In 2006, Pearl Jam spent a week touring the Italian countryside. They put on concerts from Bologna to Pistoia, playing landmark venues such as the medieval Piazza del Duomo, and the Arena di Verona — a roman amphitheatre built in 30 AD.
Along with them they brought famed celebrity photographer Danny Clinch to document their journey, both on and off stage. Using several different video formats including Super-8 and High Definition, Clinch expertly captures the energy and emotion of the band’s live performances, as well as the intimate and quiet moments in-between.
With his unrestricted access and unique perspective, Clinch is able to put together a concert video/road documentary that I imagine plays as close to real life as you’re likely to get without risking a restraining order. Immagine in Cornice, which translates from Italian as Picture in a Frame, comes across as just that — a candid snapshot of the lives of six musicians as they rock their way through the hamlets and cities of Italy.
And ROCK they do! The two and a half hour documentary chronicles thirteen of their performances from throughout the week-long tour, covering many of their most well-known songs like Alive, Even Flow, and Better Man as well as face-melters like Blood (see track listing below). This is due in large part to singer Eddie Vedder, who we learn compiles each night’s set-list mere moments before the show is set to begin based on a myriad of meta-intangibles, such as the evening’s energy and vibe.
Whatever divination Vedder is using, it works, because Pearl Jam is absolutely at the top of their game here. They’re as good as I’ve ever seen and heard them. Maybe even better. The oft dour group appear uncharacteristically happy. They love Italy and the Italian crowds, and it definitely shows through in their performances.
Inventively shot and edited, Immagine in Cornice succeeds as both a concert video and a documentary. Through the Cornice of Clinch’s eye, long-time fans will feel as though visiting with old friends, and newcomers to Pearl Jam will be endeared to their candor and accessibility.
The DVD includes three bonus tracks: Vedder joins My Morning Jacket on a cover of The Who‘s “A Quick One While He’s Away” in Torino, a solo acoustic version of Hunters & Collectors‘s “Throw Your Arms Around Me” and “Yellow Ledbetter” from their Milan concert.
Also, packaged with the DVD is a booklet containing 22 beautifully printed original photo-cards.
01. Severed Hand
02. World Wide Suicide
03. Life Wasted
05. State of Love and Trust
07. Even Flow
08. Better Man
12. Come Back
13. Rockin’ in the Free World
01. A Quick One While He’s Away — w/ My Morning Jacket
02. Throw Your Arms Around Me
03. Yellow Ledbetter