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Vedder Comes Full Circle

by Photo of Tommy Dee

Pearl Jam front man enjoying time in front of small crowds

Vedder Comes Full Circle

In this article…

There was a time when Eddie Vedder looked out amongst the sea of people who gathered to see his shows and wondered what it all meant. What does it mean for millions of people to be hearing the words you poured from your soul on to a sheet of paper? As he's developed as an artist through the decades, Vedder has utilized the crowds for countless choruses at live shows and even admitted that the positive energy produced by the millions of Pearl Jam faithful who've attended the life shows has changed the meanings of songs.

One of the band's biggest hits in the early 1990s was "Alive" a song written from the voice of an adolescent boy who found out that the man he thought to be his father was actually his step father ("I'm still alive" is the tag that people know when hearing the song) and that his real father, musician Ed Severson had recently passed away. It was a gut wrenching story that threw the young Vedder for a loop and the anger within him was so great he began to revolt. That passion and anger came at a time, musically, where bands like Nirvana and Mother Love Bone were building followings in the Pacific Northwest and were about to embark on a musical revolution aimed at exposing the ire of young people in this country.

Most of Pearl Jam's hit first album "Ten" was based on negative feelings, but over the years, Vedder would admit while filming VH1's "Storytellers" in 2007, the crowd would create so much positive energy that when the chorus was belted out Vedder says the crowd, "changed the meaning of the words." Instead of the original text reading that this young man thinking his father is dead but he was "still alive" and had to deal with it, "I'm still alive" was reversed into a positive connotation celebrating life.

Now as Vedder will be hitting the road solo this summer in support of his just-announced new album, "Ukulele Songs" , a tour which will see him play to smaller and more intimate settings than the tens of thousands he had stood in front of for so many years. On recent albums and solo projects, Vedder has utilized the ukulele in such songs as "Man We'll Soon Forget," which takes a stab at several billionaire tycoons as well as "Guarantee," which earned him a Golden Globe victory for Best Original Song and a Grammy Nomination from the "Into the Wild" soundtrack.

>The North American trek begins June 15 in Providence, R.I. and heads down the East coast, across the midwest and then up the west coast before wrapping in Vedder's hometown of Seattle, Wash., with a show on July 15 at Benaroya Hall. Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Glen Hansardis billed as a "special guest" for the whole tour. >Big or small Vedder is constantly inspired by those who sit in the room with him whenever he plays. Let charged.fm allow for you to find your perfect seat to the next show.

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