6. 'Pearl Jam Twenty'
Cameron Crowe's enthusiastic look at the grunge heroes cuts to the chase: it speeds through introductions, diving straight into the Seattle rock heyday of the Nineties. For casual Pearl Jam fans, this was a frustrating step; to passionate fans of the band, including Crowe himself, it was the only way to channel the intensity of the band. Just as Crowe's access to Led Zeppelin through his reportage at Rolling Stone inspired Almost Famous, his personal history with Pearl Jam informed Twenty: the director first met founding members Jeff Ament (bass) and Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar) in the late Eighties when they were in the group Mother Love Bone, before they connected with singer Eddie Vedder and sold some 60 million records.
The enduring friendship leads the band to give Crowe some interesting admissions, not least Vedder's recollection of being told off by a waitress when he bemoaned his newfound celebrity. (She said succinctly, "If you don't like it, you picked the wrong business to be in.") The group also opens up about the death of nine fans during the Roskilde music festival in Denmark in 1990, an event that deeply upset the musicians and gave a new solemnity to their music. After all this, Crowe's great footage (combed out of 30,000 raw hours) is just icing.