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Live at Benaroya Hall

4.4 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 27, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Seattle - Twelve years ago, Pearl Jam performed a rare acoustic show for MTV as part of the "Unplugged" series. Although the performance was never officially released, it continues to be one of the band's most bootlegged shows. Now Pearl Jam fans can satiate their acoustic appetites with the band's first ever full-length, mostly acoustic live show on a double disc CD entitled "Live at Benaroya Hall October 22, 2003". "Live at Benaroya Hall October 22, 2003" features the band's 2+ hour, sold-out performance on October 22, 2003 at the intimate 2,500-seat venue which marked the first live performance of Pearl Jam's Golden Globe nominated song "Man of the Hour" as well as acoustic covers of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War", the Ramones' "I Believe in Miracles" & Johnny Cash's "25 Minutes to Go."


"'Dead Man' was one of the nights highlights, promptly topped, with a chilling delivery of Dylan's [Masters of War]." -- -Ernest Jasmine, Morning News Tribune

"With or without juice, Pearl Jam puts on an electrifying show." -- -Tina Potterf, The Seattle Times

"…the concert brought especially stirring performances from Vedder and guitarist McCready, who received several ovations." -- -Gene Stout, Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ofthegirl
  2. Low Light
  3. Thumbing My Way
  4. Thin Air
  5. Fatal
  6. Nothing As It Seems
  7. Man Of The Hour
  8. Immortality
  9. Off He Goes
  10. Around The Bend
  11. I Believe In Miracles
  12. Sleight Of Hand
  13. All Or None
  14. Lukin

Disc: 2

  1. Parting Ways
  2. Down
  3. Can't Keep
  4. Dead Man
  5. Masters Of War
  6. Black
  7. Crazy Mary
  8. 25 Minutes To Go
  9. Daughter
  10. Yellow Ledbetter

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 27, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Ten Club
  • ASIN: B0002F9BL2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,886 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is a mostly acoustic performance of an entire benefit show. While Pearl Jam has released their entire 2000 tour in stores, and 2003 tour from a website (5 shows in stores), this one is very different. Rather than adapting hard rocking songs to an acoustic format, they dug deep into their large catalog of slower songs and either played them close to the original, or took an acoustic approach.

The spread of the 24 songs across their albums is as follows... Binaural(5), Yield(1), Riot Act(3), Lost Dogs(4), Originals not on an album(1), Vitalogy(1), No Code(3), Covers(4), Ten(1), Vs.(1).

Sound Quality... The 2000 bootlegs were pretty poor by today's standards, the 2003 bootlegs were much much better. Benaroya is incredible. Partly because it is acoustic, mostly due to the fact that Benaroya Hall is a orchestra hall specifically designed for sound. That, plus better recording and mixing equipment, and adequate time to master. There is a lot of bass, and kickdrum. The room ambience is clearly felt upon playback. Put away the Windex, the reason you can't see through your mirror isn't dirt, it is vibrating. Clear separation of the instruments, and vocals are clear and forward. Really good soundstage. When used, electric guitar is mixed fairly low and not oppressive.

Songs... Of the girl is close to the original with great coloration with the electric guitar. A masterful performance. Low Light is rarely played, and in the past sounded tentative. Best version I've heard. Thumbing my way was perfect and very close to the original. Thin air sounds strong but contains a blunder in a transitional guitar piece. Band jokes after which makes it funny. First ever performance of Fatal. Sounds much better than the Lost Dogs version. Stronger.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been an on and off fan of Pearl Jam since their first album. I've had mixed feelings from previous live recordings, and one thing has become obvious... Pearl Jam is a group that feeds off their audience and emotions. That being said, Live at Benaroya is not only the best Pearl Jam performance I've heard, but perhaps the best ever by anyone I've heard.

I love live albums, and I love groups who show the talent to be able to play live. Pearl Jam does it all including mixing in covers, and playing more than just the standard favorites. I love what they've done here. They put in some great Pearl Jam classics such as Daughter, Black, Yellow Ledbetter, some covers such as 25 minutes to go and Crazy Mary, and mixed it in with some less popular but still awesome songs... All of this, and it is done acoustically.

It isn't the easiest thing to go acoustically, and one can often see how talented a group truly is. This album shows not only how talented Pearl Jam is, but when looked at with Nirvana's Unplugged album, how talented these "grunge" artist are/were.

I really enjoy the energy here. You get the energy from the audience with songs like Black, and you get it from the band such as 25 minutes to Go. As a side note, this has to be the first time I've ever heard someone sing the FULL lyrics to 25 minutes to go. This isn't just a cover of Johnny Cash's classic (he never sang the full 25), it is a tribute to Shel Silverstein who wrote it.

Thank you Pearl Jam for giving one of the best live performances I've ever heard...
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Format: Audio CD
There's a reason this performance was put out on CD, and that was because even before the announcement of its release, it was a legendary performance, or at least as legendary as a performance that was less than a year ago can be. They did an acoustic set before the full show in Boston last summer, but this is the first fully acoustic show the band has released. Except for the partly-electric 'Yellow Ledbetter,' all of the songs are toned down to the acoustic format -- even 'Lukin,' a song that many wouldn't think could be toned down. It makes for a beautiful and emotional set, and I'm so glad we can have it on CD now. Some of the highlights are 'Thumbing My Way' (one that I personally love); the first ever performance of 'Man of the Hour,' from the Big Fish soundtrack; the one-two punch of 'Off He Goes' and 'Around the Bend,' two of my favorite softer PJ songs; 'Black,' which features a crowd singalong; and of course, the closer 'Yellow Ledbetter,' which is always a highlight.

In short, if you're a Pearl Jam fan, this is a must-own. Some feel overwhelmed with the selection of bootlegs available for sale, and don't know which live performances to buy. Start with this one -- it's absolutely breathtaking. It shows why Pearl Jam are a band with an ever-loyal following and why they still hold people's interest and touch people's hearts. It shows why they are simply the best band recording music today.
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Format: Audio CD
Every Pearl Jam show is special: with two hour sets being the minimum and flat out performances every time out, this is a band that has defined itself through live performances. Nonetheless, there are some shows that stand out; one might call them the platinum shows of a band that has made gold the standard. Benaroya Hall is undeniably one of those shows; a semi-acoustic set (one can't expect Mike to put away the electric for the whole night, can one?), it is like no other Pearl Jam show. An incredible collection of twenty-six songs, it is a far more sedate performance than one normally gets (with a few notable exceptions), but no less impassioned for it.

The show starts off with a great version of "Of the Girl"; incredibly tight, the guys easily could have turned this into a two hour jam and I don't think anyone would have minded much. Next is "Low Light"; this is such an incredible song that wasn't performed live for long, every performance is unique, but this is probably the best I've heard (and that includes the one I saw live). Ed's voice is simply magisterial and the backing is haunting. "Thumbing My Way" and "Thin Air" are naturals for an acoustic set, and both are beautifully performed, with one slight flub in the latter making the performance all the more intimate.

These standards are followed up by "Fatal" from the "Lost Dogs" compilation. If this performance is any indication, this is going to be an amazing live song, and will hopefully become a regular in the setlist rotation for future tours. Mike goes electric on "Nothing As it Seems", and the result is a great rendition. That's followed up by the first ever performance of "Man of the Hour" and it's superb, even better than the studio version, with Ed's voice again in amazing form.
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