Eddie Vedder - The Paramount in Oakland


Eddie Vedder at the Paramount Theatre

The Music Seen
Eddie Vedder
by Salm “Fong Torres”
Photo’s by Ryan Salm

I’m slowly sinking deeper and deeper into the most enticingly plush velour seats my body has ever come in contact with. The sublime sound echoing of the walls of the hall and flowing freely from the finest sound system in the state has me completely mesmerized. The few times I actually loosen my concrete gaze from the center of the stage I realize that I am not the only person on the planet. If you could only see my face at this moment in time you would observe absolute bliss.

At about the last possible moment on Monday morning I was contacted by Pearl Jam‘s publicity and told of the photo pass that I (now) possessed for the sold-out Eddie Vedder show in Oakland. I immediately hopped in my ride, grabbed a wing woman and smoothly rolled down to the Bay Area.

The Art Deco style entrance of the Paramount Theatre

I have seen a lot of shows in my day and been in a lot of venues. When I stepped into the lobby of the Paramount I was blown away. The Art Deco theatre was built in 1931 and is a piece of art, a museum of sight and sound. The opening act, Glen Hansard was on stage. I realized instantly that this was going to be an amazing night of music. Glen’s voice rang through the theatre. The sound was perfection.

With the lights on in between sets I couldn’t keep my eyes from scanning the walls, ceiling, stage, balcony, seats and artwork of the theatre. Everything was amazing. The details were endless. Even the bathroom blew me away. The colors and style were perfect. It’s a great feeling when you go to see a show and you are blown away before the main act even takes the stage.


Eddie Vedder performs solo to a full house at the Paramount in Oakland.

Eddie Vedder took to a simple stage in an extravagant palace with the confidence and air that his fans have come to love throughout his career as a Rock & Roll icon. Throughout his 29 song set, Eddie  bounced through his extensive catalog of music touching on everything from “Porch” off Pearl Jam’s Ten, “Immortality” off Vitalogy to almost everything from “Into the Wild“. He owned the night. The trickles from his ukulele led to finger picking melodies from his acoustic. The acoustic melodies led to powerful screams from his electric which then returned to ditties on the mandolin. He played pipe organ and even looped chants, screams and moans into a Gregorian Chant-like concoction. The crowd watched in silence and admiration as Eddie told hilarious stories about why not to fuck sheep and his first and only experience playing with the Rolling Stones.

The highlight of the night came as Hansard harmonized with Vedder on a duet of the Everly Brothers’, “Sleepless Nights”. It was then that Vedder showed what a perfect combination the performer and theatre were. He unplugged his ukulele and did the song acoustic to 3000+ fans. There was not so much as a sneeze during the entire piece. It was a moment of true solace. They could have been playing in my living room.

There are those shows you check out to have a good time, dance, or see something new. There are those bands that you have seen a bunch and check out every time they come to town. Then there are diamonds that glisten in the sunlight. The shows that help you remember why you love live music. The shows that you don’t have to dance because you are completely taken in by the tunes, the feeling, the mood. The shows that have you so moved by the sounds and surroundings that you don’t even remember the three hour drive it took to get there. The shows you will remember when you are older. This was one of those shows.


The Paramount Theatre

Click to Enjoy  Ryan Salm’s Music Portfolio


This week in Tahoe area music:

07/13/11  Wednesday


Broke down in Bakersfield featuring members of ALO and Mother Hips – Crystal Bay Club   9pm    Free

The Mutaytor – Reno Underground  $8


07/14/11   Thursday


Broke down in Bakersfield featuring members of ALO and Mother Hips – Crystal Bay Club   9pm    Free

Cash’d Out –  Kitting Factory Reno, NV     8pm   $20

The Mutaytor – Whiskey Dick’s South Lake Tahoe


07/15/11     Friday


Preston Shannon– Crystal Bay Club   9pm    Free

Baby Bash –  Kitting Factory Reno, NV     8pm   $25


07/16/11     Saturday


Sneaky Creatures featuring members of Truckee Tribe & the Rusty Strings – Spindleshanks Tahoe Vista  9pm

Lionel Richie & Darius Rucker – Harvey’s SLT  8pm   $50-100

Dehli 2 Dublin – Crystal Bay Club   10pm  $5

DJ Laura – Lakeside Pizza – Tahoe City   6pm   $15

English Beat – Cal Neva  9pm  $25

California World Fest – David Grisman, India Arie, Sambada & many others – Grass Valley Fairgrounds


07/17/11    Sunday


Shane Dwight – Common’s Beach, Tahoe City  4:30 p.m.  Free

Ky-Mani Marley & Gramps Morgan –  Cal Neva   8pm  $25

California World Fest – David Grisman, India Arie, Sambada & many others – Grass Valley Fairgrounds

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