When they burst on the grunge scene in 1992, very few people would have imagined that more than 10 years later the Seattle band Pearl Jam would follow a model structured in many ways on the Grateful Dead. Pearl Jam has provided fans with recordings of countless electric performances and now, like the Dead's 1980 live acoustic release, "Reckoning," comes Pearl Jam's Benaroya Hall recording. In a similar fashion it showcases stripped down versions of familiar hits, B-sides and some choice covers. What stands out in this setting arethe moody themes of lyricist Eddie Vedder. The pretty tale of love lost, "All or None," shines when stripped down to bare essentials; and the escalating tension of "Immortality" takes on a more menacing character. The rescue and redemption thoughts of "Off He Goes" benefit similarly and the B-side "Down" takes on an enthusiastic bounce wonderfully suited to the night's cause -- a benefit for at-risk youth. The band attacks the Ramones' "I Believe in Miracles" and successfully delivers on the song's idea of hope. Pearl Jam is at the FleetCenter on Sept. 28.
© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.