On the Spot: Eddie Vedder Live at Sydney’s State Theatre – Review

After sold out shows in Brisbane,  Canberra (see our review here) and Newcastle, Pearl Jam’s frontman Eddie Vedder landed in Sydney to perform 3 nights at the State Theatre in Sydney. Last Friday March, 18 was the opening night and Spotlight Report was there again,  on the spot, enjoying a masterpiece of show among thousands of excited fans.

Security at the place was very strict in regards of the policy of no cameras and recorded devices, but sometimes we don’t understand why some guards, maybe with a “Rambo complex” are really rude with the fans even before the show, even before the opening act, menacing people who was taking photos outside or inside the theater, the fans just wanted a photo with the stage as a background or on their sits waiting!….but still security doesn’t understand that, making a total circus sometimes because a “very dangerous fan was taking a photo of him with and his mates with his mobile on the sits of the theater”. Moreover, most of the people was agree with no use cameras during the show, and they were very respectful on that, but before even 8 pm, when they were still setting up the stage was a bit preposterous to be busted for take photos. Furthermore, we saw a couple of familiar faces in the security team, same faces that made red carpets a hell place to work and enjoy for many fans wanting an autograph. Fortunately this was just a small little problem in a perfect night.

8 pm and Evil J & Saint Cecilia started their performance with a place full of respectful Pearl Jam fans listening the Aussie duo.

9:06 pm and the moment of the night started…like the previous shows the sound of the guitar for “Just Breathe” was on the speakers, a spotlight directly to the Stage and Eddie Vedder came out before a standing ovation of a full house of fans.

Eddie started with Cat Stevens “Don’t Be Shy” and continuing with 3 Pearl Jam songs including “Around the Bend”, “Sometimes” and “Dead Man” making the crowd every time more and more excited. After this Eddie stopped and talk about his family, his 2 kids and his wife, telling some stories about him and some of his surfer’s mates, including Kelly Slater. Eddie grabbed a frame with a photo of his wife, kissing it, leaving all ready to play Tom Wait’s “Picture In A Frame”.

One of the many high moments of the venue came after this, when Eddie performed “Just Breathe”, with the entire place singing, with many people even crying with the marvelous sound of it. Many songs keep going after this, Eddie with his energy playing and changing his electric guitar for acoustic ones or using his ukulele to play songs like “Into the Wild”.

2 great moments of the venue were when Eddie showed his shirt and spoke about one of the causes he supports “Free the West Memphis”, explaining all about it and his relationship with one of the prisoners there and how this people inspired him. Another “weird” thing was when Eddie spoke about the funny haircut of a fan he met and asked him to came out on stage to cut his hair, and indeed the guy jumped on stage with a blond wig, which Vedder removed to cut the fan’s real hair.

The show keep moving until the end of the first part, with “Lukin” and “Porch” making the fans asking more and more!

The second part of the show started with Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”, followed by John Doe’s “The Golden State” supported by Evil J Barnes and Bruce Springsteen’s “Growing up”. The second part was ended by “Immortality” and “The End”. Again the public was totally surrendered before the magic of Eddie and his prefect performance.

Furthermore, Eddie had an extra gift for all…he came back on stage and played one total rock-grunge classic in acoustic version, but full of energy: NEIL YOUNG’S “ROCKIN’ IN THE FREE WORLD” , everyone on the place was standing, singing, jumping…the sits were no longer…the State Theatre was like the Sydney’s Football stadium back in Nov 22, 2009.

The show was finished by “Hard Sun” with Saint Cecilia & Evil J on stage supporting Eddie, as it has been in the entire tour with Eddie giving guitar picks to some lucky fans and ending an awesome and unique venue.

Once again Eddie Vedder showed he is not only a great voice or a great composer, he is a full artist, capable to make a whole place and many generations of fans “ROCKIN’ IN THE FREEWORLD” only powered by his voice and his guitars!


Eddie’s set list Sydney (Friday 18, 2011) –  State theater:

  1. Don’t Be Shy (Cat Stevens cover)
  2. Around the Bend (Pearl Jam cover)
  3. Sometimes (Pearl Jam cover)
  4. Dead Man (Pearl Jam cover)
  5. Picture In A Frame (Tom Waits cover)
  6. Just Breathe (Pearl Jam cover)
  7. Unthought Known (Pearl Jam cover)
  8. Sleeping By Myself
  9. You’re True
  10. Setting Forth
  11. Far Behind
  12. Guaranteed
  13. Society (Jerry Hannan cover)
  14. Better Man (Pearl Jam cover)
  15. Let My Love Open The Door (Pete Townshend cover)
  16. Lukin (Pearl Jam cover)
  17. Porch (Pearl Jam cover)
  18. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town (Pearl Jam cover)
  19. The Golden State (John Doe cover) (with EJ Barnes)
  20. Growin’ Up (Bruce Springsteen cover)
  21. Immortality (Pearl Jam cover)
  22. The End (Pearl Jam cover)
  23. Rockin’ In The Free World (Neil Young cover)
  24. Hard Sun (Indio cover)