The analogy that Nirvana and Pearl Jam were, respectively, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones of the '90s continues to be a valid one. Nirvana had a comparatively brief, yet utterly brilliant, career that changed the very face of the music world. The band was led by a genius lyricist, Kurt Cobain, who was often likened to the great John Lennon. Nirvana's legacy has been colored both by what it accomplished and by what might have been. All of that basically fits the Beatles' mold.
Pearl Jam, despite its overwhelming success, was usually ranked as the second most important band of its era. The group has managed to outlast its contemporaries, although it hasn't had a major hit record in years. Those same things could be said about the Stones.
The most important shared trait between Pearl Jam and the Rolling Stones — at least for our purposes — is that they're great live acts.
That's not to say Nirvana and the Beatles weren't. But Pearl Jam and the Stones thrive in the live arena like few others.
On Saturday night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Pearl Jam certainly made a convincing case that it deserves to be included among rock's finest live acts. The group delivered a no-frills evening of tuneful hard rock that moved like a juggernaut for more than two hours.
Is PJ the Rolling Stones of a new generation? Read the rest of the San Francisco concert review here.