My one and only date with Eddie Vedder!

17 Aug

For somebody who, throughout the concert, proclaimed to be an ardent defender of free speech and non-discrimination, he routinely cut off fans, as they voiced their passion for him, and he managed to ostracize a large part of the audience.  He acted as though praise was a burden and insulting, including requests by fans for certain songs.  At times I felt as though I was at a political rally, not to say I don’t share his views; however he failed to convey his point without sounding self-righteous.  Bottom line, he made the paying audience feel tense throughout, and unable to express their gratitude for his music.

Two of my favorite songs were ruined because he screwed up the lyrics.  They were very serious in tone so the mood was destroyed and the mistakes careless.  The obvious omissions were disappointing as several standards were left out.

The most disappointing part of finally getting to attend his concert was realizing a person I highly respected for his music, candor and activism, has become quite pompous, careless and arrogant, the very thing he criticizes.

I can’t say the entire performance was a disaster!  There were a few songs and times where Ed was incredible, leaving a positive impression but unfortunately, they were few and far between. Still love his unique, baritone voice but doubt the music will ever sound quite the same again.

Am I disappointed?  Yes, but I had the chance to see him perform at least once in my lifetime.  It was my first and last date with the legendary musician.


Posted by on August 17, 2008 in Art, Music


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5 responses to “My one and only date with Eddie Vedder!

  1. Kathy

    August 17, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    I appreciate that you felt disappointed, however having seen a lot of these solo shows, it’s been frustrating to have the mood of the evening, one that could have been intimate, special and beautiful absolutely killed by people feeling the need to shout out something at Eddie instead of letting him perform and do his job. He’s handled it really well at most shows, tried every diplomatic tactic he could without being rude to get people to stop yelling, to no avail. He’s almost been left with no choice but to get a little forceful with his frustration, and that’s unfortunate. It’s an acoustic show and a small theatre. It’s too bad the people yelling out ruined the mood for everyone. I’m sorry you had that experience.

  2. Gracie

    August 18, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Kathy – thanks for your feedback!

    It WAS frustrating and I understand how difficult it must be to perform under a constant barrage of screaming fans, especially in an intimate setting. My disappointment was the way in which Ed handled the situation. Neil Young and many other artists have been able to diffuse the obnoxious ones diplomatically but Ed hasn’t quite figured it out yet! Believe me, they got on my nerves, too!

    There were parts of the show that far exceeded my expectations and I realize my criticism has been extremely harsh. In time, I think he’ll find a way to deal with the screamers that DO ruin it for everybody. Thanks again!

  3. V

    August 18, 2008 at 8:15 am

    I saw Eddie’s second show in Montreal and had a very different experience. The connection between him and the audience was beautiful. He handled a few abrasive folks with grace and humor. He was funny and playful at times, sensitive and deep at others. His flubs with the lyrics didn’t bother the audience at all…in fact, endeared him to us further as we once again remembered that he is human, not God. And he apologized for these anyway. By the end of the evening the affection and bond between we fans and Eddie was tangible.
    I think you must have seen a frustration and anger that has been building over the course of his solo tours – both West and East coast. The crowd I was with was pretty mild, with a few brief exceptions (which Eddie handled beautifully), but I’ve read repeated reviews from both journalists and fans where even the reviewer is appalled and disgusted with the audience and their behavior, and also impressed with and praising of Eddie’s restraint and grace in handling it. It has to be wearing on him. As Kathy said, these are supposed to be special, intimate, beautiful shows – to me it’s a shameful reflection on the fans, not Eddie, that they are incapable of handling this environment appropriately. I have an inkling he might have been feeling what I have been feeling…ashamed and embarrassed and fed up that his fan base is represented by these uncouth and inconsiderate people. He has grown up and is ready for all the rest of us to do so also, and be ready to sit at the grown-up table and use our indoor voices without being monitored by him.

  4. Gracie

    August 18, 2008 at 11:04 am


    Thanks for sharing – it sounds like a great show! You’ve made lots of good points – sounds like Ed had reached his limit by Sat. night.

  5. Ervin Vice

    September 3, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Wow – I feel sorry for Mr. Vedder. If he read this, no doubt he would be ashamed of himself. Your review reads like a report written by a teacher sorely disappointed by one of her students. This is what makes it hit home and ring very true. Of course, I’ve never been into PJ or Mr. Vedder. But the real subject here, of course, is not music, but ego, and ego gets in the way of everything. Yes, one needs ego to succeed – to try, to excel – but it must not be allowed to go unchecked. Such a shame!


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