Eddie Vedder in Portland – 7/14/11

The perfect birthday present! Hub took me to see Mr. Eddie Vedder at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall last night. It was a lovely evening and the perfect venue to see him doing his solo stuff. The Schnitz is such a romantic building drenched in Portland history.

I love chandeliers. But, I digress.

The crowd was a good mix of ages…not too many races, however. I had to look around to see a few fans who weren’t white but when I saw them, I immediately felt more at ease. In Portland crowds, I have an odd fear of accidentally ending up at a hate rally. No offense intended, P-Town.

Hub said he would treat me to a poster or t-shirt, but I’m not much of a poster/t-shirt person. Here’s what the poster looks like – very Speed Racer.

Glenn Hansard opened for Eddie and I’m sorry to say that I only know him from the song “Falling Slowly”. He’s a nice Irish lad with a lilting voice and some great song-writing.

During the concert, Eddie switched between guitars, a mandolin, and a ukulele.

Here’s the set list:
01. Walking The Cow-(Daniel Johnston)
02. Can’t Keep
03. Sleeping By Myself
04. Without You
05. Goodbye
06. Blue, Red And Grey- Townshend)
07. I Am Mine
08. Thumbing My Way
09. Just Breathe (Hub grabbed my hand on this one)
10. Far Behind
11. Long Nights w/Glen Hansard
12. Setting Forth
13. Guaranteed
14. Rise (dedicated to Gerry Lopez)
15. Immortality
16. Unthought Known
17. The End
18. Arc

Arc was magical and made me think of him singing with all the Saints/ancestors who came before surrounding him. I think he used a reel-to-reel to make a live loop of his own voice. The loops built over and over until several rounds of his own voice were weaving in, around and over the others. Creepy, lovely and indescribable – the reason to go to live shows, really.

Encore Break 1
19. If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out-(Yusuf Islam)
20. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away-(Lennon, McCartney)
21. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
22. The Golden State w/ Corin Tucker-(John Doe)
23. Tonight You Belong To Me w/Janet Weiss-(Rose/David)
24. Sleepless Nights w/Glen Hansard (busking style-no mics or amplification)
25. Society w/Glen Hansard-(Jerry Hannan)
26. Falling Slowly-{Glen singing and playing acoustic, Eddie duet vocal}-(Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová)
27. Porch

Encore Break 2
28. Hard Sun w/ Glen Hansard, Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss-(Gordon Peterson)
29. Dream A Little Dream-(Gus Kahn, Wilbur Schwandt, Fabian Andree)

It was exciting to see Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinnney, and I felt extra very super proud of myself that I knew who they were and the Hub didn’t. He usually knows more than I do about who’s who in pop culture. He’s a pop culture encyclopedia, basically.

Some fans were yelling out song requests and what have you. Eddie handled them nicely. “Yeah, scream all you want. But you see, my dressing room in the back has this big sign that says ‘conductor’s suite.’ That means I’m in charge. Don’t worry yourself, I’ve got you taken care of.”

He also told a story about Chris Cornell trying to make the ukulele “sound evil” ending in Chris “puking off the balcony”  . . . “I guess the uke won”   Pretty hard to make a ukelele sound evil. It’s a happy little instrument. Next came a bit about some poor fellow who had his monkey bits cut off by his wife and then decimated in a garbage disposal. Then a joke about how lemon or lime would probably work well to remove the smell of decimated penis. I think the point was that Eddie read his name in the paper (John Doe) and thought maybe it was John Doe from X. Anyhoo…

It was nice that we got three encores. I wonder if that is usual.

The last song was “Big Hard Sun” and the guests came out to join him in it. Why was everyone in white lab coats? Maybe it has to do with healing symbolism? Maybe it was just to make folks wonder.

It was a wonderful show. The crowd all left feeling good and the Hub and I were lucky to get good tickets for the sold-out event.

Seen any great concerts lately? What concert will you go to next? Tell me…I want to hear all about it…


2 thoughts on “Eddie Vedder in Portland – 7/14/11

  1. Glad you got to go to a concert that you thoroughly enjoyed. I must say however, I do not know any of his works. Jimmy Buffett on the other hand, I have well covered. I will see him again in concert in October in Vegas with a jello shot bus full of Parrotheads. So glad their is a wide variety of musical talent to soothe the savage beast in all of us!

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