Pearl Jam

Live: 28-6-00 Naval Museum -- Stockholm, Sweden

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After the last great show of Pearl Jam's 2000 European tour in Hamburg, Germany, the last two gigs of the series -- this one in Stockholm, Sweden, and the following night in Oslo, Norway -- are of an average caliber and a bit of a letdown. The most interesting things about this concert in Stockholm have little to do with the band's performance. First, it was held in an atypical venue -- at the Naval Museum. Also, Iron Maiden was there, which prompts guitarist Mike McCready to noodle around with Maiden riffs a couple times through the set. When Eddie Vedder learns backstage that Maiden is about to leave, he gets the audience to shout "Goodbye Maiden!" in unison at the start of the encore. Also, while Pearl Jam is performing their classic song "Jeremy," a group of parachutists doing aerial stunts pass by the venue, prompting Vedder to shout out, "Happy landings!" right in mid-song. He adds a joke about "the freeloaders" afterwards. Later, during the playing of "RVM" in the encore set, a group of hot-air balloons with corporate advertisements on the front float by the venue. The famously anti-corporate Vedder makes motions with his guitar like he is trying to shoot the balloons down, and drummer Matt Cameron accompanies with gunfire-like blasts on the snare drum, which all serves to add spice to the long instrumental jam in the middle of song. Afterwards, Vedder asks the crowd if that was their parents checking up on them. He shouts to the balloonists, "They're fine. Go to hell. Or go to heaven. Just leave us alone." Vedder dedicates the rarely played ballad from Ten, "Garden," to the spaciousness of the venue, but this attempt at the song is not nearly as tight as the one in Milan a week earlier. Other than that, there's nothing special about this concert musically. It's a good mix of material, finishing with a cover of "Rocking in the Free World" by Pearl Jam hero Neil Young. Basically, this was just another day in the history of the band, albeit with some rather Spinal Tap-like elements to it. An enjoyable, but average and non-essential addition to this official bootleg series.

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