On July 12th I had the pleasure of seeing the legendary Eddie Vedder at The Paramount Theatre in Oakland and it was incredible. The show opened with the Academy Award winning singer songwriter Glen Hansard; who brought to the stage such an amazing voice. The crowd went wild, even though half of them hadn’t heard of him, at least I know no one around me did. Hansard was the lead vocalist and guitarist for the bands The Frames and Swell Season. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he shocked the world when; Hansard, an unknown, won an Academy Award for best original song, “Falling Slowly” from the hit Irish film, “Once.”
After a “20 minute” intermission that lasted forty, Eddie Vedder came on stage. The room was electrified, Vedder played on many different Guitars, a Mandolin, and a Ukulele. Playing old school hits like “Wishlist,” “Just Breathe,” and “Better Man,” and the Beatles cover “Hide Your Love Away” were just tips of an insane musical iceberg. Vedder also graced the crowd with tunes from the “Into the Wild” soundtrack as well as the whole of his solo album “Ukulele Songs.” He also played a newer song that he wrote on the bus called “Santa Cruz”, which was a shout out to the Bay Area, saying, “I spent a good week there one night.” The set was incredible, after a full 80 minutes, Vedder came back with a 40 minute encore, then a 20 minute “encore encore” with Hansard in tow. His onstage persona was magical, spouting anecdotes about Neil Young, Hunter S. Thompson, and Johnny Depp. He also quoted Bill Hicks, saying “not all drugs are good, all right? Some of them … are great.”
Overall, the show was one of the best concert experiences I’ve had, hearkening back to the days of middle school when I listened to Pearl Jam non-stop on my Discman at lunch and between classes. At 46, the great Eddie Vedder has still got it!
You can find and purchase tickets to upcoming shows for Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder on Thrillcall.com.