Pearl Jam

Live: 02-23-03 - Perth, Australia

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Of the couple live recordings that Pearl Jam released to retail outlets in 2003, the final show of the band's Australian tour (Live: 02-23-03 - Perth, Australia) is probably the least interesting. The performance is fine, the crowd is zealous, and the encore includes a few surprise guests, namely Aussie rock legend Mark Seymour (on an acoustic cover of his own "Throw Your Arms Around Me") and tour opener Johnny Marr (on a hearty cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son"). If anything, the show is most noteworthy for featuring an abundance of contemporary Pearl Jam material (including standout versions of "Given to Fly," "Cropduster," "I Am Mine," "Love Boat Captain," "Wishlist," and "Do the Evolution"), whereas the other commercially released shows from the 2003 tour (Live: 03-03-03 - Tokyo, Japan and Live: 05-03-03 - State College, Pennsylvania) favored the band's early work from Ten, Vs., and Vitalogy. As such, this Perth show complements the Tokyo and Penn State shows well, highlighting many of the band's songs that didn't make those set lists and thus providing a more rounded view of Pearl Jam circa 2003. As always, it's interesting to note frontman Eddie Vedder's often political between-song remarks, and here he's surprisingly tight-lipped (or perhaps just tired), only once getting on his soapbox, when he speaks out about protecting Australia's endangered reefs.

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