Pearl Jam

Live: 06-6-00 Cardiff Int'l Arena -- Cardiff, Wales

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The ninth set on the European leg of the 2000 tour once again started proceedings off with something of a low-key entry, this time with "Nothing as It Seems" opening the show. Almost immediately evident is the clarity of this particular recording, with Eddie Vedder's vocals loud and clear in the mix, and Vedder himself in fine voice. While it's hardly likely that anybody got that much of a rest between the sometimes shaky Wembley Arena show (set four) and this one in Cardiff, one week and five sets later, the band sounds tighter and more together, more energized by far, while Vedder himself doesn't mumble and ramble the way he did at the Wembley show (though he does comment at one point, after talking about taking a break in Cardiff the previous day, that "the moral here is just play the f*ckin' song without trying to tell a story!"). The show also seems to be technically better, with an overall improved mix; Matt Cameron's drums have more presence, while the guitars generally seem to have more overall body. The acoustic guitar sound still has the brittle acoustic/electric effect to it, which no one seems to have cared to fix, but the guitar work (playing and production) is top-notch. This particular show includes a rendition of "Pilate" (from Yield), performed a mere four times on the European leg of the tour, as well as workouts of various set staples such as "Betterman" and "Yellow Ledbetter." Anyone looking to pick up a representative sampling of this overwhelming anti-bootleg series should have this one on their short list.

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