As the audience chanted "Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!" it was easy to mistake the Pearl Jam concert at The Canyons Sunday as a Van Halen concert.
And the issue was pushed even further to the forefront as the cigarette lighters emerged during PJ's slower tunes.However, nothing rained on Pearl Jam's (or the fans') parade Sunday. In fact, the wind didn't even blow that much.
The Jam finally played a mountainside amphitheater in Utah without any glitches. Yes, three days past the three-year mark when the Seattle-based band postponed the concert at what was then known as Wolf Mountain, Pearl Jam returned and touted its songs as if they were triumphant fanfare.
Singer Eddie Vedder stepped up to the microphone and paid homage to the audience.
"Thanks for coming back and giving us a try," he said, referring to the rain-out date.
Vedder, guitarists Stone Gos-sard and Mike McCready, bassist Jeff Ament and former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron - who was filling in for the ailing Jack Irons - played a seemingly short set that had most of the 10,000 fans bouncing off each other and in their seats.
Vedder emerged, with his recently dyed jet black hair, wearing a white dinner jacket. At a glance the brooding singer looked a bit like Elvis Presley or, more accurately, Richie Valens.
But once the concert got going, those late rock stars didn't come to mind. Instead, another late rocker took over Vedder's body - Jim Morrison.
Vedder leaned on the microphone, hunched himself over and spun deliriously around, much as Morrison did during his prime. He even growled a few times for effect.
But there was no Doors music. It was mostly the gut-punching spunk of Pearl Jam.
Tunes such as "Hail, Hail," "Last Exit," "Tremor Christ" and "Off He Goes" were some of the hypnotic cranks the band plowed through.
McCready's classic-guitar-sounding leads cut through the well-balanced mix as Cameron's syncopated rhythmic pounding highlighted Ament's bass lines.
Audience favorites included "Alive," "Given to Fly" - which does sound like Led Zeppelin's "Going to California" - and "All Those Yesterdays."
"I Got Id," "Daughter," "Rearview Mirror" and the big rock sound of "Evenflow" also roused the audience to sing along. There were times when even Vedder's voice was drowned out by the 10,000 other singing voices.
During the first encore, the band blasted out "Do the Evolution" and "Wishlist," two of the many tracks from the new album, "Yield." Pearl Jam also played "Go" from "Vs." and then cranked out "Betterman" from "Vitalogy."
The second encore was short - the punky-metal thrash of "Leaving Home" from the band's track on the "Home Alive (The Art of Self Defense)" compilation album.
Pearl Jam once more proved to the cynics that it can put on great dynamic live performances. And as the crowd of people tried to get out of the sardine-can parking lot, there were many happy faces nodding to ringing refrains of the Seattle-band survivors.