Review #7: Homecoming
I was going to write a whole, elaborate review of the Toronto concert--then decided not to for two reasons. One, I started writing one last weekend which got wiped out by a wonky wireless connection. Two, for various reasons this show has already been dissected by the Pearl Jam fan community and deemed the worst show of the Canadian tour--an accusation which might be valid if you weren't at the actual concert, but one that 20,000 people would have difficulty corroborating. I've read countless theories as to why the Toronto show was so hit-heavy (including an utterly moronic argument that the band was playing it safe because U2 was sitting sidestage), but the fact that the majority are coming from people who weren't at the concert essentially invalidates them. The point is: Pearl Jam was on fire last Monday night. And it should also be noted that my friend Jen, who lost her Pearl Jam virginity that night, is still talking about it like she witnessed the second coming. So go figure.
Also, in response to that pathetic review that appeared in the next day's Sun (which actually featured Eddie Vedder on its cover), two items. One, Lisa Ladoceur is the only person left the Air Canada Centre thinking Bono upstaged Pearl Jam's entire two-and-a-half hour gig. Two, if you're going to compare Pearl Jam with U2, why stop there? "Sure, Les Miserables is a great musical...but it's not a U2 concert." "Sure, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 at the Air Canada Centre last night...but when you consider that this is the same venue in which Bono & Co set up shop back in September, does anything really matter anymore?" I'm still baffled that such an untalented writer is actually employed by a major Toronto newspaper--and that the pathetic slandering she produced actually got me mad enough to still be talking about it a week-and-a-half later. I don't have the desire to launch a pointless Pearl Jam vs. U2 debate--the two bands have way too much respect for one another--but figure it's worth noting that Bono's improvised lyrics during "Rockin' in the Free World" said, in essence, that Pearl Jam had made him believe in rock n' roll again. It's too bad Ms. Ladoceur couldn't have seen the light, as well.
As for the show, it was great; sure, the setlist was pedestrian (especially when compared to the previous gig in Ottawa), but sometimes a good performance trumps a standard setlist. Toronto was one of the nights--and if you don't believe me, just ask Jen.