Maybe it's because I'm in a generous mood. Maybe it's because it's almost 2 a.m. Maybe it's because I'm preoccupied by Magic. Whatever the reason, I'm overtaken with the urge to tell you upfront Pearl Jam's new DVD — Immagine in Cornice — is about what I expected.
That information might help you if you read my Fanboy preview. If you didn't, go for it. I'll wait. I guess we can cross generous mood off the list, now I'm just being difficult. That preview explained this new DVD is not so much a concert DVD as much as it is a tour film. Tom Johnson likened it to Radiohead's Meeting People is Easy. That's not a bad frame of reference for the structure of the DVD, not so much for the content.
Immagine in Cornice follows the band on their six-show run through Italy. There is plenty of performance footage culled from these dates, much of it featuring full performances. In between songs, there is footage of the band in "candid" moments.
These candid moments are not quite as staged as those in U2's Rattle & Hum, but they're not particularly revealing with perhaps one exception. There is one scene where Eddie Vedder and touring keyboardist Boom Gaspar visit an old church in Pistoia and Gaspar is allowed to play a vintage organ. He's visibly moved by the experience of filling this beautiful and acoustically-unique old chapel with his music. You see the band interacting with fans and walking around Italy, but you don't ever get the sense you're really getting to know the band or getting a real behind-the-scenes look.
The performances are mostly excellent, as fans of the band's bountiful live releases will no doubt know. Standards like "Alive" and "Better Man" are supplemented by new songs from the self-titled release as well as songs that don't get played as often like "Porch" and "Blood." It's a good mix of new and old, common and obscure, and the performances are strong.
It's a nice DVD and the price points I've seen have been reasonable. The casual fan probably won't find this essential but the Pearl Jam faithful will find enough here to make this a worthwhile purchase.
Song List for Immagine in Cornice
- Severed Hand (Milan)
- World Wide Suicide (Featured clips from all Italian show dates)
- Life Wasted (Torino)
- Corduroy (Verona)
- State of Love and Trust (Milan)
- Porch (Verona)
- Even Flow (Torino)
- Better Man (Verona)
- Alive (Milan)
- Blood (Verona)
- Comatose (Pistoia)
- Come Back (Pistoia)
- Rockin' in the Free World (Pistoia)
- A Quick One While He's Away — Eddie Vedder with My Morning Jacket (Torino)
- Throw Your Arms Around Me (Pistoia)
- Yellow Ledbetter (Milan)