Saturday, June 10, 2006

Feels Like the Fifth Time

Not sure why it's taken me nine days to write about it, but I went to see Pearl Jam (time #5, as the post title suggests) on June 1. I'm nearly positive that this show was the best I've ever seen them - making it even stranger that it's taken me so long to write about it. I've just been buried under a pile of work and feeling a bit lazy in my spare time.

This was the concert that almost wasn't for me. I totally forgot that they were in town, because I was still pouting about missing the Irving Plaza show in NYC. Then I was at work that Thursday (June 1) and saw online that they were in New Jersey that night and the following Saturday. I have NO money, but immediately decided that I had to go. I rummaged around on different websites looking for tickets, and found a dude on Craigslist who seemed on the up and up. The face value of tickets were about $60-$65 (including the Ticketmaster "rape" fees and charges) but this guy said he bought his from a "broker" (the euphemistic term used for "scalpers" up here) and they were $130 each. I told him I couldn't pay that much and would give him $70. Being that it was the day of the show and he hadn't unloaded it yet, he sold it to me. Yay, me. I drive such a soft bargain.

It was kind of weird going to a concert by myself, but it was also such a seemingly grown-up thing to do. And really, it was better being solo because I didn't have to worry about people trying to talk to me while I was trying to focus on the music. I hate when people go to concerts and talk through the whole thing. You can sit home and listen to a record for free and do that crap. When I'm paying to see a live show, I want everyone to just shut up - unless they're singing along or going "wooo" or "yeaaaaah" or some other acceptable crowd noise. "Eddie, I want to have your children" is also acceptable, but only if it's coming from me. All those other bitches just need to quit.

I won't bore everyone with a detailed description of the show, since I gave a rather lengthy report of my somewhat nightmarish trip to see them in Philly last year. I'll just say that the Continental Arena kicks the Wachovia Center's ass. The sound system was amazing. The band sounded really crisp and clear, almost like listening to a record. Eddie's vocals weren't muffled or drowned out by the music either - a vast improvement from the last time I saw them.

There was only one minor issue - I think it was Stone's amp that came unplugged at one point - right in the middle of "Alone," an old, unreleased song that everyone (including myself, of course) wanted to hear. The roadies fixed it pretty quickly and then they picked it up right where they left off. It took nothing away from the show. It was kind of funny that none of the band members acknowleged it or that Eddie didn't bother with any banter while the problem was being fixed. I think Ed was pretty drunk on the wine though. Poor guy did a jumping rock star move before the 2nd encore and he actually fell pretty hard on his side. He kind of limped offstage, and was still limping when they came back for the last encore. Hey, that's rock 'n' roll.

The set list was fantastic...absolutely NO complaints from me. I mean, I could always use "I Got Id," which they didn't play, but I still won't complain. Here's the full list:

Main set: Severed Hand, Corduroy, World Wide Suicide, Do The Evolution, Marker In The Sand, Given To Fly, Dissident, Even Flow, Army Reserve, Immortality, Green Disease, Not For You, Alone, Jeremy, Why Go, Life Wasted, Rearviewmirror

Encore 1: Wasted Reprise, Man Of The Hour, Come Back, Footsteps, Once, Alive
Encore 2: Last Exit, Comatose, Leatherman, Glorified G, Leash, Baba O'Riley, Indifference

How kick ass is it that they could end on a slow, moody song like "Indifference?" Not too many bands have the balls to do that or actually pull it off, especially right after a high-energy encore set like that. But it was a perfect capper to the evening.

If there were any disappointments, one was that I missed the traditional pre-show warm up song with Eddie. I heard it was "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away." I would've certainly enjoyed that, but I had limited time to get from NYC to NJ, change and get out to the Meadowlands. I also missed opener, My Morning Jacket, who I wish I could have seen. Eddie also did a song with them, apparently. Drat.

But forget all that. Highlights for me were:

* "Severed Hand" as the opener, which is currently battling for the title of "my favorite from the new record." There were a lot of green lasers shooting around during that song, which was a bit of a surprise. PJ shows are usually always pretty visually simplistic, but this time there were a lot more bells and whistles. Not many...no crazy KISS pyrotechnics or anything, just more than I'm used to with them.

* "Corduroy" is my favorite PJ song, and one that I missed from the last show. Great to hear it again.

* "Dissident" is one of my older faves, as is "Leash," which was awesome to hear. I hadn't heard "Why Go" in AGES and I don't think I've ever heard "Glorified G" live. That's one that I like, but I will often skip through it when listening to Vs. I really have to be in the mood for it. It sounded SO much better live though, and gave me a whole new appreciation for that song.

* Always good to hear the famous trilogy - "Footsteps," "Once" and "Alive." I think that order is backwards though, isn't it? I'm pretty sure it goes: "Alive," "Once" and "Footsteps." I wonder if whoever compiled that setlist (I got it from PearlJam.com) had it wrong or that's how they actually performed it? I could swear Eddie announced them all in order. Maybe it was in order of when they were recorded. Whatever. They're all good songs.

* "Come Back" was the one song I was dying for them to play, and they did. That is the other song locked in the "favorite battle" with "Severed Hand." I think this one has a slight edge. It's beautiful, and certainly the most soulful song Pearl Jam's ever done.

* They didn't play "Blood!" Yay!

* I was entranced by Eddie's little dance. He does this thing where he sort of just bounces back and forth, shifting his weight from foot to foot. The bounce gets slower or faster depending on the beat of the song. It is definitely a tribal, mating ritual. It's a pre-sex dance, no doubt. It worked for me, anyway.

This ended up being longer than I had intended. Is anyone surprised?

7 comments:

barbara said...

Good for you for going alone and driving the bargain with the Craig List dude! I am so impressed. It sounds like an incredible show. WOW!
Rock on sista!

ps i moved my blog see the new link below

Les Becker said...

Wow - you posted! I don't generally get to concerts (okay, I NEVER get to concerts) so thanks for the details! Except for the absent deafenening headache I can (almost) pretend I was there...

LoraLoo said...

I just picked up their best of CD, and I have a revived appreciation for PJ. I saw them in concert about ohhh, 13 years ago? Man, that makes me old. It was a great show, and I know exactly the pre-sex dance you speak of!

Teri said...

Going ot the concert alone - I'm not sure I'm grown up enough to do that myself - but it sure sounds like you had a great time.

Helpful Links For Growth said...

ahhh..you went to the show that i wanted to go to..reading your blog is kinda like being there, but makes me wish i HAD gone..

at least now i know to look on craigslist for tickets now..:)

Lee Ann said...

Sounds like a great night. I am glad you made it.
I agree, when I pay for a live show, I don't want people jabbering away, I want to see and hear every minute I am paying for. Same for a movie, I want to tell them to wait for DVD and see it at home.
Glad you had such a great time.

Kate said...

I need to see Pearl Jam sometime. I wonder what it would take for them to come out to HK? :)

 

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