Tuesday, August 21, 2012

PJ Manchester boot

For the first time, audiophile fans get to purchase the official Pearl Jam bootlegs from the 2012 European tour in HD (high-res) formats, both FLAC and ALAC for twenty bucks [link]. I settled for the slightly cheaper CD, because I always need something physical I can hold on to. Since 2000, the sound mix of the boots have differed vastly from tour to tour. I stopped 'collecting' after 2009, but I've heard several of the shows from the 2010/11 tour. My personal favorites previously are the ones from 2006. But they pale in comparison to this year's mixes. Hands down the 2012 bootlegs have the best sound, by many miles. The instruments are separated very nicely, and everything can be heard CRYSTAL CLEAR; that includes Boom's keyboard whenever he plays. And now Mike McCready is on the left, while Stone Gossard is on the right. Eddie sounds astoundingly good, the best he's ever sung in the past decade. And the rhythm section is tight as shit; Matt Cameron's drums and Jeff Ament's bass are locked in real tight.....finally. Everything is there -- meaning any screw-up has not been edited out of existence; rarely is a Pearl Jam concert musically perfect. The only minor gripe I have is the sound quality of the crowd noise; it sounds weird especially during the first part, like it has been heavily equalized or something. Setlist wise, the first show of the short European tour wasn't all that outstanding (personally I would've preferred a lot more obscurities). But it was still kick-ass in every way. The band was in a constant awesome groove. Hell, I'm stoked I got to hear Jeremy, Black, Come Back, Immortality, and of course, Release as the opener. I read numerous reports of the crowd being 'lame'. Not true, from where I was. [review link]