Pearl Jam: Let's Play Two Film Review :
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Let’s Play Two is a documentary film that chronicles Pearl Jam’s legendary performances at Wrigley Field during the Chicago Cubs historic 2016 season. With Chicago being a hometown to Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam has forged a relationship with the city, the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field that is unparalleled in the world of sports and music. From Ten to Lightning Bolt, the documentary film shuffles through Pearl Jam’s ever-growing catalog of originals and covers – spanning the band’s 25-year career. Through the eyes of renowned director/photographer Danny Clinch and the voice of Pearl Jam, the film showcases the journey of this special relationship.
Sports and music have a lot in common. They both produce rabid fandom, the kind in which people camp out in line for days to get tickets to a major sporting event or the best position for a general admission rock concert. They both invoke a feeling of community—people channeling the same passion and fandom at an event like the World Series or the two-night concert held last August by Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field. Both are the subject of “Let’s Play Two,” a quasi-concert film about the PJ shows at Wrigley that spends just as much time on the history of the Chicago Cubs and their remarkable 2016 season, which culminated in their first World Series win since most of the country developed electricity. The film is a bit formless and goes on way too long, but if you’re in that Venn Diagram crossover that includes both Cubs fandom and allegiance to Eddie Vedder’s band, you owe it to yourself to see the film. It is a fan letter to both the Cubbies and one of the biggest rock bands in the world and the passion behind its creation, along with the passion of its frontman, allow one to look past its flaws with relative ease.
A declaration of personal fandom feels appropriate here. I am of the perfect age for Pearl Jam fandom, being a teenager when Ten came out, and I tracked the band loyally for years, although more fervently in my youth. I can still remember searching for concert bootlegs and rare import singles of the group, so I was sure I heard everything they recorded. I still listen to them on occasion even today. As for the Cubs, I’m a Detroit transplant and stay loyal to the Tigers, but I’ve lived in Chicago for decades, most of it on the northside, and it was impossible not to get swept away in the city-wide joy produced by last year’s team. It was historic.