Pearl Jam

Live: 19-6-00 Hala Tivoli -- Llubljana, Slovenia

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Pearl Jam's June 19, 2000, concert in the tiny nation of Slovenia is an example of one of those nights where the band was inconsistent and the concert never quite reached the high standard of some of the gigs just before it or after it. The band chooses not to open the show with the emotionally intense ballad "Release" from Ten (although it was written in parenthesis at the top of the set list), and begin instead in a rocking mood with the concert staple "Corduroy." That was their first mistake this night. Eddie Vedder's mind is wandering and he forgets a lot of the lyrics, even though they play that song every single show. The concert improves gradually as it goes along, but the tone of the night was set at the start, and the band never gets to their peak level of energy or intensity. The set list is curious, especially considering that this was the group's first, and quite possibly last, visit to Slovenia. One would think the band would be sure to get in all of their biggest hits for the fans there. However, the guys leave out great classic tunes like "Even Flow," "Jeremy," and "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town" in favor of some lesser-known and less-frequently played material, like "Brain of J.," "Faithful," and "Red Mosquito." While this approach is fine when the band has a multi-night stand in a given city or country, it just seems inappropriate for a one-off occasion like this. The concert does have its moments, though. Vedder gets in a good shot at Slobodan Milosevic at one point between songs. Musically, this concert marks the debut on the tour of two songs. First is the barnburner "Porch," which hereafter is often used to close the main set or the first encore, as it does here. The other debut is the haunting ballad "Indifference" from Vs., which ends the show in a quiet yet spine-chilling fashion as the crowd sings along with Vedderon every word. Surprisingly, this first attempt at the song is much better than the band's second try a week later in Berlin. Unfortunately, the word indifference can also accurately describe the band's apparent attitude about playing in this small country. As Vedder concludes the night by telling the fans to have good lives, it is clear the band has no plans to return anytime soon. It's a shame they couldn't do a better job for these people. Despite some nice highlights, it was not one of the band's best nights.

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