A date with Eddie Vedder in DC on 8-16!

14 Aug

Photo by Timothy Norris

Eddie Vedder on tour 8/16/08 in Washington, DC Warner Theatre

Long Nights


Hard Sun

Massey Hall, Toronto – August 13, 2008
By JASON MacNEIL – Sun Media

He was in Neil’s house but in the end even “Uncle” Neil Young would have said it was a job well done.

Eddie Vedder’s first of a two-night, solo sold-out stand Tuesday evening at Toronto’s Massey Hall was an engaging, amusing and high quality 160-minute affair.

Photo by Timothy Norris

And while it perhaps didn’t carry the same historical clout as Young’s groundbreaking 1971 performance at the venue, several times Vedder tapped into that special magic only an old, intimate venue is capable of containing.

Heck, the 43-year-old singer got a standing ovation even before putting fingers to the fret board. Stating that there was “a fairly interesting evening planned so let’s get into it,” Vedder opened with a cover of Daniel Johnston’s Walking The Cow before showing his powerful pipes during Trouble, the latter causing him some trouble and resulting in a false start.

But the slight miscues or occasional stumbles to find the next lyric endeared him to fans and even critics alike. Whether it was the foot-stomping Sometimes or the swaying I Am Mine that created a large sing-along, Vedder could rarely do much wrong.

Not to say that he didn’t try to toss a few barbs at the audience, especially those shouting requests much to Vedder’s annoyance. When a lady asked him to play at her wedding during one bit of banter between songs, Vedder replied quickly and pointedly.

“Maybe you should just be thankful that you’re getting married.”

Vedder later dedicated the simple Picture In A Frame to the woman as an olive branch but playfully gave as much as he got. When one smartass asked what band he was a member of, Vedder said Stone Temple Pilots which quickly led to requests for Sour Girl and other Stone Temple Pilots hits.

Nonetheless, Vedder, who also mispronounced the name of the Elgin Theatre, spent the 26-song set delivering material from the Into The Wild film such as No Ceiling, Rise and Far Behind as well as Pearl Jam material such as Driftin’, I Am Mine and the main set closer Porch.

Photo by Timothy Norris

Throughout it all, one could sense Vedder feeling Young’s spirit hovering around the hall.

Prior to Man Of The Hour, Vedder mentioned how Neil Young and Massey Hall was sort of like Johnny Cash and Folsom Prison. “I’d much rather be here than at Folsom Prison although a few of you look like convicts,” Vedder said.

He also covered the Young (and Stephen Stills) nugget Long May You Run which Vedder said he only performed before at his mother’s birthday.

Photo by Timothy Norris

Other highlights of the night included The Beatles’ rousing You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away that caused a loud sing-along as did Last Kiss. Vedder also showed a Dylan-esque troubadour side during Guaranteed before the blistering reworking of Phil Ochs’ Here’s To The State Of Mississippi which called out George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the late Jerry Falwell.

After layering his own vocals for a weird but effective a cappella piece, Vedder, who recounted a story about urinating on a nearby dumpster last year during the Toronto International Film Festival instead of the exterior of Massey Hall, returned for No More and the fine Hard Sun (with support act Liam Finn and Eliza Jane Barnes helping out) to close the show.

Prior to the second encore, Vedder left the stage suggesting the crowd’s response was giving him chills or goose bumps. For much of the night, his performance was doing the same thing to the audience.

Link here

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Posted by on August 14, 2008 in Art, Music, People, Photography


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