As the "peoples band" that they are, Pearl Jam have made something like 5000 live albums. Okay, I admit that I am somewhat exaggerating here — but only a little. Their catalog speaks for itself.
Pearl Jam's live recordings in just the past decade have included at least two "bootleg series" of entire tours, as well as a couple of "boutique" sort-of live albums recorded right here in their hometown (as well as my own) of Seattle. Those would include the acoustic set recorded at Benaroya Hall, as well as in the "intimate setting" captured live just up the street from my house, at the local record store Easy Street. So, this is a somewhat "fan-friendly" band.
Most recently, they put out a great boxed set of shows recorded Live At the Gorge in eastern Washington that they made into a 7 disc boxed set. Okay, so maybe I'm spoiled.
I mean, let's face it; Pearl Jam haven't really sold records in any massive numbers since their debut album, Ten, but what makes them such an enduring, and great band, is the fact that they kick major ass in a live show. Personally, what I like about Pearl Jam — other than the fact that they champion good causes, and generally seem to be legitimately nice guys — is the fact that they still know how to rock.
So you may still ask, what makes this DVD any different than the half a dozen others which capture Pearl Jam in concert? Well for one thing, this one is done a little differently. Pearl Jam's Immagine in Cornice: Picture in a Frame is shot like an actual documentary. It follows the band on a 2006 tour of Italy. The music is still very much front and center, and there is plenty of it.
These guys are arguably one of the best live rock bands in the world. Pearl Jam fans already know this, of course, but the performances captured here really do bring that point home. From what are now classics like "Even Flow," "Alive," and up through last year's "World Wide Suicide," the intensity captured here is absolutely undeniable. Especially when they get to the encore of Neil Young's "Rocking In The Free World." Vedder climbs the scaffolds and the crowd goes absolutely nuts.
What is captured in this DVD is a short, but very sweet, capsule of that live experience. Eddie Vedder, in particular, takes the crowds to a near rapturous experience.
What makes this DVD just a bit different is what you see in between the great concert footage. Such as when you see Eddie huddled down with an Italian interpreter to get the words just right so that they translate to "in a time of war, we will sing songs that speak of the importance of peace." Seriously, you've gotta love these guys.
The extras on the DVD include a great live performance of The Who's "A Quick One (While He's Away)," with what looks suspiciously looks like the guys from My Morning Jacket. Take my word for it. This is great stuff.