Pearl Jam | Boston Garden | April 10, 1994
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When Kurt Cobain used to complain about how tortured his life was, some wrote it off as just another case of rock-star whining. Then he pulled the trigger on April 8, 1994 and we realized we’d been wrong. And we were sorry. Two nights later, Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam were also sorry — and deeply mournful. They turned their Boston Garden show into a rock-and-roll eulogy for a fallen comrade who’d denounced them in the press for what he perceived as their corporate-rock artifice. The stage was set with large candles and bathed in unusually muted hues. And Pearl Jam’s customary high-energy stage antics were toned down, replaced by a stoic stillness, all the better to channel their feelings of pain, loss, and confusion into sharp-chiseled renditions of songs like “Dissident” and “State of Love and Trust.” At one point, Vedder delivered a brief eulogy for his friend — for although a rivalry had begun, tragedy strips relationships down to the nub of what they really are. But the most potent remembrance was the band’s brilliant and blazing performances of “Blood,” “Black,” and “Alive” back to back to back. The latter became Vedder’s prayer for the ability to rise above the dark cloud of horror that floated over the heads of Pearl Jam and so many of us in the audience.
Eddie Vedder in the 90s.
: Live Reviews
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