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Our correspondant in USA, Fredde.

The man with the voice.
General tour photo.

Eddie Vedder.
General tour photo.

Photo by Scott Lewis taken at the Raleigh show

Photo by Scott Lewis taken at the Raleigh show

Pearl Jam in Raleigh, USA, 15.04.03 - a concert review
- by Fredde -

I had the opportunity to and to work for my company in Raleigh, North Carolina again this spring. The decision to say yes and leave Sweden was not too hard. I knew that Pearl Jam was coming to town, but that was 2 weeks after my planned trip back home. Bummer. Then things got a bit messed up at work and I was asked to stay for two more weeks to finish up. With Pearl Jam in mind that decision was even easier to make.I bought my ticket the same day that everything was final!

Needless to say I knew it would be a bit emotional to see them live again since I was at their concert at Roskilde in 2000. It was my last day of working before heading for Sweden again. The weather was superb. Me, and another guy from Sweden whom I shared apartment with, took a quick shower after work and headed towards the outdoor arena. We cranked the stereo in the car and were on a mental high! I felt freaking good! We shared a six pack in the parking lot along with thousands of local music fans, then headed for the gates.

As we sat down on the grass with a cold beer in hand, relaxed a bit, and started to look around at the people walking past us I just wanted to shout: I'm on grass! We were told that the warm-up band was going to be on at 7.30pm. At that time a lone guy walked on stage with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica around his neck. People in the front went wild. (We had tickets on the lawn a bit back. All the first 30+ rows are seats under a roof, and are expensive as hell) I figured it was a local artist at first. But when they got the cameras on him, I saw on the video screens that it was Eddie Vedder!

Later I found out it was a Beatles song he played called "You've got to hide your love away" It was a nice thing to get the crowd going. Then a minute after he left stage three rocking girls took over. The band is called Sleater-Kinney and hails from Olympia, Washington. Olympia is not too far from Seattle...of course. :) It sounded a bit like the swedish girlband Sahara Hotnights. And they're not too bad to be compared too.

It might have been the music or the atmosphere that made me feel all fuzzy and warm inside....or the beer. :) Don't know how many albums they have released but they played at least 15 rocking songs. They made a lot of noise despite being just three on stage. I liked them a whole bunch. 45 minutes later their set was over and it felt like everybody headed for the toilets at the same time. New glass of beer, and the anticipation among the crowd of 20000 was getting higher by the minute.

Lights out...Eddie and the boys hits the stage. The crowd goes mad as they start off with two songs from their debut album Ten. Release/Even Flow. I can tell you that I got chills all over. I had done my homework badly since they played lots of songs I didn't know either the name of, or the lyrics. "I am mine" was played within the first 30 minutes. I really like that song, it's got a great rhythm to it. Then just before the first encore they played Alive. Got to tell you that I got tears in my eyes standing there...singing/screaming with Eddie and 20000 others. I really wished my close Roskilde friends could have been there with me just that moment. You know who you are.

After a short break the boys were back for another 6 songs before the second encore! Among those six, "Love Boat Captain" from the new album. Everybody was singing, dancing, clapping their hands like there was no tomorrow. I was just standing there with a great big smile on my face. The band seemed to be in a good mood. Eddie made a few jokes in between songs and just had a smashing evening. His voice filled the entire place. We are at this stage up to 2h10m of Pearl Jam!

At the 2nd encore they came back with the girls of Sleater-Kinney. It must have been a huge kick for them to come on stage and do the final two songs with a great band like Pearl Jam. First one was Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It's a good sing-a-long song and the audience was ecstatic. Last song was Keep on Rocking in the Free World! Need I say more? Perfect ending to a perfect night. With all the surroundings: weather, beer on grass, personal emotions, going home the next day....Alive!!!!

I got to give the night a Ten


>> Check out entire setlist
>> Check out preview from local newspaper

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