Ahead of the what-seemed-like-hundreds of live CDs made available by Pearl Jam in the late 90s and early 2000s, there was one live Pearl Jam wide release* that was, put simply, both effective and incredible. Before too much on the album itself, a little background on how we got to this one.
* Pearl Jam’s Dissident – Live in Atlanta from 1994 may be one of the best bootleg live albums ever, but underground bootlegs / imports ≠ wide release.
I spent some time the last week going through the non-digital music collection that’s stacked high in an INLE mothership closet. As I flipped through page after page of CDs, it was like looking at a photoless photo album. Dates, places, events, people rush back and you realize 1 – how old you’ve gotten / are getting and 2 – that the soundtrack to your life has had some incredible moments . . . and some others that are jaw droppingly embarassing.
One of those “incredible moments” was circa 1998 with Pearl Jam’s Live on Two Legs. I admittedly paid Pearl Jam far too little attention during the earlier days of Ten, Versus and Vitalogy. Sure, they were big enough that you couldn’t miss it all – and I always liked what Pearl Jam I took time for – but it was never a focus. For shame.
INLE commenter Mattingly’s Moustache gets all the credit for hitting me over the head with Pearl Jam in 1998 and helping me to correct an adolescent musical omission. This album recapped what I’d criminally overlooked in the years prior. Given to Fly, Corduroy, MFC, Red Mosquito, Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town were only a small collection of what I might never have known.
My suggestion: If you already have Live on Two Legs, revisit it. Listen to it straight through for the sake of your best, worst or forgotten memories. If you don’t have it and you want a little more “90s rock amazing” in your life, get it.