Review: Pearl Jam, Pixies and Cat Power take Hyde Park

Pearl Jam at Hyde Park

Pearl Jam at Hyde Park - Credit: André Langlois

Pearl Jam, Pixies, Cat Power
BST Hyde Park
****

Oh Eddie – he’s just so likeable!

An introductory recording of All You Need Is Love, Sex Pistols and Public Image songs, tributes to friends lost – Eddie Vedder has Hyde Park in the palm of his hand.

There are tales of hunting out Pixies bootlegs at Camden Market, tokens of respect to hard-working crew members, and genuine joy at the sheer scale of the crowd.

He may have come from hard rock, but there’s more Bruce Springsteen to our Eddie than any behaired metaller.

They have the songs for it too.

Opener Better Man is a touching singalong, while a glorious Even Flow through to Given to Fly brings things toward sunset.

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Jeremy is massive.

There’s a “happy birthday” rendition for the bassist and drummer twins from White Reaper, who performed earlier.

There’s even a: “It feels really good. I feel like Adele right now.”

And then: “I don’t want to offend anyone who’s seen us before in London, but this is the best crowd we’ve ever had.”

Aww!

Pearl Jam at Hyde Park

Pearl Jam at Hyde Park - Credit: André Langlois

Before lovely Eddie there’s gruff Black Francis, here with the Pixies. Except he’s not gruff, he’s virtually bouncing.

The band are on fire and they deliver “hit-that-should-have-been” after “hit-that-should-have-been”. Here Comes Your Man, Gouge Away, Caribou. Where Is My Mind is gigantic (there is no Gigantic) and there’s a lovely slow-burn Wave of Mutilation.

They’ve always been a gang of troubadour misfits with anthems to who-knows-what. And that’s a great thing.

The afternoon line-up included the aforementioned White Reaper and a stomping set from The Murder Capital, as well as a tentative but elegiac Cat Power. Going from The Greatest into a cover of New York, New York was quite something.

The crowd for Pearl Jam at Hyde Park

The crowd for Pearl Jam at Hyde Park - Credit: André Langlois

But this was Eddie and the boys’ night.

To close a rock set today, can Alive followed by Rockin’ in the Free World be beaten?