Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and left a vast fortune and directives for the award of annual prizes under his name. Nobel was Swedish and the Nobel prizes for Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature and Economics are awarded annually in his native Sweden. But Nobel's directives decree that this most noble of the Nobels -- the Nobel Peace Prize -- be decided by Norwegians and awarded in Norway, perhaps as a nod to Norway's long-standing policies of peace and neutrality.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to "whoever shall have done the most or best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the holding and promotion of peace." The award is over a million dollars and has been awarded annually since 1901. The Nobel Peace Prize annual concert is held at the Oslo Spektrum with its capacity of 9700.
Last night, the American rockers Pearl Jam and their handsome leader Eddie Vedder made a pretty good case for a Nobel Peace Prize -- most certainly promoting fraternity between the nations and promoting peace through music.
Show was a sell-out at 9700. Norwegians are polite concert goers -- there was no smoking, and although drinks were allowed in the venue, none were spilled on or near us. The Spektrum has an odd alignment, with a floor area that is too wide and luxury boxes at the very top that are the worst seats in the house. The Spektrum also has some odd policies, like old-school hand stamp insie-outsies (barely enforced) and "no standing in the seated sections" (vigorously enforced -- perhaps because the seats are so steep?)
Long Road -- "My wish for you today..." Quiet with nice range.
Animal -- Sloppy, but we later find out Mr. Vedder isn't feeling well.
Hail, Hail -- Mr. Vedder kicks and jumps like a frontman is supposed to do.
Given to Fly -- Mr. Vedder does his shirt as wings trick. Crowd is popping like popcorn.
Interstellar Overdrive -- One of Pink Floyd's oldest songs.
Mr. Vedder explains that his throat is (noticeably) sore: "I must have caught something from kissing a sick Swedish boy."
Low Light -- Dreamy.
Severed Hand -- Halting -- like the ushers trying to stop the fans from standing in the seated sections.
Even Flow -- Mr. Vedder shakes his jowls on the yabba-dabba-doo Adam Sandler impersonation part. A fan's small "Smile" sign is passed-up and placed on stage under the keyboards.
Red Mosquito -- Request goes out to a couple from Moscow (and we thought we were the only ones in the audience with Idaho connections.)
Daughter -- "Don't call me daughter..." because I am afraid to turn on my phone in Europe.
It's OK -- Call and response.
Leatherman -- Mr. Vedder is the man for the land with his speed strumming.
The Fixer -- Good fatherly advice -- "If something's broke, put a little fixer on it..."
Mr. Vedder tells a sad story of insomnia and hearing the bad news this morning that a friend had passed away. He reminds the crowd to tell your loved ones that you love them, so we do.
Just Breathe -- Beautiful. I too am a lucky man.
Breath -- Italian, French, and Norwegian flags are passed to the stage.
Mr. Vedder turns the mic over to rhythm guitarist Stone Gossard who explains: "I am going to sing Mankind which is a rarity. So enjoy it on that level."
Do The Evolution -- Mr. Vedder's vocie is evolving (devolving?)
Porch -- At 600+ bpm. With Star Spangled Banner teases. Mike McCready removes his shirt and gives it to a fan, foolball style.
Mr. Vedder fulfills a request for a young couple and also thanks the Norwegian audience for being well-behaved enough that a young couple could survive in the front.
Smile -- Mr. Vedder on harmonica.
Mother -- Poignant Pink Floyd song. Although the audience does want Mr. Vedder to "run for president", we think awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize would be more appropriate.
Alive -- House lights are up. The whack-a-mole ushers have finally given up on the seated dancers.
Rockin' In The Free World -- LA punk openers X join the melee.