Poseidon | C

director: Wolfgang Peterson
starring: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfus, Emmy Rossum, Andre Braugher

PoseidonI’m not sure what the point of making this flick was, as it cost $160 million to make and has only made just over $45 million as of May 30th. The problem, past the cost, is that the movie is NOTHING but special effects. There’s no real plot, no real characters, no real emotional investment. The characters are all one-dimensional, stereotypical archetypes amalgamated from the cliched dreck of disaster movies past. Early on, there are a few half-lines of dialogue that attempt to paint some sort of picture of each character’s history, but to call it superficial would be to put it too lightly.

But no matter, as disaster ensues very early on in the flick, courtesy of a “rogue wave,” which capsizes the Poseidon, a massive luxury liner. Where exactly they’re going, and where exactly they are is never explained, but no matter, because there are lots of explosions, lots of electrical fires, lots of flooding, and lots of death. But you’re not gonna care about any of these deaths, because each character might as well be nothing more than a stand-up cardboard cut-out. Kevin Dillon’s “Lucky Larry” character has the most personality out of anyone and he’s got about 3 minutes of screen time before a ridiculously-predictable “conclusion” to his character arc. There are some early attempts at creating some trivial character arcs, but they’re quickly abandoned in the face of enclosed spaces filling with water and exploding engines.

Two reasons to see the flick, though: Emmy Rossum and IMAX.

Emmy Rossum

There’s a fantastic shot of the ship at the beginning that is part live-action, part special effects that is nearly breathtaking on the IMAX screen. Equally breathtaking is Emmy Rossum on a giant screen. Do what you will with this information. Oh, and Fergie’s not bad either.


On somewhat of a tangent, Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, and Andre Braugher must really be hurting for work, because there’s basically nothing more for them to do in Poseidon other than displaying various looks of shock, anger or sadness. I guess it was all about the paycheck.

Pearl Jam – Camden 5.27.06 Review

Tweeter Performing Arts Center – Camden, NJ
opener: My Morning Jacket
attendance: 18,000

Pre-set: Gone (Ed solo)

Main Set: Wasted Reprise, Life Wasted, World Wide Suicide, Do The Evolution, Animal, Severed Hand, Corduroy, Marker In The Sand, Given To Fly, Unemployable, Lukin/Not For You/(Modern Girl), Daughter/(WMA), I Am Mine, Jeremy, Present Tense, Why Go, Porch

Encore 1: Better Man, Come Back, Elderly Woman, Last Kiss (with members of Innocence Project), Alive

Encore 2: State Of Love And Trust, Blood, Even Flow, Comatose, Leash, Rockin’ In The Free World, Yellow Ledbetter/(Star Spangled Banner)

I don’t have a ton to say about the first show in Camden, as it seemed to feel more like a greatest hits night than anything “special.” It’s gotten to the point where I’ve seen so many shows that the setlist really needs to knock me out every night, or I deem it an “okay” show. But you’ve gotta put it in perspective as well–an “okay” show for Pearl Jam is a hundred times better than any other live act at their peak performance. The crowd was a bit too laid back for my tastes as well–they never matched the band’s energy, of which there was a lot.

I’ll stick to the highlights:

  • Ed spoke at length about the Innocence Project, which aids in using DNA testing to exonerate wrongly-convicted inmates and get them out of jail. Ed brought three such individuals from the Philadelphia area up onstage to join the band for Last Kiss. Two of the three were musicians and handled drum and vocal duties. The third guy was relegated to tambourine man. Very cool moment–what normally is a low point of any set (Last Kiss) turned into something pretty neat.


  • Other than the Last Kiss moment, there was nothing that remarkable about the first encore. Pretty typical, low-key numbers before closing with the standard Alive.
  • The second encore is where the show hit its brief stride. The band went on a tear with State Of Love And Trust, Blood, Even Flow, and Comatose, sending the diehards in the crowd into a state of “rock coma.” But then–THEN–the crowd smart enough to know what they were seeing went nuts when the band launched into Leash, which debuted last week in Boston for the first time since 1995. The band was tight and it sounded as if they’d spent plenty of time on the song to make sure it was right. But the best facet of the performance was the crowd: we were screaming the lyrics with Ed, drowning him out for most of the song. Very powerful stuff.

Other than that, not a lot to report from night one. The seats I were in weren’t that great, despite being pretty close to the stage. I had a light shining directly into our section for most of the night, resulting in near-blindness. You’ll be able to see said light in a lot of the pictures I took on night one.

I also met a ton of badass people from a PJ message board I post on (yes, I used “badass” and “message board” in the same sentence) during the tailgate before the show. In addition to a massive sunburn, I had a blast talking and drinking with them. Good times.

Two Feet Thick notes:

Being the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend in the U.S.A., Ed mentions that it’s a great way to start the summer, and during “”Even Flow” sings that the “summer’s on its way”. This venue is in Camden, NJ, and Philadelphia is right across the river, thus why it is often considered a “Philadelphia” stop on the tour. With a big smile on his face, Ed references that saying “Where the hell are we anyways? Jersey? Philly?” and mentions that he should know better considering that they’ve played there before. The “Modern Girl” tag to “Not For You” returns, with Mike wearing a Sleater-Kinney t-shirt. “Present Tense” draws a big roar and the crowd sings the second verse. Before “Last Kiss”, the band seems to get comfortable and Matt puts on a Fender Telecaster hinting at something “special”. Ed tells the crowd that they are indeed doing something special tonight and tells of how their charitable proceeds from ticket sales tonight are going towards the Innocence Project, a non-profit legal clinic that works to free the wrongfully convicted through DNA testing. Ed introduces one-by-one three men who had a total of 45 years in prison before they were freed by the works of the Innocence Project. He tells the stories of Thomas “Tommy” Doswell, Vincent Moto, and Wilton Dedge, including how they each served more than a decade before they were freed. Vincent Moto then jumps up on the drums, and Tommy Doswell lays down a large lyric sheet and everyone together performs “Last Kiss”, with Ed and Tommy trading off verses. Vincent and Tommy are bursting with Joy and make Ed blush by starting a “Pearl Jam” chant. Wilton, Vincent and Tommy come back out for an extended “Rockin’ in the Free World”. As they are walking off, Wilton – visibly the shiest on stage – steps up to Stone’s mic, and poignantly implores the crowd that “you don’t have to be a rocker to make a difference in the world”.

Camden I Image Gallery

The da Vinci Code | B-

director: Ron Howard
starring: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno, Ian McKellan, Paul Bettany

Da Vinci CodeThe much-anticipated big screen version of the best-selling book has finally arrived, and regardless of its quality, is sure to do big box office because of the book’s success. But taking all that out of the equation, does the movie live up to the hype of its text source? Yes and no. The combination of historical accounting and stretching the truth that made the book’s plot so provocative is still here, but there doesn’t seem to be any passion or excitement in the film’s narrative. It’s simply a series of drawn-out scene after drawn-out scene. The movie never really gets going, choosing instead to slowly build up steam but never “letting loose.” The result is more boring than thought-provoking.

I think a large part of the problem lies with the the casting of the protagonist, Robert Langdon. Tom Hanks never seems comfortable as Langdon, reciting his lines as if he were doing voiceover work for a history book instead of being a passionate symbologist genuinely excited by the mysteries he was uncovering. I think going younger with the casting would have aided the film in perhaps providing a bit more spirit and vigor to the role and, thus, the plot. The albino monk, Silas, is portrayed fantastically by Paul Bettany, who gives a–dare I say it?–deft and nuanced performance. The rest of the cast is pretty much uniformly good, though Ian McKellan’s portrayal of an aging Grail hunter felt a bit cliched and affected at times.

The other facet that contributes to the lack of exciting pacing is the editing, particularly early on. The opening scene with the curator of Paris’ Louvre Museum running from an unseen assailant offered a great chance to set a specific, foreboding atmosphere to the film, and ratchet up the tension from there. Instead, the scene is intercut with Langdon giving a speech and an Opus Dei priest talking to a reporter. While there is certainly a lot of exposition to get through early on, I think the film would’ve been better served by trimming a lot of that and sticking with the stuff in the Louvre. The movie never really hits its stride because of the early missteps.

Everything certainly looks good, and director Ron Howard seems to know what he’s doing when in the director’s chair, and uses the exquisite backdrop of Paris to great effect. When all is said and done, I think you can view the film version of The da Vinci Code as somewhat of a letdown–but I’m not sure it’s possible to live up to the book’s storied success to this point. Definitely worth seeing to, if nothing else, infuriate all these people protesting the story’s implications. When you boil it down, isn’t the main implication of the story that women have been treated unjustly by the Church, and that true equality is something worth striving for? Why would they be protesting that? Ooooooh, I know–it’s because THEY’RE INSANE.

X-Men: The Last Stand | B-

director: Brett Ratner
starring: Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Ian McKellen

X3The final entry in the X-Men trilogy has arrived and while it has its share of fantastic moments and homages to the original comic book, as a whole it’s relatively underwhelming. It never transcends its genre and feels more like a cheesy comic book take-off than a real, slambang action movie with a soul (as X2 was).

The first flick was all about setting up authentic characters you could root for, if not relate to, while the second raised the bar a notch with the action X-Men comic fans had all been waiting for. The third time around, while there is certainly an emphasis on the action, the characters get lost in the mayhem. The acting is wooden pretty much all around, and when it is good, the dialogue is laugh-out-loud awful.

Halle Berry had been openly annoyed with the lack of work she had in the first two movies, and she seems to have gotten her wish this time around, as she features prominently. The problem is that it’s apparent she can’t act unless she’s naked on a couch with Billy Bob Thornton. As much as I liked some of the quotes lifted right from the books, it felt like they’d been shoehorned in to give the old “wink and a nod” to the fans. I think a lot of the unevenness of the movie is attributable to both the loss of X1 and X2 director Bryan Singer and the lack of adequate pre-production time for the movie. Fox, as it did with the first movie, rushed this through production, and X3 suffers for it. More time needed to be spent on the script and dialogue, as you’re never really given satisfying justifications for a lot of what’s taking place onscreen.

So, chalk X3 up as another mindless popcorn flick for the summer and you should enjoy it just fine. If you’re a diehard X-Men fan and are expecting the transcendent X-flick we’ve all been waiting for….keep waiting.

Dying Together

Lost’s second season concluded last night, and what a season it’s been. We started with a Mama Cass-loving Scotsman doing the dishes in what we find out lies behind the object of season one’s attentions: the hatch. This season has given us a larger glimpse into that hatch and what it represents in the context of the island and the fate of all of the show’s characters. That fate seems to be more unclear than ever after last night’s season finale. I’ll try to make sense of it as best I can, but I don’t think there’s necessarily that much to hyperanalyze, as a lot of mysteries have been fleshed out a bit more, if not fully solved.

The most important–or longest-running, at least–mystery had involved just why the plane crashed on the island. We appear to have an answer, at least from Desmond’s point-of-view. And with that answer we also attain a level of understanding about just what the purpose of the all-important Execute button (and thus, Swan Station) is. When the counter reaches zero and goes to the hieroglyphs (which, we’ve long since determined translates to “cause to die,” or quite simply: “death”), the charge built up in the material/mineral behind the concrete wall reaches its saturation point and is said to kill everyone on the island by unleashing a massive electromagnetic pulse.


Continue reading “Dying Together”

Pearl Jam – Cleveland 5.20.06 Review

Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, OH
Opener: My Morning Jacket
Attendance: 19,000

Pre-Set: Last Kiss (Ed solo), It Makes No Difference (Ed w/My Morning Jacket)

Main Set: Betterman, Given To Fly, Worldwide Suicide, Life Wasted, Severed Hand, Faithfull, Unemployable, Gone, Daughter/(It’s OK), MFC, Immortality, Lukin, Do The Evolution, Spin The Black Circle, Porch

Encore 1: Wasted Reprise, Thumbing My Way, Inside Job, Black/(We Belong Together), Alive

Encore 2: Go, Comatose, U, Don’t Gimme No Lip, Smile, Why Go, Fuckin’ Up, Yellow Ledbetter

I tend to get a little long-winded on these things and I’m running out of superlatives to describe the band’s performance, so I’m going to keep this oh-so-brief.

Upon arriving in Cleveland, the first thing you’re gonna notice downtown is the overabundance of these incredibly annoying, mosquito-like creatures that are affixed to windows on every building. I made the mistake of leaving my car window’s cracked overnight and woke up to find a hundred or so of the little buggers all over the interior of my car. They don’t put that in the chamber of commerce brochure for Cleveland, do they?

We had dinner before the show at a local bar and restaurant, Flannery’s (which featured aforementioned bugs on establishment’s windows) and ordered a burger. Much to my delight (I’m easily amused), the burger was topped with an avocado! Yahoo, what a coincidence! This could only bode well for the night to come.


I met a few people from a Pearl Jam message board I occasionally post on, and then it was on to Quicken Loans Arena for the show. It’s a cozy, little venue; it felt much smaller than HSBC Arena in Buffalo, but appeared to have the same number of seats.

I wasn’t in my seat for more than a few minutes when Ed came onstage to thunderous cheers from the half-full building (at that point), ready to do a preset. He did a solo version of Last Kiss during the preset, which is exactly where I prefer Last Kiss to be, if it has to be played at all. I’m a little tired of it, but that’s what happens when you’ve listened to every album, song and bootleg a thousand times each.

Opener My Morning Jacket came onstage after Ed finished, but Vedder stayed to do the first number with the band, It Makes No Difference. Nice, rocking number. MMJ continued to rock after Ed left, almost well enough to make me think about checking out their albums. Good stuff and I recommend you check them out at some point.

Pearl Jam came onstage to their typical roaring standing ovation, and proceeded to start with the rarely-used-as-opener Betterman. As always, the crowd did a lot of the singing. Nice, surprising start to the show. That was followed up by the standard 3-song set of new album tunes: World Wide Suicide, Life Wasted and Severed Hand. I expected a somewhat repetetive (from other nights) setlist at that point, but I was pleasantly surprised when they went into Faithfull, which made its debut on this tour. I’ll always dig stuff off of Yield, regardless of how much it’s played, but when you get a rare one like Faithfull, I’m extra happy.

A haunting rendition of Gone (off the new album) led into Daughter, which isn’t such a surprise. But when the band started into the It’s OK (by Dead Moon) tag, it became something special. The last time the full It’s OK tag was played was in Jones Beach in 2003, I believe, and it was a treat to hear it in person live. I felt like we were in for a special night by this point.

I appeared to be right when they played a tight but soft version of Immortality before launching into a blistering assault with Lukin, Do The Evolution, Spin The Black Circle and Porch to end the main set. The entire crowd was in a frenzy by the 10th minute of Porch.

The first encore was very laid back, highlighted by a soulful Black tagged by a brief “We Belong Together.” The band kicked it back into high gear with Alive to end the encore. The second encore kicked ass right off the bat with Go and not letting up through Comatose. The rarely-played U came next and then, guitarist Stone Gossard took the mic to sing lead vocals on his Don’t Gimme No Lip. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the lead vocal stylings of Stone Gossard. You can’t help but laugh (with him, of course).

Smile followed that up and yes, folks, I was smiling by that point. It’s a song that isn’t played nearly often enough live. A now-standard Why Go led into Neil Young’s Fuckin’ Up, which would have closed the set from there, but it looked like lead guitarist Mike McCready wanted to stick around for one more and eased into Yellow Ledbetter.

Well, I guess that wasn’t too brief, but I strove for conciseness (is that a word?). Couldn’t have asked for a much better setlist–lots of relatively rare stuff that debuted for the first time this tour. Another fantastic show that only feeds my obsession with the music. See you in Camden.


Two Feet Thick notes:

The band is playing Cleveland and Detroit consecutively, coinciding with the NBA Playoffs pitting the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Detroit Pistons. “That last song is called ‘Unemployable’ which I’m sure the state of Ohio knows plenty about. It’s a beautiful place, but we’ll always make room for you in Seattle if you ever want to come out. Then you’ll be jobless and wet and depressed, but you’ll be out drinkin with us, so it’ll be alright.” Continuing, Ed introduces “Gone”, saying that “there’s a line in a song called ‘Dissident’ that says something about ‘escape is never the safest path’ or the easiest way, but this song kinda explores that idea, it’s called ‘Gone’.” “It’s OK” returns as a “Daughter” tag (at a slightly higher pitch than previous versions) with the entire band playing a slightly different arrangement. Ed modifies the lyrics somewhat, “This is my plea / this is my need / this is my time for standing free / this is my stand / in this world so demanding of me”. “Immortality” starts with a few bars of finger-picking guitar, similar to some previous versions. Ed gets a big roar from the crowd during “Do The Evolution” with the lyric change “Those ignorant Indians .. they’re a great team, right?” An adventurous 10-minute “new Porch” begins with an even slower-than-usual start by Ed before it kicks in with the second verse. Ed does band intros during the jam, including “on bass, and rooting for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mr. Jeff Ament” and “the engine with so many horsepower there’s no number, Matt Cameron on the drumkit”, “from the jungle to Cleveland, Mr. Boom Gasper on the B3”, and “sometimes you don’t pick your friends but he’s one of my best friends, Stone Gossard on guitar”. After the main set, Ed says that “it’s interesting, the place we go next is Detroit and we’re in no hurry…” which starts many chants including boos and eventually Ed picks up on an anti-Detroit chant, “I got it … I can’t repeat it because of the bootlegs and all, (Detroit will) get a hold of it. (long pause) I can say it once, ‘Pistons Suck'” to loud cheers. “Thumbing My Way” is played for the only time during the first leg of this tour. Starting the second encore, Ed wants to buy everyone a drink for being such a good crowd and beckons the arena staff to “open up the beer stands”. Ed modifies the “Comatose” lyrics “Blood on all the pistons / Fuck the Detroit Pistons! / Feel it rising (sorry!) / Yeah, next stop falling (sorry Detroit!) / Feel it rising / Comatose, with no fear of falling”. “U”, “Don’t Gimme No Lip” and “Smile” have the band “taking care of a couple of requests that (they’ve) been seeing” so far on Leg One. After “Fuckin’ Up”, Ed tells the crowd about a dream he had where the moon exploded and “crumbled and disappeared into nothing”, creating a world of chaos with the absence of the tides”. He continues that he thinks maybe the moon in his dream could be like “democracy”, and “it looks like it’s full right now, but if we don’t start paying attention … and looking at it thinking it’s beautiful, it’s just gonna disappear like this on us if we don’t participate, and you would know better here in Ohio – the deciding vote” (the vote tally in the state of Ohio decided the winner in the 2004 Presidential election).

Cleveland Image Gallery

Four Minutes

…is how much the TiVo probably would have cut off the end of Lost had I not been paying attention.

Anyway, now down to the last three episodes of the season, 2×22 starts us off towards the inevitable confrontation with the Others coming in the finale. Judging by Sayid’s suspicions about Michael’s true intentions, fireworks are sure to follow. Others vs. Castaways, Castaways vs. Michael, Michael vs. Others, Hurley vs. Ham Sandwich…

I’ve got no central theme to really latch onto this week, but I think that may be because I’ve had too much Chinese food for dinner and the MSG is interfering with my higher brain functions. Thus, I present to you a series of random thoughts, bulleted for your convenience.

  • We finally see Others “home base,” a group of ramshackle structures fashioned out of old supplies and canvas. It is plain to see that they aren’t exactly living the high life, but as with Zeke’s fake beard, appearances are surely not what they seem. Who knows what could be inside/under those huts.

    Others Village

    Most notable with regard to the events that occur here is the introduction of a new “officer” in the Other Army, one aptly-named “Miss Clue,” who appears to outrank Mr. Zeke (a.k.a. Guy w/Fake Beard; see image above). I didn’t find any added significance to the name on the web, other than the obvious connotation as “provider of clues.” This woman provides a few clues as to what exactly the Others are up to, most notably with her dialogue with Walt.


  • Continue reading “Four Minutes”

Pearl Jam – Toronto 5.10.06 Review

Air Canada Centre – Toronto, ON
Opening Band: My Morning Jacket
Attendance: 20,000

Main Set: Release, World Wide Suicide, Life Wasted, Severed Hand, Hail Hail, Unemployable, Dissident, Even Flow, Corduroy, I Am Mine, Low Light, (Toronto Improv)/Whipping, You Are, I Got Shit/(Cinnamon Girl), Betterman/(Save It For Later), Jeremy, Marker In The Sand, Black, Rearviewmirror

Encore 1: Wasted Reprise, Man Of The Hour, Elderly Woman, State Of Love And Trust, Do The Evolution, Alive

Encore 2: (Improv)/Go, Happy Birthday (to Sean Kinney), Crazy Mary, Fuckin’ Up, Indifference, Yellow Ledbetter/(Beast Of Burden)

Much of Wednesday was spent reflecting on Tuesday night’s show and walking around the city of Toronto in search of activities to collect fantastic, new anecdotes for this tale. Alas, we walked around a ton, we did nothing more than go to the Royal Ontario Museum and have dinner in the upscale 360° restaurant at the top of the CN Tower. No outlandish anecdotes featuring gunfights or drunken brawling or naked women. But, ya know, come to think of it, there may have been one or all of those after the show. I’ll get to that in a bit.

My Morning Jacket opened again, very similar-sounding set to the previous night’s, but very good all around. The lead singer is a nut, and his high, wailing vocals can induce chills. Very intense performance, and you could tell right off the bat that tonight’s crowd was going to be much better than Tuesday’s.

Master/Slave played again as the band hit the stage, and they started into what is probably my favorite opener: Release. The crowd was into it right from the get-go, matching Ed’s singing line for line, everyone screaming in unison with Ed’s soaring vocals. Tonight’s crowd had already blown Tuesday’s out of the water by the end of the song. I should probably note that my judgment of events might’ve been impaired by this point (yes, this early in the show) due to the copious amounts of wine drank at 360°. The ridiculous amount of ganja-smoking in the arena didn’t help matters any further. The band, in addition to the lasers mentioned in last night’s review, had smoke machines in the arena for certain songs, but I’m not sure they were necessary on Wednesday. The thick clouds of weed smoke more than took care of any atmosphere the band was going for with the machines.

After Release, the setlist followed much the same pattern as last night’s, with World Wide Suicide, Severed Hand and Life Wasted. They were all great, but I was hoping for the songs they hadn’t played on the new album, Army Reserve in particular. Ah well, I can’t complain too much, as they all sounded great. Unemployable was a big improvement from last night’s rendition, the band in tune and together this time. Dissident was played, and while I know it’s a popular song and crowd favorite, I’m ready for it to be retired. It just doesn’t have the same gravitas and emotion after having heard it so many times over the years, both in studio and live.

The highlight of the main set was I Got Id (or Shit, depending upon your preference), quite possibly my favorite Pearl Jam song, written along with Neil Young. After the outstanding performance of the song, Ed let us all in on “a secret,” and played the chorus to I Got Id and followed it with the chorus to Neil Young’s Cinammon Girl, pointing out their uncanny similarity. Very cool moment.

Also in the main set was the rarely-played Low Light, and the infrequency of its appearance in setlists is probably due to the fact that the band screws it up every time they play it. Not tonight; they nailed it. They also nailed the hell out of Whipping, which incited the crowd into a stark-raving frenzy, myself included. It was preceded by a short improv, featuring the lyrics “I don’t wanna go…from To-ron-toooo! Don’t wanna gooo!”

The encores were great, exceeding last night’s if that’s possible. Ed made note of two flags in the audience, one Canadian (two rows in front of me) and one Brazilian, in the course of speaking about the world and what’s going on. He told each group that they should get together and “make babies…or something” in the interests of world relations.



At some point, I’m not sure if it was at the end of Rearviewmirror or some other extended-jam song, Ed threw his mic stand up in the air at the end of the song and it hit Jeff right on his foot. He hobbled off the stage with the rest of the band, all of them laughing. It was clear at this time that Ed was absolutely wasted. He’d been swigging out of his wine bottle the entire night, and I think he broke out a second bottle about halfway through the set. It got so bad that he was laughing at something keyboardist Boom Gaspar said or did just before Yellow Ledbetter. Ed struggled to get out the lyrics over his laughter, finally getting it together to sing a Beast of Burden (Rolling Stones) tag on the end and put an emotional capper on the incredible 2-night stand in Toronto. Lots of smiles and laughs all around as the band made their curtain call and left the stage. This band gives it everything they’ve got at each show, and May 20th in Cleveland can’t get here soon enough.

PJ Toronto

Quick notes: we made our way to some dance club after the show, filled with lots of hoochies and large black dudes who may or may not have been bouncers. The obnoxious DJ persuaded a bunch of girls up onto the bar with the promise of free shots. Unfortunately, I’m not sure anyone wanted to see the girls that did go up actually up on the bar. Anyway, I got my dance and drink on as only I can. I was tempted to start breakdancing, but thought better of it after realizing I’m an out-of-shape white guy in a ghetto dance club. The night was capped off with a bag of chips and a Snapple as only Toronto can provide at 3 in the morning.

Two Feet Thick notes:

The band hits the stage at 8:50PM local time, entering the stage with “Master/Slave” playing as the intro music over the P.A. “Severed Hand” now features stage effects including smoke and lasers. The first set clocks in at 100 minutes! “Wasted Reprise” premieres at this show, seguing into “Man of the Hour”. During “I Got Shit”, a drumstick flew out of Matt’s hand, hit Ed’s leg and landed in front of Stone. He looked down and grabbed it, holding it up excitedly as though he were in the audience and caught it. After “I Got Shit”, Ed told the crowd he had a secret to tell, that this won’t be on the bootlegs and first sang the chorus of “I Got Shit” by himself, then sang “I wanna be with a Cinnamon Girl, I want to live the rest of my life with a Cinnamon Girl”, hinting the similarity in the two choruses. During “State of Love and Trust” where Ed often goes over and head-butts or leans again Mike, Ed looked at Mike and leaned down like he was going to go over, but didn’t. Ed mentioned that Sean Kinney’s birthday was coming up and told the crowd he was going to count to three, and then the crowd would say, “Happy birthday Sean!”. He said they’d send Sean a video of it so he could watch it on the tour bus (Sean Kinney’s birthday is May 27, and Alice In Chains will be on tour in Europe) . It was then that he asked Kevin to make sure he was filming. Ed spoke directly into the camera as if he were talking to Sean, saying something like, “Hey Sean, we’re just here hanging out in Toronto, and we just wanted to say something to you…”. He then counted to three, and the crowd yelled “Happy birthday Sean!”. The wine bottle was passed back quite a ways during “Crazy Mary”. At one point in the encore, Matt whipped his sticks into the crowd behind the stage (maybe a litte harder than he intended), and then briefly pretended he was a fan who got hit in the eyes and had a stick stuck in each. Towards the end of “Fuckin’ Up”, Ed tried to lay down on Stone’s monitors and fell off. He sat up and remained there, snapping his fingers along, and drank a Heineken after the wine bottle was empty. Ed laughs so much during “Yellow Ledbetter” that it interrupts his singing. He laughed because there was a banner to his left that caught his eye, it said : “Impeach Bush. Pearl Jam For President”.

Toronto Night II Image Gallery