Thursday, June 29, 2006

Minnesota Envy

My two favorite bands are on tour together. I have never before in my life wished I could be in Minnesota...

6/29/6 - Tom performs with Eddie Vedder and more from St. Paul

By Doug Miller / excerpt of full-length article on

... the tour moved into overdrive June 26 with the first of two nights of non-stop music and fun from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Pearl Jam. It's tough to put all the backstage sights, sounds and experiences into words, but here's a rundown of some of the highlights:

Tom and Eddie together: This evolved over the course of the two-night stand at the Xcel Energy Center and eventually paid off hugely for everyone in the building.

Tom and Heartbreakers manager Tony Dimitriades confirmed to me that Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder and Heartbreakers lead guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench met in the corridor outside the Heartbreakers' dressing room 15 minutes before the Heartbreakers were due on stage Monday night.

They went into the dressing room, where they did a quick run-through of "American Girl." It seems that Eddie, who already knew all the words, was invited to join Tom and the Heartbreakers on stage for the encore to sing the lead vocal of the second verse, and a quick run-through was obviously all that was needed.

The show featured incredible sets by both Pearl Jam and Tom and the Heartbreakers and both bands were accepted by the other's fans as if they were their own. But when Tom brought Eddie on stage for "American Girl," which was to be the last song of the evening, the place erupted.

Most people probably thought Eddie would sing the choruses with Tom, so when he took the lead on the second verse and nailed it, everyone -- the audience, the musicians on stage and the road crews of both bands -- was beaming in the presence of something unique and special.

More Tom and Eddie: It got even better Wednesday night. The seeds were planted in the wee hours of that morning at the hotel bar. Still adrenalized from the collaboration during "American Girl," Vedder shared a nightcap or two with Tom, Ben Tench, and Heartbreakers multi-instrumentalist Scott Thurston and drummer Steve Ferrone.

Somewhere in the early hours of the morning, all agreed that Eddie could sing on a second song in the set, "The Waiting," which the Heartbreakers had not performed live for some time.

This led to an acoustic rehearsal session in the Heartbreakers' dressing room Wednesday night about 10 minutes before Pearl Jam began their opening set.

You could tell Vedder loved the song because he sang out all the words without hesitation while the signature finger-picked intro riff to the song rang through the hallway.

A few hours later, right after the ninth song of the set, the Traveling Wilburys' "Handle With Care," Tom introduced the band and then brought Vedder back on stage for what seemed to me to be a rousing rendition of "The Waiting."

I was standing at the side of the stage and I could hear Eddie's strong vocals through the stage monitors, which is how the musicians on stage hear themselves. What I and the musicians did not know until later was that there had been a microphone/computer malfunction and Eddie's vocals were not coming through the PA.

It was a bitter disappointment to everyone, I am sure, but I am also sure they will do this again and I am looking forward to the Milwaukee and Denver shows, when the audience will get to hear it the way they should...

But redemption came when it was time for the encores.

Vedder came back out and stood at the side of the stage, dancing and singing during "You Wreck Me" and "Mystic Eyes."

Right before the final number, Vedder came back on stage and seemed overwhelmed to be in Petty's presence. He clasped his hands together to greet Tom and nailed the second verse and the harmonies once again.

But that wasn't all. When Campbell blistered through the solo at the end of "American Girl," Vedder ran from the back of the stage, did a knee slide right next to the guitarist, and saluted Campbell with a repeated "We're not worthy" bow.

The song ended and Tench grabbed Vedder to join the Heartbreakers in their bow to end the evening. Fantastic stuff.

1 comment:

StoneAgency said...


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The Stone Agency