“Back in the day, I’d climb the shit out of this place,” Vedder said, surveying the Beacon Theatre from the stage. Marking 20 years since his onset with Pearl Jam, he’s created some damn good jams—but when it comes to his solo career, the man has reached a new plateau. Supporting his new album, Ukulele Songs, Vedder embarked on a beautiful exploration of Hawaii’s four-stringed instrument that had fans paying scalpers up to $600 a ticket.
New songs like “Sleeping By Myself,” “Light Today” and “Dream a Little Dream” highlighted his uke mastery, as did delicate versions of Pearl Jam staples “Betterman” and “I Am Mine.” He nodded back to the greats with James Taylor’s “Millworker” and the Everly Brothers’ “Sleepless Nights,” as well as tracks off his Into the Wild solo effort and the Golden Globe-winning “Guaranteed.” “As long as we’re doing sing-a-longs,” Vedder said as he switched to an acoustic and pleased fans with a “Lukin” to “Porch” jam session.
With a couple hundred fans singing along, when Vedder forgot words to “Wishlist,” fans cheered, rather than mocked, showing how far he has come. He’s more than just respected. He’s loved.
Photo credit: Danny Clinch