Album Review: Pearl Jam – Let’s Play Two (2017 LP)

“Good evening, Wrigley Field,” Eddie Vedder welcomes as the opening guitar to 1998’s “Low Light” begins behind him. The live album was recorded over two nights in August 2016 in Vedder’s hometown of Chicago before the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians World Series and accompanies a documentary directed by Danny Clinch who previously worked with the band on their 2007 documentary Immagine in Cornice, which followed the band’s 2006 Italian tour.

Album opener “Low Light” immediately moves into the iconic sombre guitar plucking of “Better Man” that naturally sees the largest audience sing-a-long heard in the background before moving into “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter In A Small Town”. The audible singing of the 40, 000 strong-crowd is perfectly mastered as not to be too loud and spill over Vedder’s vocals, yet present enough that you can still hear their hysteria and energy throughout the entirety of the album.

Hits “Black”, “Jeremy”, “Corduroy” and “Alive” all make appearances alongside rarity “Crazy Mary”, which is a cover of Victoria Williams that the band recorded in 1993 for a benefit album to assist Williams with her multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

A cover of The Beatles‘ “I’ve Got A Feeling” closes the album, but just before it is an Eddie Vedder ode to the cubs he wrote  a decade ago. “Don’t let anyone say that it’s just a game / For I’ve seen other teams and it’s never the same / When you’re born in Chicago you’re blessed and you’re healed / The first time you walk into Wrigley Field” Vedder sings on an acoustic guitar as the crowd cheers to every hometown and team reference that he howls. “Someday we’ll go all the way…” Vedder repeats over and over, each time picking up more of the crowd as they yearn for a Cubs victory. Less an two months later the Chicago Cubs would go on to win their first World Series since 1908.

Review Score: 8.2 out of 10.

The live album Let’s Play Two is out  now, whilst the documentary has a limited Australian theatre run on October 4th. You can find out more information about the film and watch a trailer by heading HERE.