So people have been giving me a hard time for not immediately sharing all of the details of my long awaited Eddie Vedder concert. And I feel kind of bad because I built it up so much, but you know what? I don’t really have much to say. It was just great.
Eddie’s latest album and tour are titled “Ukelele Songs” and to hear him play the ukelele and sing at the same time is really too cool for words. The ukelele is an instrument that can simultaneously make you fall in love and break your heart — this is also exactly how I would describe Eddie Vedder’s voice and lyrics. It’s just a perfect combination. That’s not even the right word. It sounds so cheesy to use an ordinary word like “perfect”. It’s better than that. It’s just the best. And yes – this is the same Eddie Vedder who rocks hard core with Pearl Jam. The thing you might not know about Eddie Vedder is that he can sing anything and it will be awesome.
We had great seats. We were in the orchestra section of Jones Hall in downtown Houston, about 14 rows from the stage and nearly dead center. It was such an intimate show – a great departure from a rock concert. It was a very grown up event. Though he brought in Glen Hansard, the guy who opened for him (and was excellent), in for a few songs, for the most part it was just Eddie. He switched between the ukelele and various guitars and even threw in a mandolin, so it was definitely a laid back show. (You can see the set list here, if you are in to that sort of thing. Oh, there’s also a pretty accurate review here.)
There is no center aisle in the orchestra section of Jones Hall. As I sat in the middle of this sea of seats and looked at everyone there, I couldn’t help but think about how most of us have kids and babysitters and real jobs and car payments and mortgages and how none of us could have ever imagined this moment twenty years earlier. To be rows deep in peers and cohorts is not something that happens to me very often, but great music and great artists have the power to bring us together.
It was an experience that gave me such a feeling of heartfelt satisfaction and took me across two decades of my life, so to accurately describe it would be a task that is way beyond my pay grade.
And this is why I don’t have much to say.