Initially, I didn't know what to think of the new Pearl Jam song from their upcoming album Backspacer. Ed looked like he was competing with Russell Crowe for the slightly out-of-shape bearded Eddie Vedder look. (In the years 2000 and 2006, bearded Eddie Vedder was a bit more fit.) Mike had some strange distortion effect that make his guitar a bit like a trumpet or sax, which was kind of cool, actually. Jeff seemed to have recovered from his recent mugging in Atlanta. With the new song, Matt was given the opportunity to jazz it up with some drum soloing. Stone apparently hasn't had a haircut since I last saw him in October. The apparently entitled "Fixer" or "The Fixer" didn't hook me in at first listen, probably because I was distracted by the band itself. In any case, check out the performance:
I wanted Pearl Jam to play "Brother" (with vocals) from their Ten reissue box set, but that would mostly benefit the band's former record company, Sony/Epic, which owns the Ten master recordings. Backspacer belongs to Pearl Jam, and they have the freedom to distribute it themselves (through Ten Club LLC) and partner with whomever they choose (Target, among other Music Industry 2.0 dealings).
With that thought in mind, I then wished they had played "Santa Cruz" from their belated holiday vinyl single. Then again, it's a mellow song - maybe too mellow for a debut show. So I decided to give "Fixer" another listen - I found it again before through Google News, before Hulu can upload an official copy of the episode - and it's growing on me.
Pearl Jam 2006, with the rally-against-Bush swagger of "World Wide Suicide," grew on me instantly. Pearl Jam 2009 is slowly growing on me, on the other hand. Let me qualify that statement: New mellow stuff like "Santa Cruz" instantly connects with me these days, but raw rockers like "Fixer" might need some time and extra spins. It just might be the sign of the times - the whole cautious economic recovery of today and whatnot. Or maybe other songs - both loud and mellow- from Backspacer will change my rate of acceptance.
In any case, the band had better play SoCal sometime soon, and hopefully the fan club can give me some good tickets, like last time. Also: Where's Boom? ::boom:: LOST