Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pearl Jam At Wembley Arena

Went to see Pearl Jam last night and I have to say I was underwhelmed at the very least. So underwhelmed in fact that we left before 10pm.

Got into the venue at bang on 9pm and saw some lot on stage sounding ropey in the extreme and apparently with a drop cloth behind them. "Support Band" I thought, so sat down. Song after song I didn't recognise went by and I eventually realised that this was actually Pearl Jam.

I only truly twigged it was them when they got a roadie on stage and he was introduced as being "from Cornwall so give him a big cheer". In Pearl Jam world, Cornwall's right next to London I can only assume. The guitar the roadie had brought on was strummed once, was out of tune, and another one tried instead. Which captured in microcosm the problem with the gig: how it sounded.

Now, if you've been in Wembley Arena, you'll not be surprised the sound was crap. But I'd been there about a month ago to see the Lostprophets and the sound had been brilliant, so I'd assumed (stupidly in retrospect) that they'd ironed out the problems that had previously dogged the place - particularly by moving the stage to the opposite end of the venue.

But no, the sound was as awful as I've ever heard it. Screechingly loud top end, precious little bass and a very muddy sounding middle. Oh and feedback, lots of feedback. "Wow" I thought "the sound position must be in a really bad location if they can't hear how bad this is" so I looked, and there wasn't a desk in sight anywhere in the Arena! So I can only assume the guy was mixing it from the car park. Probably something to do with the fact you can no longer smoke anywhere in Wembley Arena.

Oh, and if you're going to play at Wembley Arena, have the decency to have some sort of video screens somewhere, could you please? Thanks. I might have realised you weren't the support band if I could've seen your chubby face Vedder.



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