For a song just barely over a minute in length, “Arc” caused its share of controversy in 2003, when it was excised from the officially released bootlegs which would have otherwise featured it. Louder than the disapproval shown by the foregoing of Ed’s occasional pre-opener sets, was the clamor and debate about completism, posterity, etc. But Vedder’s wordless vocal hymn of mourning for the nine human beings who died during the band’s performance at the 2000 Roskilde Festival was carefully played nine times, and out of respect for those individuals, the band chose to leave their performances in the hushed air of the halls and stadiums where thousands of fans gave witness to Vedder’s public/private act of elegy. I was there in Chicago, and watched Ed set up his cadre of equipment, layering his vocals somewhat in the manner he’d been experimenting with and perfecting for years, also echoing his work with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and heard something quite different than the composed version of Riot Act. In the open air, in real time, with thousands of other souls standing, shifting, coughing, talking, breathing, and one individual small in the distance, stooping over a clutch of machines, trying to get it right, “Arc” was less about the song itself, and more about the gesture, the ritual, the act, the inverse of a riot.