Friday, October 10, 2014
Why Go Home?
Nobody works as hard at a concert as Bruce Springsteen. The guy sweats, runs around, plays for 3 plus hours, and entertains the hell out of people. Nobody.
But last night I saw close. Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam set foot in Nebraska for the first time since the played a bowling alley in Omaha back in 1992. A show that came the same week back in '92 as another show featuring Ice T and Body Count at the same bowling alley. Both cost $15. I could only afford one. Guess which one I went to? But Cop Killer was cool.
Last night in the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln we saw Pearl Jam in Nebraska for the very first time. And that 49 year old man named Eddie Vedder works his ass off. Singing, playing, swing from ropes for 3 plus hours,Eddie had it going. Max and I stood on the floor, about 10 rows back from the stage, sweated our butts off, and sang like foghorns to every song they played. Well at least Max sang all of them. I was not as familiar with the new stuff. But goddamn, when Do The Evolution started I screamed "I am the first mammal to wear pants" as loud as anybody there.
Look, I'm old. My knees hurt (as do Eddie Vedder's he said so).I'm overweight. I'm not fond of masses of sweaty drunk humanity in close proximity to me. But the one thing I learned in that close quartered sausage fest of young males on the floor of a Pearl Jam show is that the occasional young female feels they can do whatever the fuck they want because hey, I'm pretty and young and fuck you. Jumping on an old man's feet after pushing people out of the way so they can get closer to their dreamy Eddie is not cool. Every dude who hit me, ran into me or pushed me, apologized. Every chick who did it and the three who did know who they are, were rude and didn't give a shit that they had jumped on my feet, blocked my view and looked at me like I was the one intruding on them. The C bomb was very very close. It did not appear but it saw the end of the tunnel.
The show's setlist is out there. It was fuckin great. It was in my Top 5 of all time. I would go back tomorrow which is Saturday and would give me a day to recover. It was worth the 22 years wait after that mistake I made back in '92.
Bands that give a shit about their audience. Can that be beat? Nothing against Ringo Starr or McCartney or other performers who do a setlist of the same thing night after night. Fine. You are all wonderful too. But bands like Pearl Jam, or Bruce and the E Street band, or even Phish and anyone else who cares where they are and who they are playing for are the best.
Last night Pearl Jam played Open All Night, a Bruce Springsteen cover from the Nebraska album. For the first time ever I guess. That's special to me. They give a damn. Not a lot of people may have gotten that nod to us here in Nebraska, but I did. And I appreciate it.
Like when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played practically the entire Nebraska album when he was last here. Highway Patrolman for the first time in 30 years. I appreciate that too. Despite the casuals being pisssed he didn't play Born in the USA.
Years ago Phish went backstage after their regular set and practiced as quickly as they could Grand Funk's "We're an American Band" and came back and did it as an encore just because of the "Three young chiquitas in Omaha" line. I hate that song, but hey Phish, thanks for the nod.
So all the other bands can stop with the pandering "Go Big Red" shit and do something meaningful. I wanna hear somebody do Moby Grape's "Omaha".
Thanks to Eddie, Mike, Stone, Jeff, Matt and Boom for a great great time.