The last of the great grungers

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS - ED­DIE VEDDER Dean Van Nguyen

“Pro­tect Ed­die Vedder at all costs.” That’s been the cry since May 18th, when Chris Cor­nell took his leave of this mor­tal coil, plac­ing the Pearl Jam front­man as one the grunge mu­sic’s last sur­viv­ing icons.

When al­ter­na­tive rock’s de­fin­i­tive his­tory is writ­ten on scroll and com­mit­ted to tombs for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, the pair’s sto­ries will be etched on the same parch­ment. Hav­ing both emerged from the Seat­tle scene, they’ve been friends, oc­ca­sional col­lab­o­ra­tors, and spir­i­tual kin.

Now, Cor­nell’s im­age has been fos­silised in time for­ever – his raw dy­namism leav­ing a shock­wave that will echo as long as this planet con­tin­ues to ro­tate. Vedder, though, forges on, con­tin­u­ing to add new rip­ples to the legacy.

We don’t need to pro­tect Vedder, but we do need to cel­e­brate him. And Ir­ish fans will get the op­por­tu­nity to trea­sure the bari­tone-voiced be­he­moth as he plays solo shows at Dublin’s 3Arena on Fri­day and Live at the Mar­quee, Cork on Sun­day.

Ex­pect an emo­tional night – the mem­ory of Cor­nell loom­ing over the stage like a dark cloud. These re­cent clutch of Euro­pean dates have seen re­ports of Vedder emo­tively speak­ing to the crowd about the painful loss with­out bring­ing him­self to di­rectly men­tion his brethren by name.

“I didn’t want to be sad, wanted to be grate­ful not sad,” he told a crowd in Lon­don on Tues­day, ac­cord­ing to Rolling Stone. “I’m still think­ing about those mem­o­ries and I will live with those mem­o­ries in my heart and I will love him for­ever.”

If re­cent setlists are ad­hered to, Vedder will mix old Pearl Jam clas­sics, a few songs from his solo cat­a­logue, and some in­ter­est­ingly cho­sen cov­ers. He’s been slid­ing a ver­sion of Fugazi’s mov­ing bal­lad I’m So Tired into his reper­toire, a song that deals with iso­la­tion and sui­cide.

Ir­ish crowds might here Neil Young’s quak­ing acous­tic num­ber The Nee­dle and the Dam­age Done, which cov­ers heroin ad­dic­tion, and even a ver­sion of David Bowie’s stel­lar clas­sic Heroes.

Glen Hansard has been tour­ing along­side Vedder. Ex­pect the duo to be on stage to­gether at some point dur­ing the set. But with Cor­nell not far from every­one’s mind, this, even more so than usual, will be a show where every­one is present.

Ex­pect an emo­tional night with the mem­ory of Chris Cor­nell loom­ing over the stage like a dark cloud

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