Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kelly (and Dommie) See Eddie Vedder in Chicago!

Photo grabbed from Bronder's flickr set...thanks!

Eddie Vedder

Liam Finn

August 21, 2008

The Auditorium Theatre

Chicago, IL

While this review is also late, I am going to blame it on the fact that this show was so incredible that it took over a week for me to fully digest the experience.  

When the Midwest dates for the East Coast leg of Eddie Vedder's solo tour were announced, we originally wanted to go Friday. The logic was that it was the last show of the tour and the second of two nights in Eddie’s home town, so we thought he would pull out all the stops.  Luckily for us, I was already committed to another show Friday night, so Thursday was our night.  Despite many problems with past ticket sales on the Pearl Jam website, we were lucky enough to get 10 Club seats for the Thursday night show without any problems.  

Since the Auditorium Theatre is less than a mile from our house, we walked to the loop and met up with Nik and Nick at Poag Mahone’s for burgers and beers before the show.  We had to pick up our tickets at will call and wanted to be sure to catch Liam Finn so we didn’t hang around for too long.  Dommie got the tickets from the will call window and immediately put them in his pocket.  In Dommie speak, this means the tickets are good and he does not want to make a scene.  In this case, that was an understatement.  We were on the orchestra pit in the second row, dead center.  Sadly, we new going in that photography was not allowed and our seats were going to be good, so I didn’t even bring the camera.  Nik has some pictures on Flickr.

In preparation for Liam Finn we watched his performance from David Letterman on YouTube.  Needless to say, I was intrigued.  The program basically described Liam (son of Neil Finn of Crowded House) as the ultimate control freak - he recorded his entire album, I’ll Be Lightning, himself without computers and with minimal engineering.  He even shot the album artwork and promotional photos.  During the first song, he smashed a finger on the edge of the drums and split it open.  After a quick whiskey break and band-aid application (complete with looped vocal accompaniment from EJ Barnes) Liam and EJ were back on track for the rest of their set.  

We bought the album a few days later and have been listening to it practically non-stop.  Liam just announced a headlining US Tour for the fall, check them out in a city near you.  For $12-$15 it’s totally worth it.

I suppose Eddie was technically on tour to support the Into The Wild soundtrack, but the solo show gave him the opportunity to play some covers, try new things, and tell stories to a smaller audience.  Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to behave in a theatre when there is just one man and a guitar on stage and the show before ours in Milwaukee was apparently pretty bad.  Luckily for us, the crowd was relatively well behaved and Eddie thanked them at the beginning along with a disclaimer mentioning that he’s in a band that some of us may have heard of, he’s been doing this for nearly 20 years, and he doesn’t need any help with the setlist from f*cking amateurs.  From there on it was relatively smooth sailing with a great selection of covers and stories to go with.

This was the site of Eddie’s first concert as a teenager in the late 70s to see Bruce Springsteen in the cheap seats.  Apparently his goal back then was to see another concert and be a little closer to the stage.  I guess that worked out pretty well for him.

The theater is beautiful, the sound is incredible, the 4th balcony is REALLY high and the seats are uncomfortable.  He checked them out earlier in the day and as the show went on (and you could tell he was enjoying himself as much as the audience) he asked permission from the folks in the back to continue.  He didn’t want them to be uncomfortable, but he would keep playing if they didn’t mind.  Clearly, they didn’t.

Before playing Hurt, he said this was a new one for him and he was borrowing it from a fellow Chicagoan.  Later fact checking revealed that Trent Reznor was born in Mercer, PA.  Dommie couldn’t find a connection to Chicago, but the song was great anyway.

A few songs later, Eddie brought out Tomas Young, a paralyzed Iraqi war vet who is the subject of the documentary Body of War and an active anti-war activist.  Tomas had a pulmonary embolism in May and is in Chicago for rehab.  Eddie and Tomas wrote No More together, so he played it earlier in the set than usual while Tomas was on stage.  It was an emotional moment for everyone, but especially for Ed.  After, he seemed to rush through some selections from Into the Wild and got back into his grove with Here’s to the State of Mississippi.  He also played Driftin’ (one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs) and a new, more mellow, version of Betterman.

In the encore, he told a very long story about meeting Ernie Banks and writing Someday We’ll go All the Way about the Cubs.  He asked for audience participation in the chorus and said he would record it and hand it out in Chicago.  Despite earlier threats of leaving if he played this song or Go Cubs Go, Dommie even sang along, saying he was thinking about the Reds, which somehow makes it OK.

They closed with Hard Sun, a great ocean backdrop, and Liam and EJ on percussion.  Liam was even taking pictures of the crowd when they left the stage.  

After the show, we walked home, pretty much in shock, repeating some form of the phrase “Wow that was pretty incredible.”

Main Set:

Walking the Cow

Trouble (Cat Stevens cover)

Ship Song (Nick Cave cover)

I Am Mine,

Hurt (Nine Inch Nails cover)


Man of the Hour

No More

Setting Forth

No Ceiling


Far Behind

Rise Up

Here’s to the State of Mississippi



Hide Your Love Away (Beatles cover)



Encore 1: 

Elderly Woman

Someday We‘ll Go All the Way (Cubs Song)

Helpless (Neil Young cover- w/EJ Barnes)

Society (w/ Liam Finn)

Parting Ways (w/ Liam Finn)


Encore 2: 

Hard Sun (w/ Liam Finn and EJ Barnes)


Eddie Vedder - Hard Sun

1 comment:

Pınar said...

hello all the people:)please I have a will my only real meet with eddie!