Pearl Jam

Live: 08-6-00 Bercy - Paris, France

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In a move to beat bootleggers to the punch, Pearl Jam decided to release their 2000 European concert performances in a series of inexpensive double-CD sets. The June 8th show from the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy in Paris, France, suffers a little from frontman Eddie Vedder's obviously strained voice. Because of this, the slower, more introspective songs ("Nothing As it Seems," "Daughter") fare better than the harsher songs ("Pilate," "Breakerfall"). Despite this fact, the band still crank out powerful versions of "Alive" and "Go," and Mike McCready tears through a particularly powerful solo in "Rearviewmirror" before smashing his guitar all over the stage. "Once" feels a little rough, both vocally and musically, but the anthemic "Black" holds up fairly well due in large part to McCready's guitar work. The last encore, "Yellow Ledbetter," includes an effect-laden solo from guitarist Mike McCready reminiscent of Eddie Van Halen's "Cathedral." As is the case with 99 percent of these Pearl Jam live recordings, the sound quality is spectacular; the two guitars are separated in stereo, the vocals are pushed to the front, and the rhythm section is clear and full, really representing the live show spectacularly. Unfortunately, Vedder's troubled voice and the band's inability to fully gel slow the set down, but it still stands as a fine representation of where the band was on that particular night.

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