Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Pearl Jam: Twenty

Not for a moment do I even begin to insinuate that I might be a huge mega-fan of Pearl Jam. Nor do I suggest that I follow them in any extra-ordinary sense. I have had the joy of witnessing their magic live twice, and for me that's as far as it's ever been able to go. A Pearl Jam 'collector', Cameron Crowe has undertaken the task of documenting the 2o year career of one of Seattle's most infamous bands, and by the sounds of things there might not have been a finer man for the job. Admitting to hoarding mountains of PJ memorabilia, Crowe even has a sick bag of Eddie Vedder's stashed away somewhere. The hype within the 'inner circles' of the film and music industries alike ensures that fans such as myself are almost squealing with anticipation as the day rolls in and the 20th of September (the date of all UK screenings) is nigh.

Throughout the duration of their career, Pearl Jam have retained artistic integrity as they continually strive to ensure that something about the band remains utterly different from anything else we have ever seen. As a music graduate, I even struggle to determine what it is musically that makes Pearl Jam such a delight. Vedder's vocals certainly help the situation as his haunting tone permeates all records to date; whatever the timbre, tempo or 'mood' Eddie's voice works, ranging from drastic heartfelt crescendos on the likes of 'Given To Fly' to the whispered delicacies of 'Nothingman'. Memorable riffs aplenty, tracks like 'Yellow Ledbetter' remain one of my all time favourites, the opening arpeggiated melody firmly etched with heartfelt precision into my soul. Something about Pearl Jam is inexplicably remarkable; it is perhaps the undeniable passion of every one of the group's members that ensures every Pearl Jam track haunts the listeners, never allowing anyone who has witnessed such musical delights to ever forget.

Like so many of their other fans; in Pearl Jam I have found something rare. Their versatility ensures that whatever the mood, weather, time or place, there's something that fits with my core, and I know that fits with every single fan they have out there. Pearl Jam, as far as rock and roll can be so, are truly and indescribably beautiful, in all their raspy and amplified glory.

'Twenty' is documented by the ultimate fan, who understands and deeply connects with Pearl Jam on a musical and personal level, and as such I cannot wait to witness such a documentary piece of cinema. Second runner up at Toronto International Film Festival under the 'people's choice documentary' category, 'Twenty' is set to be a corker.

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