Pearl Jam - Let’s Play Two album review

Soundtrack to Eddie Vedder’s home-town baseball homage

Cover art for Pearl Jam - Let’s Play Two album

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Eddie Vedder’s affection for underdogs extends to his baseball loyalties, given in his Chicago youth to the city’s Cubs, a team so unlucky that black cats have run on during games. The bighearted film of Pearl Jam’s 2016 double-header at the club’s Wrigley Field stadium – which splices in the team’s first World Series win two months later – is a better bet than this audio version from a band not exactly underserved by live albums.

Taken on its own merits, Let’s Play Two is still a heartening survey of how Pearl Jam survived Seattle to become a classic American rock band. Black Red Yellow honours their debt to The Who, from its windmilling guitar rev-ups to Vedder’s indignant Daltrey-esque growl, and The Beatles’ I’ve Got A Feeling is a rowdy, yowling set-closer. A joyously committed Jeremy and pummelling Go show their comfort with their grunge past, even as Inside Job’s personal liberation takes Vedder past those painful days. Release’s prayerful chant for a hurting super-fan sums up a band who treat rock audiences as communities.

Nick Hasted

Nick Hasted writes about film, music, books and comics for Classic Rock, The Independent, Uncut, Jazzwise and The Arts Desk. He has published three books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), and Jack White: How He Built An Empire From The Blues (2016).