Pearl Jam

Live: 12-6-00 Pinkpop -- Heerlen, Holland

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Pearl Jam's June 12, 2000, appearance at the Pinkpop Festival in Holland was the band's third consecutive festival show. With only 90 minutes to work with, it was a brisk set which was rather inconsistent in quality. This concert suffers from a syndrome which afflicted the band too often during the first half of the European tour. The symptoms are an energetic and intense start, like here when the band elects to skip the slower warm-up songs and come out swinging with a block of rockers, including "Corduroy," "Breakerfall," "Animal," and "Hail Hail." However, the meteor-like energy burns out, and the band sounds positively sloppy and lazy for the last 40 minutes or so of the show. Eddie Vedder is joking around, and the band just doesn't seem to care very much, which is a shame because part of the concert was broadcast on Dutch radio. This has to be the most careless version of "Betterman" ever played. Appropriately, the main set ends with a cover of Neil Young's "Fucking' Up," before the band comes back for a quick encore of the classic "Black" from Ten and the old Mot own tune "Leaving Here." The most interesting and poignant parts of the show come when Vedder makes comments to introduce songs. Two songs about violence are paired together -- the newer tune "Rival" and the classic "Jeremy" -- and Vedder makes sarcastic remarks about America's "advanced culture" and "futuristic ways of dealing with the over-population problem." Also, listen to his sobering comments before "Light Years." Just as a trivial aside, the voice of the band's sound engineer, Brett Eliason, can be heard through the PA at the start of the encore because Vedder asks him if he has the tape from the show the night before. Aside from these moments, this is a pretty forgettable performance, too short and inconsistent to be recommendable for the general consumer. However, it is a good choice for a quick fix among the band's more dedicated followers.

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