Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2008 US Tour Compilation

In 2008 Pearl Jam completed small US tour, focusing on the East coast. It included 13 official dates and one secret show (only audience bootlegs available) in New York. After powerful 2006 World tour Eddie was on his way down and opening dates for 2008 were disrupted by his vocal problems. As usual, Ed improved show by show and near the end of the tour, from Madison Square Garden night 2 his was good. Not perfect, but good. Fans elected Hartford to be the best show of the tour. But in my opinion, Hartford was great only in terms of it's set-list and Mike's solos, but Ed's voice was not there. I think the best shows were Madison Square Garden night 2 and both Boston performances. And also audience singing was loudest there.
Highlights for this tour are the debut of the old song All Night (it had two slightly different versions), hugely reworked Who You Are, reworked W.M.A., return of classic version of Garden. Also Love Reign O'er Me and No More were played almost at every show. Another special thing for this tour is the sound quality of official bootlegs. It was really big improvement over last boots - wider dynamic range with powerful bass (most powerful so far - 2009 was not so powerful) and better treble.
Disappointment for this tour was Boom Gaspar's piano "playing". He plays piano on almost every song where he doesn't play organ and for some strange reason it was recorded at very high sound level. I was shocked, when piano on Down was even louder than Mike's brilliant solo guitar. And the worst thing is that Boom is not a piano player at all - he should attend children's music school first. I really think Boom completely destroyed Release, Down, Black and some other great guitar songs. The only good thing is that he was reduced from Madison Square Garden and this is another reason why the last shows are the best.
This compilation is like a full Pearl Jam show with three peaks and two sections to slow down. Look for very touching set of slow songs: Footsteps-Off He Goes-Immortality (with fine Mike's improv. solos), rare tags and very loud audience on Indifference.
  1. Sometimes
  2. All Night
  3. Wishlist (improv tag: Give love to this world)
  4. Daughter (War)
  5. Even Flow
  6. W.M.A.
  7. Garden
  8. Who You Are (2008 version)
  9. Nothingman
  10. Porch
  11. Guaranteed
  12. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
  13. Present Tense
  14. Footsteps
  15. Off He Goes
  16. Immortality
  17. Better Man (Save It For Later)
  18. Rearviewmirror
  19. No More
  20. Black Diamond
  21. Black (We Belong Together)
  22. Indifference
  23. Rockin' In The Free World
Updated to ver. 1.01 on 2010-09-04: Removed Love Reign O'er Me, because much better version added to 2009 Australasian tour compilation.

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  1. Finally someone tells the truth. I hate those pj obsessed kids who always say Eddie's voice is still the same and even better. He's struggling to sing a single note. His low baritone timbre has gone. He's not able to sing Black anymore. Same with Sleight of Hand, Nothing as It Seams and Thin Air, which are my favourite songs from my favourite album. On the latest 2010 bootlegs his voice seemed to improve a lil bit. I hope it won't go down again. But it's still not the same as on 2004 tour, when the band was absolutely flawless. I find their performance at the Easy Street Records in 2005 the last time Eddie's voice was good. I don't know what happened? Maybe Johnny Ramone's death had such an impact on him? You could even tell that Eddie's appearance on stage changed in 2005. Another thing, that freaks me out is how fast they started to play. They simply kill the originals. Even Given to Fly on their latest tour! WTF? I think it also makes a song much harder to sing for Ed. And what the hell is this hawaiian guy doing in this band? He's not even a musician! What is he? A band mascot? I've been a fan for almost 15 years and i can not accept Boom Gaspar. What can i say about 2008 tour? I think it was a total disaster. 2009 tour was even much worse for Eddie's voice. I'm glad It's so much better now. I'm also a musician. I also used to sing and also had big problems with my voice few years back. Was even hard to speak for a long time. It lasted three years. The reason was insomnia. Now i try to sleep as long as it's possible because if i sleep less than 7 hours my voice is going down again and it's really hard for me to speak. I decided to quit singing to not to make it worse. I really think Eddie needs at least to talk to a doctor. I find this stuff very serious.

  2. I think we should accept that Ed's voice got some kind of cycles - it goes up and then goes down. As for me, I don't like his voice in 1996, but happy in 2006 (at list in European leg). Also I think that Ed's voice was plagued by different problems in 2008 and 2009. Maybe breath in 2008 and throat in 2009, but I'm not so good in English to explain correctly. Good thing is that his problems don't seem to be constant and some shows appear to be much better (usually at the end of the tour). Philly-4 in 2009 was absolutely Ok in terms of Ed's voice. But next show in Perth was again not good.

  3. Yeah, you're absolutely right about the cycles, and about 1996 too. My personally favourite period in pearl jam timeline is probably 1999. The both Bridge School Benefit appearances are my favourite shows ever. I could watch this on video all day. And the reason is probably the vocal excellence, i personally find the best Eddie has ever shown. I also agree with you about the 2006 European leg. Been thinking a lot about it in a few recent years, because, as i said, i also used to have big problems with my voice, and also because i love this band since forever. An interesting fact is that Eddie's always great at his solo shows. I'm happy that he got better on this tour. Anyway they absolutely destroyed a lot of great songs playing simply too fast. I even tried to listen to backspacer in slow motion and know what? It's great! Sounds like a classic pearl jam record! Anyway, you post great stuff. Loved your Binaural compilation. You should've added Portland Improv. Keep it up!

  4. Thank you. I have I long road to go and most of 2000 bootlegs are still waiting on my HDD. I am slow because I listen to every boot couple of times, select some songs and only after that go to another one. And, of course, I listen to one show in one or two days (or even three days) - to keep feeling fresh.
    As for Eddie's solo performances, I was shocked how bad he was on 2008 tour after brilliant april 2008 solo tour. But 2009 is different. Ed started good, but then show by show his voice had started to fade away. Strange thing because usually he is going better through the tour. So I think maybe his problems in Calgary, ACL and many other 2009 shows are the result of some illness.
    And, in my opinion, fast tempo is not an absolute evil thing. Some songs fit to the rhythm of the show better in up tempo. And it's good that we have different versions of songs: faster, slower ones. Some songs are played in different tempos even during one tour: for example, Daughter or Crazy Mary. And I hope one day the band would play slower other songs. Maybe on some acoustics or something.