Republic RecordsIn August 2016, Pearl Jam played two shows at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the home of Eddie Vedder‘s beloved Chicago Cubs. Less than three months later, the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years. Both those stories are told in the new documentary Let’s Play Two.
As director Danny Clinch tells ABC Radio, Pearl Jam gave him the power to pick the set list to tell both stories.
“You can see the thread that runs between the documentary scenes before or after the song, and maybe some of the things that Ed’s saying, or maybe some things that [have] happened in regard to baseball,” Clinch explains.
The film also juxtaposes Vedder’s onstage confidence with his childlike nervousness and giddiness while watching the Cubs — a quality which Clinch also recognized in Pearl Jam fans.
“We saw a lot of hope and devotion from both sides, whether it’s Pearl Jam fans or Cubs fans or Eddie himself,” says Clinch.
During the climactic Game 7, instead of concert footage, the film shows Vedder writing the set lists for the Wrigley shows, as though the singer is actually writing the story of the game as it unfolds.
“We go back and forth between him writing the story and something exciting happening,” says Clinch. “And then he writes again, and something exciting happens, whether it’s good or bad, it’s up, it’s down. It was kind of incredible.”
But what if the Cubs had lost? Clinch still thinks the movie would’ve ended the same way: with Vedder singing “All the Way,” a song he wrote for the Cubs.
“Only it would’ve been a hopeful ending, instead of ‘I don’t think I ever have to sing this song again’-type ending,” Clinch laughs.
Let’s Play Two premieres tonight in Chicago, and opens in theaters nationwide beginning Friday, September 29.
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