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Chicago, House Of Blues

5 October 2005 2,576 views No Comment

Pearl jam 2nd Encore: Given To Fly/ Robert Plant and Strange Sensation: Going To California w/ Robert Plant: Little Sister, Money That’s What I Want, Fool In The Rain, Thank You, Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young song).


This from Greg Kot
New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are sacred ground for musicians throughout the world, and benefits for Hurricane Katrina victims are springing up almost daily in the rock community.

None was pricier or more high-profile than the $1,000-ticket Pearl Jam-Robert Plant concert Wednesday at House of Blues. “Worth every penny,” a sign-bearing fan near the stage declared. The occasion prompted at least a couple of firsts: Near the end of the four-hour show, Pearl Jam and Plant united to perform several songs, including what the former Led Zeppelin singer claimed was the live debut of Zep’s last Top-40 single, “Fool in the Rain.”

Later, during a storming version of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” Plant strapped on a guitar and strummed away–a rare, if not unprecedented sight.
Though Plant and his quintet, Strange Sensation, delivered a brief but stirring set, heavy on new songs and a smattering of reworked Zep favorites, and Pearl Jam stomped through a potent hits-heavy set of its own, the night took a transcendent turn when the two acts united. The musical melding wasn’t always smooth, but spirits were high, and the sight of these two generational icons seeking common ground at such close proximity was a thrill.

Pearl Jam emerged for its second encore past midnight and dedicated “Given to Fly” to Plant, a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment that the song mimics the chord sequence to Zeppelin’s “Going to California.” Plant than appeared from the wings with the two guitarists from his band to perform a luminous acoustic version of — what else? — “Going to California,” while the members of Pearl Jam sat reverently at his feet.

With Pearl Jam in rockabilly mode, singer Eddie Vedder and Plant traded verses on the Elvis Presley hit “Little Sister,” then Vedder joined Mike McCready and Jeff Ament in playing call and response with Plant on Barrett Strong’s Motown single “Money.”

“Fool in the Rain” was perhaps a foolhardy choice, as it’s one of the fussiest and most difficult songs in the Zep canon, but the rollicking double-time midsectionbrought a smile to everyone’s face. Far more successful was the mystic Zep ballad “Thank You,” in which Vedder exited to let Plant take center stage, with the remaining members of Pearl Jam morphing into a Zep cover band. It was Boom Gaspar’s surging Hammond organ that sealed the deal, and Plant’s sentiment — about the “kind woman” who redeems him — proved a fitting postscript.

That would’ve sent the fans home happy, but Pearl Jam returned with guitar-slinger Plant for “Rockin’ in the Free World,” an extended version that found Vedder tossing tambourines into the balcony.

“Sometimes a positive can come out of a negative,” Vedder said. And here was proof. A not insignificant footnote in music history was made, and more than $1 million was raised for Katrina victims


This from Anders Smith Lindall
Judging only by the crowd assembled at the House of Blues, one wouldn’t have guessed that patrons paid $1,000 each for tickets. These were real fans, and they drank beer and sang along just like they do at $10 shows.

One glance at the stage, though, said this wasn’t just any show. It’s not every day that a bona fide rock legend jams with a best-selling arena act in a club so cozy you could count the ringlets on Robert Plant’s head. But that’s exactly what happened at Wednesday night’s pricy benefit show for hurricane relief: Plant, the former Led Zeppelin front man, joined forces with Pearl Jam in a remarkable display of star power.

In fact, though the pairing was rumored for weeks and hotly anticipated all night long, it seemed increasingly unlikely the two would collaborate as the show wore on.

Plant opened with six songs and an encore — but no sign of Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam played for 80 minutes — with no sign of Plant. Then the band did a first encore: Four more songs — still no Plant.

Emerging for a second encore, though, Vedder wore a boyish grin and dedicated the next song to Plant “because he wrote it.” That was a sly joke; the song was Pearl Jam’s “Given to Fly,” which bears more than a passing resemblance to Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California.”

And so the stage was set. “Given to Fly” faded, Plant and his guitarists came out of the shadows, and the crowd roared. With Vedder and his bandmates sitting on the stage like awestruck kids, Plant launched into “Going to California.”

It was an acknowledgment of a debt from one generation to its predecessor, and the blessing of the elder in return.

Most of all, though, it was crackling, kinetic rock ‘n’ roll, and it launched a run of songs notable not just for the personnel that played them — Plant, his band the Strange Sensation and the members of Pearl Jam in various combinations — but for the twin senses of fire and fun they displayed.

The romp included a pair of chestnuts plucked from the roots of rock in “Little Sister” and “Money (That’s What I Want),” two Zeppelin classics (“Fool in the Rain” and “Thank You”), and finally a jubilant joint version of Neil Young’s “Keep On Rockin’ in the Free World” — in which Vedder tweaked the lyrics to apply to New Orleans and Plant played Vedder’s guitar.

All of that was just the capstone of a long and memorable show in what Vedder called “the City of Big Donors.”

The chance to see a muscular arena act like Pearl Jam in such uncommonly close quarters proved thrilling, both when the band charged forward (pushing the anthemic likes of “Evenflow” straight to the rafters) and when it leaned back (showcasing the subtleties of “Elderly Woman” and revealing the melodic heart of “Corduroy” and “Better Man”).

Plant’s set, meanwhile, drew intriguing parallels between the grease and sweat of the blues that enthralled him as a teenager and the chatter and twang of the West African musical forms he has more recently explored.

Most importantly, though, the gig served a greater cause: House of Blues officials expect the event to raise more than $1 million for the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the Jazz Foundation of America. “Sometimes,” Vedder concluded, “positives can come from negatives.”


This from Derek Peel
A thousand dollars is a lot for aconcert ticket, but Pearl Jam and special guest Robert Plant justified the price last night (Oct. 6) during an intimate benefit for Hurricane Katrina victims at Chicago’s House of Blues.

Proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross as well as Habitat for Humanity and the Jazz Foundation of America — none of whom, joked Pearl
Jam singer Eddie Vedder, are subsidiaries of Halliburton. Plant doesn’t typically play venues this cozy, nor does he usually serve as an opening act, but he modestly submitted to both changes of pace for a strong 45-minute set composed mostly of songs from his new “Mighty Rearranger” album, plus Led Zeppelin classics such as “Black Dog” and “Four Sticks.”

Pearl Jam’s two-hour set felt more like a love-in than a concert, with the vast majority of the crowd made up of rabid fans with deep pockets. “It’s good to know people still know how to have fun with their money,” quipped Vedder. With only a passing mention of the event’s purpose, Pearl Jam stuck mainly
to a career ranging set (“Even Flow,” “Better Man,” “Corduroy,” “Black,” “Alive”), each song of which had the audience singing along in unison.

As the last date on its current tour, the band looked a little beat. But the fun was ratcheted up during the second encore, as “Given to Fly” segued into its melodic inspiration, Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California,” which Plant and two members of his band the Strange Sensation performed beautifully.

Plant then stayed on stage for a run through his past, with Pearl Jam as both accomplice and awed spectator. He and Vedder traded verses on Elvis Presley’s “Little Sister” and the apt “Money (That’s What I Want)” before offering a unique duet: Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain,” with Vedder and Plant sharing a lyric sheet since, shockingly, the latter had never it played in concert.

Following a gorgeous take on “Thank You,” with Plant’s voice in fine form, he and Pearl Jam returned for Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” featuring a rare instance of Plant foregoing his frontman status by strapping on a guitar and playing along at Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready’s side.

Pearl Jam will spend the next month fine-tuning its next studio album, due early next year via J Records, before beginning a South American tour Nov. 22 in Santiago, Chile. Plant resumes his North American outing tonight in Grand Prairie, Texas.

This from David Hatchell
At the show rp just finished opening for pearl jam at the benefit for hurricane katrina. 45 m set. Tin pan shine it all around black dog f fries hey joe four sticks enc gallows pole. Fairly uninspired set the subtlety of his performance was not understood by the yuppie pj fans. Rp was fairly quiet during the set. Only one good plantation after hey joe. This is the quintessential american song wo the tuxedo. Hopefully we will get an encore w pj. If so I will send in the details.

I’m just landing right now. Encores were going to california w ss, little sister w pj eddie singing low rp singing high then money, fool in the rain. Yes you heard it right. Thank you was the final song. Then rp comes back out w pj and plays guitar on rockin in th free world. Unreal Show!

This from Darrin Funk
Probably leave some things out from the show but i think i have most of it. It was a benefit show for hurricane katrina at the house of blues in chicago with pearl jam. All general admission with the door to open at 7:30pm. I got there at 2pm to listen to the sound check. I was only able to stay in the building for 15/20 minutes before being asked to leave but i was able to hear pearl jam and plant going over fool in the rain a couple times. The set list (not in order) was: Another Tribe, Shine It All Around, Tin Pan Valley, Hey Joe, Black Dog, Four Sticks, Gallows Pole. Then pearl jam played for about 2hrs. Then plant came back with pearl jam and played Little Sister, Money, Fool In The Rain, Thank You, and Keep On Rocking In The Free World w/plant on guitar.

Some of the plantations: before playing with pearl jam said they were going to do a sonny and cher impersonation.

I think plant had a great night. He watched the pearl jam set from a box in the balcony. They are very good if you have not seen them but it was very hard to hear vedder. Even when they where both on stage at the same time plant was much clearer. Vedder sat behind plant on the drum kit during going to california and took a couple of drinks from a wine bottle and sang along. Vedder got lost during fool in the rain and after the song plant said that was the only time either of them had played it live. Is that true? I looked through the “the concert file” and did not see where zeppelin played it. Over all a great night and they did film it so hopefully everyone will get a chance to see it.

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