Since their inception in 2011, Pearl Jam UK have drawn on sold out shows; two hour plus sets and an exasperating live show; and Friday night’s show at The Scholar in Leicester was no different. These five friends based in Liverpool, delve into an ever expanding catalogue that contains over 75 songs to date, drawing on an eclectic range of songs throughout the 27 year existence of Pearl Jam ranging from past to present including earliest tracks from the Momma Son Tape to the latest studio addition, Lightning Bolt. Hits Even Flow and Black to deep cuts like Sad and Footsteps. The band spend hours honing on the back catalogue, EPs, live recordings as well as visual aspects from stage presence to their synonymous appearance to deliver a highly refined performance; allowing the audience to grasp every aspect of the live experience.
Pearl Jam have built a reputation for their live shows; including professionally documenting official bootlegs from the turn of the millennium cultivating in hundreds of live albums of every show; and this has allowed the tribute act to study, analyse and dare I say perfect lengthy and varying setlists night on night. This set was no different opening with Long Road, before bursting into Corduroy before Go, scattered with State of Love and Trust (Singles Soundtrack), Neil Young esc. inspired Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town to a song 20 years it’s minor being, short punky Mind your Manners. You just never know what is around the corner whether it’s a ballad or a song purely reminiscent of the “Seattle Sound” of the time.
They extract an almost enigmatic feel throughout their shows; either through stage antics (Eddie/Kev climbing on the Monitors during Porch) or set variation; keeping the crowd engaged and reaching for more. This is reflective of Pearl Jam themselves. And having seen these many times; to consistently mirror this is a phenomenal piece of craftsmanship, inductive hard work and passion of a group of musicians who have a sincere love for the band. The input seems to hit its just rewards playing to larger audiences most of which have been sell out shows this tour, to a well diverse audience of young and old justifying their solidification as a pure blueprint of a Pearl Jam tribute. They embellish a show worth experiencing.
Words and Photos by Tom Holley