As one of only three cities to get the double bill of Pearl Jam and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, we thought we were getting a great deal with two concerts for the price of one. We’ve seen Pearl Jam a number of times, but this was our first time seeing Petty. The Tuesday evening show was the second in a two-night stand and the newspaper reviews of the Monday concert were positive, so we had high hopes. Unfortunately, we left feeling a little cheated.
Both acts were listed as co-headliners, but the table was tilted towards Tom Petty, as they got to have an encore, played longer and brought out Eddie Vedder for two songs during their set. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing by itself, but it meant no encore songs from Pearl Jam and no return appearances from the other Pearl Jam members. There may be more to the story, but I couldn’t believe that “the two Mikes” didn’t have a guitar jam together at some point. Vedder commented that two of the best guitarists in the world were stage right (McCready and Campbell)–it would have been great to hear them play together.
The night was plagued with production issues. First, McCready’s guitar had issues that caused him to just stop playing mid-song and walk off stage. There were also feedback and volume issues early in Pearl Jam’s set that caused Vedder at one point to throw his water bottle (or beer?) towards the side of the stage. Most of the issues during the Pearl Jam set were resolved about a third of the way through, only to reappear during the Petty set. Most annoying moment of the night–Vedder joins Petty to sing the opening verse of The Waiting, only to have a dead mic. Vedder continues to sing passionately throughout the song and we couldn’t hear a word. Thankfully, he returned on the last song of the night (American Girl) and did a quick “check, check” before starting the song–to huge applause.
As for the actual performances, it was a loud, entertaining night. Pearl Jam performed a nice mix of new material, older “minor” hits and just enough mega-hits to keep the crowd happy. Since we’ve seen them a number of times, we really don’t need to hear Jeremy and Daughter again and didn’t have to in this show. They played two of my all-time favorites: Not For You from Vitalogy and Black from Ten. Finishing up with Alive, the set also included Corduroy, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Given to Fly, Glorified G (!), Low Light (!!), Life Wasted, State of Love and Trust, World Wide Suicide and Hail, Hail. The only other songs I really wanted to hear (but didn’t) were: Spin the Black Circle, Yellow Ledbetter, Nothingman and Rearviewmirror.
On the Petty side of things, it was like a live performance of the Greatest Hits album with some covers and a new song thrown in. Since I hadn’t seen him before, this was exactly what I wanted to hear. I’ll look for a setlist later, as I don’t know my Petty as well as my Eddie. Don’t Come Around Here No More, Refugee and Runnin’ Down A Dream, though, are a few that stick out mainly because they all caused me to have flashbacks to watching videos on early MTV and listening to WLOL and KDWB growing up. For a 55-year-old, Petty still knows how to shake those old guy jeans…DKOriginally published by DK on June 28, 2006 at 2:38 am