The story starts last Friday at work when I found myself talking to this guy at the office about music. I have seen him in the halls but I do not work with him directly. He was lending another co-worker a CD and we struck up a conversation. I asked him who his favorite band is and he replied Pearl Jam. Now I felt a little old because I didn't think Pearl Jam were putting out albums anymore. I thought after Eddie's fight with ticketmaster Pearl Jam stopped making albums and touring and that the last album they did was Vitalogy. I really didn't know I'm so out of touch.
Cut to Tuesday night - I was out with some friends for dinner and a movie and I get a call from my cousin Sandra saying that she has an extra ticket to the Pearl Jam concert tomorrow night at Nassau Coliseum do I want to go? I said OF COURSE since at that moment I thought I had never seen Pearl Jam live and I didn't think I ever saw a show at the coliseum. I did go to the lollapalooza show back in the day (the year is escaping me now) that Pearl Jam played (red Hot Chili Peppers were the headliners that year) but I got to the stadium when Eddie was saying "thank you good night". I spent most of Wednesday trying to think if I had ever been to the coliseum and whom did I see. I mean it IS the home of the Islanders (yuk) so I should have remembered if I did step foot in there. I had to email Sean to find out and he is pretty sure we saw the Cure out there. I swear my Alzheimer's is kicking in because all of these shows are just blurring together for me now.
We arrive at the show a little early and hung out a bit in the parking lot drinking and checking out the fans as they drove in. The crowd is a bit odd because the mix was so extreme. You had the older crowd that obviously became Pearl Jam fans on that Neil Young tour and you have the young grunge kids who can't see Nirvana so to them Pearl Jam is the next best thing. (Maybe I'm wrong) And you also have the 30 something parents that brought their kids. I didn't know any of the first 6 songs (they were probably from the 3 or so albums after Vitalogy) but once he began to sing "Even Flow" I turn to Sandra and say HEY I KNOW THIS ONE! ... We rock out for a while and it dawns on me I did see Pearl Jam before. It was the day after Sandra's 21st birthday party, I was in Ireland with my friend Julie and we went to see them at Salne Castle (with Neil Young and James). 5 Minutes later I realize that show was in 1993, 10 YEARS AGO! Man I felt old, really old. I spent the rest of the show dealing with that fact. The only thing that cheered me up was the naked man up in the skybox. NO JOKE there was a guy naked up in the skybox and I saw his twig and berries! You go naked concert guy.
Pearl Jam ends the show with 2 encores. Sandra pointed out that the first one wasn't so ROCK OUT as you would expect from Pearl Jam. Before they exit Eddie comes out in a silver jacket and a George W mask. He begins to preach about world affairs, which in my seats just sounded like mumbling with U.S.A. said every so often. (What did he just say?) They sing The Clash's "Know Your Rights" while Eddie proceeds to make out with the mask (am I the only one to find this a little disturbing). They end the show with Neil Young's "Rocking in the Free World". I say for a band I thought had fallen away into obscurity they put on a pretty good show. Rock on Pearl Jam ROCK ON!