Live: 11-6-00, Seattle, Washington

Pearl Jam

Sony, 2001

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


This is the best of the 72 official bootlegs released on Pearl Jam's Binaural tour, likely because the band is playing to their hometown and also because it's the final show.

As one would expect, the band pulls out all the stops to create a memorable evening. The crowd energy crackles and feeds into a lot of the songs, which take up three discs and span the band's career. Obvious highlights from the early days ("Jeremy, Even Flow," "Go") are mixed in with the nbtc__dv_250 Binaural songs, and everything sounds fresh and vital.

Disc 2 is the strongest, with a blistering rendition of "Lukin" segueing nicely into the attitude of "Not For You," which then goes into a 10-minute take on "Daughter." As usual, singer Eddie Vedder stretches this song out, but instead of taking snippets from other songs, he does a call and response with the audience that is truly mesmerizing.

The third disc features mostly covers, including the Who's "Baba O'Riley" and "The Kids Are Alright," as well as the forgettable "Crazy Mary." Of course, "Yellow Ledbetter" closes the show, and the band also plays "Alive," the only time it was played on the North American tour. Amazing, all.

Had it been confined to those two discs, it would have been perfect, but the first disc has a few missteps. The songs are executed well, but they're not the band's best work -- tunes like "Dissident, "Leatherman," "Release" and "In Hiding" were not that great to begin with, and don't get better here. Of course, for every clunker there is a great tune to balance it out ("Corduroy," "Nothing As It Seems," the always-great "Rearviewmirror,") but as a whole the first disc just seems like a buildup for what's to come.

As a love letter to all fans, not just those who were there from the beginning, this is a perfect capsule. It's also a damn good live rock and roll album.

Rating: A-

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