Sunday, April 23, 2006

GRUNGE GODS PEARL JAM MADE UP FOR LOST TIME RECENTLY WITH THEIR FIRST UK SHOW IN SIX YEARS
by Louise Compton, Sun Online
And what a performance! Playing to a sold-out audience at London's famed Astoria venue, the legendary Seattle rockers belted out hit after hit from the group's extensive back-catalogue stretching almost 15 years. With the hype surrounding the gig, no support act confirmed and a rumoured three-hour time-slot to fill, it was never going to be an average show. In fact, thanks to the band's famously avid UK fan base, tickets for the one-off gig sold out within minutes of going on sale and were soon being flogged on eBay for up to £600!

Launching straight into Worldwide Suicide, from their forthcoming album, frontman Eddie Vedder and guitarist Mike McCready unleashed the band's trademark sound with full force. It wasn't long before they were cranking out classics from the group's 1991 album Ten - a major highlight was Even Flow, which was unimaginably powerful live. From Vitology came Better Man, which saw the audience almost drowning out Vedder's vocals, much to the singer's delight. Other highlights were Do The Evolution and Given To Fly from the group's 1998 record Yield. After just an hour Pearl Jam left the stage ahead of two extended encores, the finale being a mind-blowing performance of the group's biggest hit Alive. When Mike McCready's famous guitar solo echoed The Astoria's rafters, a 1,400-strong audience went absolutely wild. It's rare to be at a gig where the *entire* audience is stark raving mad about the band but last night was definitely an exception. Bring on the next album!

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