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Photo Gallery: Eddie Vedder at Auditorium Theatre • Chicago

| February 10, 2022

Eddie Vedder
Auditorium Theatre
Chicago, IL
February 9, 2022

Recap and photos by Curt Baran

Considering the fandom that surrounds him, it’s surprising that it has taken this long for Eddie Vedder to release a “proper” solo record. Yeah, technically, it is the Pearl Jam frontman’s third outing on his own if you include a film soundtrack (Into The Wild) and Ukulele Songs (exactly what the title implies). But his 2022 release Earthling (which arrives in stores and online one day AFTER he leaves town) feels like the former Evanston native is embracing what he does best, scripting emotionally naked songs that vacillate between crunchy rockers and airy ballads, sometimes within the span of the same composition. On Wednesday night, he brought those songs to the pinnacle that is Louis Sullivan’s architecture: Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre.

Backed by an impressive collective of musicians that included drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), former Chilli Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, bassist Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), multi-instrumentalists and frequent Vedder collaborator Glen Hansard (The Frames, The Swell Season), and pop-producer-turned-shredder-extraordinaire Andrew Watt, the band plowed its way through new songs and cover versions from artists including Tom Petty, George Harrison, Patti Smith, and  The Pretenders.

There were also a smattering of Pearl Jam songs (“Better Man,” “Not For You,” and “Porch”) to sate both the pedestrian as well as the faithful (the rarely played “Dirty Frank”). What remained a constant throughout was the passion of the performances. The tour is a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sojourn that’s only hitting a handful of cities for a limited run of nine dates.

Night One in Chicago was evidence that those in attendance were witness to something special that will most likely not be extended or heard from beyond this run.

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Category: Featured, IE Photo Gallery

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