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It could have been 1 of several things that brought Eddie Vedder out to centre stage well before the opening band was scheduled to start tonight’s Pearl Jam show at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto. The first being that as Eddie Vedder said Ted Leo of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists was not available as of yet and “we would have to improvise”. The second is that EV is a good guy and would love to fill the seats with people to watch Ted Leo before PJ fills them, or lastly he just freakin loves Toronto and the Legacy of Neil Young!  Who cares it’s all probably true but loving Neil Young, as Eddie obviously does has him out early and meandering through Neil’s Sugar Mountain & The Needle and the Damage done.  Just crazy awesome!! I was up walking around between the 300’s and the 400’s which at this point were basically empty I just plunked down and caught Sugar Mountain on video and was blown away by EV doing these Neil Young gems. The goose bumps were already happening!!

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CSN Ticket

This was the first show I have ever gone to at a casino. The vibe is certainly not conducive to a rock show. I guess it may not be fair to judge this by a single show, however, this one certainly felt like something was missing. Don’t get me wrong there were great moments like Stephen Stills doing Bluebird and stuff like Southern Cross, but there is an all business “feel” to the whole process around the show. Heavy casino security, not being able to have a drink inside the venue except for water, in quick out quick, the length of show and even the fact of the band (Graham Nash) acknowledging the “captive” audience.

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The biggest surprise for me at this show was Billy Joel.  He really brought everyone into the show like we all were in some huge piano bar somewhere in New Jersey. I saw him back around 1983 at the “Aud” in Buffalo, but to say my memories of that show are dim to nil would be an understatement.

The show opened with Elton playing Your Song and then Billy playing, Just the way you are. They were actually facing each other each behind a Black Yahama Grand. The songs had the same feel and tempo and these were solo songs. Next Elton played, Don’t let the Sun Go Down on me with a small band and Billy played My Life. This was a nice show opener. Face to Face piano masters. The flamboyant colourful John facing the conservative back to piano bar roots Joel.

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