Pearl Jam

Live: 8-10-00 - West Palm Beach, Florida

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In a move to beat bootleggers to the punch, Pearl Jam decided to release each of their 2000 American concert performances in a series of inexpensive double-CD sets. The August 10th concert recorded in West Palm Beach, FL, leads off with a subdued version of their frequent opener "Of the Girl." With the exception of the moody "Off He Goes" and a warm rendition of "Daughter," the first CD maintains a very high level of energy. One interesting point is the band's choice of covering the La's "Timeless Melody" with an honest reverence. "Even Flow" (which has seemed hurried and forced on this tour) finally catches the right groove in West Palm Beach. A particularly moving version of Victoria Williams' "Crazy Mary" serves as a highlight for the second set, as does a blistering run through "Baba O'Riley." The closer, "Yellow Ledbetter," includes guitarist Mike McCready's tribute to Van Halen with the one-two punch of riffs from "Dance the Night Away" and "Women in Love" in an extended solo. The night bristles with raw energy, but in some cases this leads to sloppiness and more than a few rough spots in Eddie Vedder's vocal delivery. This element of a live concert isn't necessarily a detraction, but it is in sharp contrast to some of the more focused live albums that are available in this series.

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