Friday, February 19, 2010

My Favorite Live Music Video Ever

Because NBC is a bunch of jags with its SNL content, hurry up and watch this video before it gets taken down. Rolling Stone editor David Fricke admitted he screwed up when he excluded Pearl Jam guitarists Mike McCready and Stone Gossard from the magazine's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time list. This video shows you why.

Pearl Jam - Alive @ SNL
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Ho-lee Shnikes. I've seen this video close to a hundred times and I still can't get enough. This is Pearl Jam in the early 90s, rocking harder than any other performer that I've seen on SNL. Thoughts:
  • The SNL crowd is beyond stoked to hear these guys. The host (is that Sharon Stone?) can barely introduce the band with all the screaming.
  • Eddie Vedder's voice is lights out. It sounds just like it does on Ten, the album Alive is on. Almost 20 years later, playing 3 hour show after 3 hour show, Vedder is still singing. Unreal. My voice would be destroyed at that point.
  • Stone Gossard's guitar intro to Alive is legendary. Nuff said.
  • Jeff Ament and the drummer (I think it's Dave Abbruzzese but I'm not sure) have a solid rapport going throughout the performance. The bass player and the drummer hold the rhythm and you can tell they were on the same page.
  • Up until the 3:30 mark, the guitarist on the left, Mike McCready, just kind of hangs out, making you wonder if his axe is even plugged in or if he's there just for show. Then his solo starts. And holy shit, ladies. This is how you play rock guitar. Some guys can fly along the fret board, others can really make their guitar sing with a beautiful solo that still fits the foundation of the song, but not very many can do both. Mike McCready can do both. Whenever I watch this video, I have to rewind to the start of the solo at least once. It's perfect.

Are there any bands out there that have emerged in the last 5 years that can rock like this? If so, please post their name in the comments section. I'd love to hear them. I missed out on the grunge era as it was happening and I've been trying to make up for that fact for a while now. You see, Pearl Jam exploded at roughly the same time the Bulls' dynasty did, but I was 8 years old and sweatpants-clad, oblivious to the history being made around me. CRIMINY!!


  1. i dont know. i think id put ashlee simpson at the top of my list... pure poetry

  2. Eddie Vedder - Cub fan, Bud man.

    I remember watching this live on SNL (had no idea it was that long ago) and Dad & I both remarked on how amazing Vedder was. Kind of reclusive, seemingly, but a great vocalist.

    Who the heck is intro-ing him? Now, there's some trivia! Obviously, she hosted the show, but I don't have any idea who it is.

    Thanks for posting this, Luke.

    No comments on better grunge bands as I was also wearing sweatpants and watching the Bulls in the early nineties. Oh, and having babies.

  3. Can't say that I've ever been a huge fan of Pearl Jam, but I've always appreciated their sound (if that makes sense). The early-to-mid 90s was a good time for bands and music in general. Pearl Jam, STP, Bush, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and The Offspring before they jumped the shark. Good stuff. Crazy to think that this will soon be the stuff getting airplay on oldies stations...

  4. I got chills, until i saw the Sox hat...

  5. Slash's best (I agree with most on the vid):

    BTW - you should write something about the best jam sessions - I'll get it started Rambling Man, and Louisiana Bayou (both live versions of course)