Thursday, October 06, 2005

Pearl Jam Get the Led Out

Last night's Robert Plant/Pearl Jam show was great, not really for either of their individual sets but for their collaboration. As Pearl Jam wrapped up "Given to Fly," which even the die-hards concede is a bit of a "Going to California" rip-off, Plant and a couple of his bandmates came out and segued into ... "Going to California." Quite chill inducing. Then Plant and Pearl Jam played "Little Sister" and "Money (That's What I Want)," the latter a fitting choice considering the $1000 ticket price of this Hurricane Katrina benefit.

And then things got really cool. Plant and Vedder dueted on "Fool in the Rain," reading from the same lyric sheet because - get this - Plant had never performed the song live before, neither as a solo act nor with Led Zeppelin. Pearl Jam was a little stiff playing such a hard song, but they obviously were having a blast, especially drummer Matt Cameron. He's no John Bonham, but he aped the Steely Dan-tricky drum part pretty perfectly. And yes, they did the samba break down!

Plant then sang a beautiful "Thank You," and it looked like the show was over until everyone came out for a final encore of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," with Plant offering another first. He played guitar, standing stage left in the background, leaving the frontman spotlight strictly on Vedder. Now that's something you don't see every day.

Rumors are already swirling as to whether Vedder or others will show up at the Sleater-Kinney show tonight, another benefit, although only about one-fiftieth the price per ticket.


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