CONCERT REVIEW: NICK SAS
Friday, February 7
REVIEW: NICK SAS
Sure, Bruce Springsteen had his disciples on Friday night, but down the road, in a much smaller venue, another rock god was preaching the gospel to his loyal band of followers.
In solo form, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder showed why he is one of the most revered musicians in the game, performing his endearing solo work and some Pearl Jam classics for good measure.
Kicking off proceedings in the intimate theatre was Irish folkster Glen Hansard. Some may know him as lead for The Frames but in solo mode, boy is he powerful. In some cities Hansard could fill a similar- size theatre by himself, so it was a treat to have such a talented artist as the lead off.
He dedicated a cover of AC/DC's Gimme a Bullet to Bon Scott and finished with the incredible Song of Good Hope - and a standing ovation from some sections. It was the perfect segue for what was to come.
To show just how much Vedder is loved by WA audiences, the 49-year-old (yep, 49) walked on stage - complete with multiple guitars and a ukulele - to a standing ovation.
"We've had the Big Day Out," Vedder said, referring to the Seattle band's brilliant 2 1/2-hour set five days earlier. "Now it's the nice night in, could be the long night in."
Vedder, who was in fine comedic form all night, even played on the fact The Boss was performing down the road, regaling the audience with an encounter with a Perth fan when he was getting a manicure (to help with his playing).
"The woman said to me 'I know you're getting your nails done but can I get a picture with you?'
"I wasn't getting my nails done," Vedder said. "I was getting my tools repaired . . .
"How about I get a photo when you're getting waxed? . . . Bruce Springsteen would never say that."
Musically, Vedder - and his wholesome baritone - was on form from the get go.
Sleeping By Myself, from his most recent solo work Ukulele Songs, was an early highlight and a change of backdrop brought on Far Behind from his well-received soundtrack to the Into the Wild film.
A cover of Neil Young's classic The Needle and the Damage Done was particularly poignant given Philip Seymour Hoffman's passing, which he touched on later.
Porch, from Pearl Jam's classic Ten album, closed the main set. But as any Vedder fan knew, more was to come. Vedder came back on to dedicate a song to Conner - the lucky seven-year-old in the front row - and then the classics came, anchored by Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.
After another break the rock legend came back on to, arguably, produce the highlight of the night: Arc. Using a sampler, he looped his baritone in multiple native- American style chants - a genuine shivers-down-the-spine moment.
Hansard joined him for a third encore - two and a bit hours in - to finish with the euphoric Hard Sun and rapturous applause.
Vedder, a boss from a different time.