Pearl Jam

Live at the Gorge 05/06

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The seven-disc Live at the Gorge 05/06 box set documents a trio of shows Pearl Jam performed at The Gorge Amphitheatre (repeatedly voted the best major outdoor concert venue in North America by the readers of Pollstar magazine) in George, WA, near the Columbia River. Each of the three shows, which clock in around two and a half hours apiece, is chock-full of fan favorites ("Alive," "Even Flow," "Jeremy," "Daughter," "Yellow Ledbetter"), including a number of covers (Victoria Williams' "Crazy Mary," Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," Mother Love Bone's "Crown of Thorns," J. Frank Wilson's "Last Kiss," the Who's "Baba O'Riley," Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," and Neil Young's "Fuckin' Up" and "Rockin' in the Free World"). The sets are varied, so much so that these three shows are distinct from one another, with only a handful of overlapping staples like "Corduroy," "Given to Fly," and "Yellow Ledbetter." The back-to-back shows from 2006 (July 22 and 23) are notable for their inclusion of songs from the album Pearl Jam (2006), though only a few per show. The shows compiled on Live at the Gorge 05/06 are typical for Pearl Jam in the sense that they're high-energy, wide-ranging in material, and long, with the band jamming out many songs to the seven- or eight-minute mark. As usual, vocalist Eddie Vedder is in full command of the crowd, engaging them often with between-song banter and infusing the performances with the charisma for which he's well-known. The abundance of live Pearl Jam albums released over the years makes Live at the Gorge 05/06 less than novel. Still, it's a great package of shows that fans will want to hear, especially anyone who missed Pearl Jam on their sold-out summer 2006 tour.

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