Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Aug 6th 2007 9:30AM by Benjy Eisen
At Pearl Jam's Lollapalooza-closing set, frontman and grunge icon Eddie Vedder said there was a "deep amount of meaning" for him to play in Chicago's Grant Park, given the amount of time that, as a kid, he would take the "El train" -- the city's subway -- while listening to his walkman. It was a meaningful Pearl Jam show for many other reasons as well: the performance was the band's only U.S. date this year, it was the fifteenth anniversary of when PJ first toured with the festival during its first incarnation as a multi-city, one-night-only summer shed touring production and, of course, the politics.During an extended jam in the middle of 'Even Flow,' fireworks went off behind the stage by the city's Natural History Museum. For a while, it seemed the band was jamming in sync with the fireworks show. The song may have stopped but the snap, crackle and pop behind them did not. Vedder thanked the crowd for being so inspirational during the three-day festival, and pointed to a stunning skyscraper, talking about the intelligence of Chicagoans and the beauty of Lake Michigan. Vedder then berated BP Amoco for dumping oil in that lake. "Think of it as a very pretty girlfriend who never brushes her teeth," he said. "Don't kiss them."
In the middle of the band's oldie but goodie, 'Daughter,' Vedder continued his political soap boxing, going into part of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall Part 2,' inserting the line "George Bush, leave those kids alone." The audience cheered unanimously. He wasn't done there. For Pearl Jam's encore, they introduced Thomas Young, an injured Iraq veteran, to give an anti-war speech as part of Vedder's final political commentary for the night. Young them welcomed Ben Harper to the stage. They troupe played a tune Vedder wrote for Young while the handicapped vet sat in his wheelchair smiling if through tears.
Harper stayed and played tambourine on the final encore, a cover of Neil Young's 'Rockin' in the Free World,' while folks from the crowd were invited on stage to join the anthem. Given the song's historic anti-corporate stand, as well as the festival's roots, it was -- again -- a meaningful end. Nobody even minded that it all went down under stage banners that read: "Lollapalooza powered by AT&T."