Pearl Jam's first full acoustic concert arrives this week via its own Ten Club fan organization and a distribution deal with BMG. It's the veteran Seattle rock act's first release since splitting last fall with longtime label Epic. The 24-track, double-disc "Live at Benaroya Hall October 22, 2003" was taped at the Seattle venue as part of a benefit for local aid organization Youthcare.
"Live at Benaroya" finds Pearl Jam debuting "Man of the Hour," its Golden Globe-nominated contribution to the film "Big Fish," plus the non-album track "Fatal," which appeared on the rarities album "Lost Dogs." "Around the Bend," the closing track from the 1996 album "No Code," had not been performed since 1998.
Other oddities featured on the set include covers of the Johnny Cash-popularized "25 Minutes to Go," the Ramones' "I Believe in Miracles" and Bob Dylan's "Masters of War." The band ditched the acoustic set-up for a plugged-in, show-closing rendition of "Yellow Ledbetter."
"This was one of those special shows," says Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis. "But because it was not part of the 2003 tour bootleg series and fans were asking for it, and because of the unique nature of the performance itself -- it being the band's first full length acoustic show -- it felt like a show we should give fans the chance to own."
Pearl Jam is expected to play some fall shows in swing states in the run-up toward the U.S. presidential election.