Pearl Jam Live: Montreal/Toronto

For the concept alone, Pearl Jam deserves high praise. Recording all the shows on their recent world tours and releasing them all individually as an official bootleg series... brilliant! The last two releases in the 25-set North American series - which comes on the heels of 25 European releases - are the Montreal and Toronto shows. (Strangely, they also come on the heels of the release of the "official" live record, Live on Two Legs.) Each of the two-disc releases includes the entire start to finish sets, complete with between song spaces, Eddie Vedder's minimal banter and all the fuck-ups left in. About the only tidying up done to any of them is mixing and mastering, otherwise what you here is what the audience got. The nice thing about these discs, and the other 48 in the series, are that no two sets are the same. Pearl Jam is one of those rare bands that not only keep every song they've ever written rehearsed, but they prove it by mixing up the track selection night after night. This means every disc is a must for fans and completists and there isn't one that stands out over another. These sets are meant for fans only, as none of them contains all the hits - on the two Canadian discs, they play very few of the hits, "Jeremy" and "Alive," for example, don't appear on either. Pearl Jam continues to play the game by their own rules while treating their fans with respect. So even if you don't care for their music, that has to count for something. (Sony)