Live Shots: Eddie Vedder and Glen Hansard, Paramount Theatre, 7/11/11


He sat surrounded by dozens of instruments, all of which were lovingly named in the playbill for the show. As Eddie Vedder made his way through an extensive repertoire of new and old songs, a fresh ukulele or guitar was switched out with each piece, giving the whole evening an ever changing sound and flavor.

Vedder, whose latest album Ukulele Songs, came out earlier this year, has embraced the tiny Hawaiian contraption, mashing it up with his strong, experienced voice, to create something you might call "aloha with kick." The audience was in complete awe throughout the whole performance, shrieking at unexpected moments and shouting out requests, which were often surprisingly obliged to, including when someone asked to be sung a special wedding song.

And then there were those guitars. Both Vedder and his opener, the talented Irishmen, Glen Hansard, had wild musical moments on stage, where their guitar and singing made it sound like they were playing with a whole band, drums and other singers included. I don't really know how to explain it, but only that there was so much music coming out of them, that it seemed like the stage was jam packed with musicians, when in reality it was just some dudes with their guitars.

Pretty awesome. But then again, the whole show had a very intimate feeling, like were were all around a bonfire, on some beach in Hawaii, wasting away the evening to some beautifully poetic ukulele songs.