Eddie Vedder’s Headlining Set At Ohana Fest Defines The Concept Of “Ohana” Another Year, Another Unforgettable Performance by Pearl Jam's Front Man
DANA POINT, CA-
“… Saturday’s full slate of amazing performances culminate with Eddie Vedder’s solo headlining set, but it would be a solo set the whole way through as he sure got some fantastic help from some of his wonderful friends.
Just like last year, Eddie performed an epic set of acoustic song that covered a wide range of music from his (song from Into The Wild and Ukuele Songs) and Pearl Jam’s (“Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town”, “I Am Mind”) repertoire and a plethora of covers of some of his favorite songs (Warren Zevon’s “Keep Me In Your Heart”, Cat Power’s “Good Woman”).
The performance of Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” was particularly poignant. Calling up Liz Phair to accompany him with the singing, Vedder explained that he wrote the song with a woman’s voice in mind. In essence, we got to hear the popular song the way Vedder had always intended it to be sung. By a woman.
Throughout his performance, he would introduce his instruments to the audience, explaining some of the back story behind how he obtained them. In a particularly moving moment, he gingerly strapped on a red guitar that he noted was given to him by the one and only Tom Petty. His voice touched on a bit of sadness as he explained how he had always wanted Tom to join his Ohana family for a weekend, with fate tragically robbing him of that opportunity. Emphasizing the importance of friendships, he called on Scott Thurston, one of Tom Petty’s longtime Heartbreakers, to join him on stage to perform a series of songs that surely had eyes watering in the crowd, especially during the poignant “I Won’t Back Down”.
After joining Johnny Mar earlier in the day for a cover of The Smiths’ “There is A Light That Never Goes Out”, Johnny Marr returned the favor by duetting on “Hard Sun” before the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and several members of Mumford & Sons (who would headline the following night) joined on stage for a rousing rendition of Eddie’s staple Neil Young song “Rockin’ in the Free World”.
The music aside, I just love Eddie Vedder as a human being. Like last year, he was open and honest during his tine on the Ohana Fest stage. He spoke frankly about some of his political beliefs, and while he didn’t harp on it for too long, you knew what he stood for and what means the most to him. I respect that, and I wish more artists would do the same.
There was one drunk voice who tried shouting, “We came here to hear you sing, man,” but he was immediately hushed. There’s no room for that at The Ohana Fest. The Ohana Fest is about family. Family deserves respect, and Eddie deserves it all …”