Headliners: Pearl Jam

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

It's hard to remember now, but Eddie Vedder is a true original.

Yeah, yeah, he descended from Jim Morrison, but Vedder took the Lizard King's voice in a whole new direction when Pearl Jam broke out at the dawn of the '90s. In the process, Vedder became the most influential vocalist of his generation.

The hearty croon that launched Vedder to rock superstardom has been replicated so many times, and so poorly, that the singer who started it all seems cheapened by the saturation. Even if you liked his tortured bellow before, you're probably sick of it now.

As Pearl Jam prepares to play Nationwide Arena tonight, let's have a look at what Vedder has wrought.

Scott Weiland, Stone Temple Pilots

The first singer to be widely accused of ripping off Vedder, Weiland adopted the baritone howl for STP debut "Core" but has since switched to a high-pitched rasp that suits him well.

Daniel Johns, Silverchair

Teenage Johns applied Vedder's vocal tics to an adolescent clarion call on "Tomorrow," one of the more successful appropriations.

Jason Ross, Seven Mary Three

The one-hit wonders prophesied about how cumbersome the Vedder voice would become.

Brian Vander Ark, The Verve Pipe

A lighter, airier take on the Vedder vocabulary, but with all the weighty emotional turmoil.

Rob Thomas, Matchbox 20

Thomas' voice is well-known now, but when "Push" first nudged its way onto the charts, Carlos Santana's future conspirator sounded like a twirpy version of Vedder.

Scott Stapp, Creed

The most egregious of Vedder's disciples, Stapp overemphasized each of Vedder's tendencies and perfected(?) the constipated croon that polarized America.

Chad Kroeger, Nickelback

At this downturn in rock history, singers began ripping off Stapp's impression of Vedder. Kroeger's interpretation comes across as a Tourette-stricken bark.

Jason Wade, Lifehouse

Wade knows the way to communicate emotional urgency is to sing low with a slight quiver, just like daddy Stapp and grandpa Vedder.

Shaun Morgan, Seether

Morgan is one of the few post-Vedder warblers with enough heft to pull off the burly aesthetic, but he unfortunately punctuates it with jarring, Kroeger-brand exclamations.

Austin Winkler, Hinder

More husky than hearty, but with all the same affectations, Winkler is a prototype for the post-Vedder millennium.

Chris Daughtry, Daughtry

The former "American Idol" contestant exemplifies how Vedder's influence has evolved over two decades - breathy and trembling yet firm and forceful, with molasses bellows to convey the most urgent emotions.

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6

Where: Nationwide Arena, Arena District

Web: pearljam.com