Pearl Jam: Let’s Play Two follows the band Pearl Jam, obviously, as they head back to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, to play a gig in 2016.
The film runs alongside the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series charge (spoiler alert: they won). Eddie Vedder, as it turns out, is a huge Cubs fan, appearing at a lot of games, even talking to the fans over the PA system, singing to them.
This may be common knowledge to citizens of the US of A, or super-geek Vedder fans, to people like me who love the music but things stop there, I had no idea.
Because of this, Let’s Play Two (that has something to do with the team, I confess to not knowing what exactly), focuses very much on Vedder, the Cubs World Series run with the band taking a back seat.
Interjected between songs then we have footage of the Cubs run, some older footage of Wrigley Field, interviews with the owners, people who work there, that sort of thing.
This is absolutely fine if you like rounders, I mean, baseball and if you support the Cubs. If not, it takes you away from seeing Pearl Jam live.
When you do see Pearl Jam live, which admittedly make up the majority of the two-hour run-time, they are on fantastic form.
The crowd, including a couple who, by the time they return home to Australia, will have travelled some 250,000 miles watching Pearl Jam play, sing along to every tune.
There’s some cool footage of the band rehearsing before the big event. You also get some footage from when they first toured the Ten album, with U2 in the crowd, though it’s bad quality it’s still cool to see.
The trouble is, not even the music wasn’t free from ro…baseball. Some of the songs are intercut with key games from the Cubs run, with commentary occasionally spilling over.
As I mentioned, the majority of the film is the concert, but the pacing is thrown off. There you are, happily singing into your pretend microphone, sound up to 11, neighbours banging on the walls and then it cuts to a bunch of guys who wait outside Wrigley Field to catch home runs that fly over the stands.
I appreciate the passion Vedder clearly has for his team, I do, I get that and it’s great to see. But I don’t support that team, I don’t even watch the sport, so it was all superfluous and just meant there were less Pearl Jam songs ultimately.
Perhaps, on the DVD, you’ll get the choice of watching a documentary about Vedder and the Cubs or watching Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field. I know which one I’d choose.
From the US
From the UK