fly on which the crowd’s boisterous singing at times succeeded in drowning out the band.

In a break between songs, Vedder told the crowd that Lower Mainland icon Terry Fox was an inspiration to him as a child.

Vedder pledged $20,000 to the Terry Fox Foundation, saying that the Marathon of Hope was one of the reasons why his band became community activists.

“He showed you could do something,” Vedder said.

Pearl Jam is touring its ninth studio album Backspacer, a tightly wrapped sonic shock compared with the languid worthiness of many of their previous efforts. 

The album clocks in at a lean 37 minutes, only two songs breaking the four-minute mark. The change was a conscious one, stemming in part from the band’s decision to work with producer Brendan O’Brien, who overhauled Bruce Springsteen’s sound on The Rising (2002) and Devils and Dust (2005).

Vocalist Eddie Vedder has largely left politics behind in the band’s newer material. Without George W. Bush to kick around fighting the power just isn’t that fun anymore.

What is fun is topping the rock charts with Alice in Chains, something that hasn’t happened since 1992 at the height of the Seattle grunge explosion. Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain became the face of the movement, but Vedder was always its conscience, a mantle he wears even today.

Ben Harper and Relentless7 ripped into their short set promptly at 7:30, long before most fans had been to the T-shirt booth.

The opener’s lap-guitar driven southern fry-up gave way to a hip bluesy rock set, but was nearly defeated by the muddy sound of an empty room echo. Pearl Jam’s longtime opener pressed on to deliver an energy that would make any other headliner nervous.  © Copyright (c) The Vancouver SunVancouverSun1

A few words from Sam Deredyn at Canada’s , along with an Ed-centric photo gallery of photos by Sam Leung:

The new Pearl Jam album is good.

I point this out because the Seattle quintet has ridden Ten‘s success for a really long time in this critic’s opinion. A lot of flaccid albums along the way still retained a devoted, loyal fanbase because they survived where not a one of their Great Grunge Explosion peers did.

Plus, there were always a few killer tunes on each album.

Backspacer has a bunch. So much so, that the band pulled out the new single “The Fixer” three songs into the concert at GM Place. Compared to the somewhat weak opening of “In My Tree,” this sort of felt like when the night began. Not that the group didn’t sound great from the get-go.

Even if they all look like the millionaire Microsoft execs who they probably call neighbours these days — guitarist Stone Gossard the noted example, as he looks as though he could still be in Mother Love Bone — there is no faulting the muscular and sinuous sound the band pumps out on stage. They are sounding as good as they ever have; the too-often tedious, overwrought songwriting is what it always was.

Either way, it should be good for another 1,000 individual-show limited-release live albums from the tour so fans can actually get a listening experience superior to the muddied throb of Friday night. With the exception of Eddie Vedder’s vocals, the mix blew. Oh, duh, Matt Cameron is still one of the great West Coast-scene skin bashers.

How is it that a world-class act can’t make that work when, say, No Doubt or Green Day or Leonard Cohen can?

Not that folks didn’t recognize “Even Flow” when it arrived. Truth is, this succinct and blazing rocker still kicks arse. It is also, beyond a doubt, proof to me that so many in the audience still spin Ten over all the rest of the band’s records. Makes sense.

So did the crowd’s embrace for the pro-love power ballad “Amongst the Waves,” a dramatic stadium-ready chorus with other words thrown in that had ‘em punching the air. Particulary the guy in front of me whose deep affinity with those extreme sports guys in the van in Harold and Kumar go to White Castle couldn’t be missed.

The genuine respect that Vedder gave up for Terry Fox — whose Terry Fox Foundation will receive a $20,000 donation from the band from Friday night’s proceeds — really resonated with the audience. The group played “Light Years” dedicated to Fox. A rousing singalong to “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” followed; a highlight of the evening.

So was Vedder giving the local fans major props for being the kind of audience that made it feel like the first night of the tour. Clearly, the many web reports of a massive, violent yahoo quotient at the tour kick-off in the band’s hometown of Seattle weren’t exaggerated. Vedder called them “assholes.”

Which, is doubtless what fans will call me when they read the grade I give the hit-or-miss concert. That said, the Who’s “Love, Reign O’er Me,” is a perfect cover for these guys. It is also an example of a level of songwriting expertise the group barely comes close to, in much the same way that Ben Harper’s best turn at the mic was during an encore of “Indifference.”






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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