Thursday, July 03, 2008


still catching up...

So you'd think that after flying home Sunday afternoon, after being in Philly, New York and Atlanta in the past four days, we'd be tired cranky and ready to crash hard. Well, you're right. That's pretty much how we felt by this point.

But Pearl Jam's in town! With Ted Leo opening! There's no way in hell we're gonna miss that. One of Dinger's all-time favorite club seats...Ted!....As tired as we were, we were ready for more.

We got there in plenty of time, not wanting to miss a minute of Ted Leo. Ted was on fire. Unfortunately, the sound was abysmal. I didn't even recognize "Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone?" until he started singing. The next few songs fared no better. Ted commented that everyone there either had no idea who he was, or we had already seen him a bunch of times. Either way - it seemed like the perfect time to break out a bunch of new stuff, which he did. A short, but sweet set - including a cover of The Saints' "(I'm) Stranded". My thoughts on the sound were confirmed when the lights came up and the guy behind me yelled "Hey sound guy - you suck!". Kind of rude, yet completely accurate.

If you've never seen Pearl Jam, well, you don't know what you're missing. It's an event not to be missed. The band never disappoints. No frills, all-out, big-time rock show. Arena rock done right. But the most impressive part is the audience. Holy cow, do they love them some Pearl Jam. Singing LOUDLY to every word of every song. That's something that usually annoys the hell out of me, but it just seems perfect here. People were singing like their lives depended on it. Nearly choreographed call/response, hand-clapping, etc. I haven't seen a crowd like this since my Dead days, but these folks took the intensity up a few notches. You really need to experience it at least once. PJ isn't my band, but their fans get it. Coming off of the REM tour, it was kind of neat being on the outside of a similar experience. I knew exactly what most of these people were experiencing - it's just that I experienced it with different bands. Good for them.

As for the band - they played a great mix of hits and some relatively obscure stuff (obscure to me, anyway - certainly not to the faithful). One song had to be aborted because of some screwup. They're human after all. The crowd ate it up. Just another kick-ass rock show from one of the greatest bands out there. Highly recommended.

Random notes:

- We were exactly halfway back, 10 rows off the floor. Perfect. I probably could have done better, but the ease of getting the fan club tickets was well worth the money spent on the membership. Especially since we were out of town most of the week before.

- Dinger (wearing his spiffy new R.E.M. t-shirt) got a kick out of people asking if he knew that Eddie sat-in with R.E.M. in Philly. Um, yeah, we were there. :-)

- Pearl Jam brings out lots and lots of really cute and really drunk frat-boy-types. I'm just sayin'.

- Poor Metro timing and a semi-buzzed bad decision ended up with us not getting home until nearly 2:00am. Ugh. (The decision had nothing to do with the cute frat-boy-types - I swear.)

- I have never been more tired than I was at work the following morning. I'm pretty sure I was head-bobbing most of the afternoon.

I'd do it all again in a second though.

Main Set: Hard To Imagine, Severed Hand, Hail Hail, Do The Evolution, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Evacuation, Corduroy, I'm Open, I Am Mine, I Got Id, Daughter, Light Years, Even Flow, Green Disease, You Are, U, Who You Are, Why Go

Encore 1: Comatose, Sad, Given To Fly, Come Back, Grievance, Black, Rearviewmirror

Encore 2: No More, Last Kiss, Crazy Mary, Alive, All Along The Watchtower, Yellow Ledbetter

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