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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

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.