Monday, August 22, 2016
Wrigley Field. Pearl Jam. Chicago. What more can I ask for? Other than the inevitable Cubs choke that is.
Max and Max's Dad road tripped to Chicago this weekend to see one of Pearl Jam's final shows on this leg of the 2016 tour. The Saturday show at Wrigley was the one to see because, of course, we were there. Now I think of me at nineteen and how my Dad would have never road tripped with me to see Boston, or The Stones. Maybe Benny Goodman, which would have been fine cuz I love the big bands. Oh how times have changed. Either that or I need stop hanging on to my youth. Naw, road tripping with the kid is a blast. I wouldnt care if we were off to see Aerosmith. Because that would never happen,
Wrigley set up for a concert is so cool. The stage is in front of the famous bleachers. Which means our 6th row seats on the third base line sucked. Great for a game. Great for a Pearl Jam concert. We were in the stadium!
When the show finally started a half hour late, the place went wild. The setlist as follows:
1) Low Light--opening with a track from Yield has to be weird. Not exactly a rocker but definitely not a dirge. Most people I know who are fans say this one grows on you.
2) Release--Max said this is the one he wanted to hear. This song came out when my Dad was still here. It meant something to me in 1991. It means something else entirely 25 years later now that my Dad is gone. On a rocking horse of time. Beautiful song.
3) Rain--a Beatles cover. But its not raining any longer. Guess it seemed like a good idea early in the day when it was fucking pouring. Still a Beatles cover? How can you go wrong?
4) Elderly Woman--I stood in line at midnight to buy this album. Hearts and Thoughts they fade, fade away. How can a kid of 25 write shit like this? Unreal.
5) Do The Evolution--from that high pitched screech at the beginning to the end, this is my favorite Pearl Jam song. He is the first mammal to wear pants, yeah! This one is their classic. It;s their Sympathy For the Devil. It really is that good. I am rocking out.
6) Last Exit--from Vitalogy, I also stood in line at midnight to get this one....This song is not the reason why. Meanwhile the 110 lb chick next to me is starting to crowd me with her Elaine type "dancing"
7) Lightning Bolt- from the latest album that I did not stand in line to get. Hey I totally would but there are no record stores any longer and midnight to me is about 9 pm now. The dancing chick is getting closer.
8) Sad-- from the Lost Dogs release. Usually lost tracks are shit nobody wants to hear but not these guys. But a lot of people head out to get beer.
9) Amongst the Waves---From Backspacer. Something good is coming. I can feel it. Elaine is getting bored cuz she hasnt known a song since maybe Eddie was screeching about wearing pants.
10) Even Flow-- oh its the song everyone knows. The one Eddie phones in. But the band turns it into a jam and saves it. Remember the video where you saw this long haired kid with the bass voice swinging from the rafters and screaming at some guy named Josh and you said whoooooo in the fuck is THIS guy? I do. Like it was yesterday. So this song started it all. Keep playing it.
11) Light Years--from Binaural. But before it starts, an unusually talkative Eddie tells the story of Gord Downie of a Canadian band named The Tragically Hip doing his last show up north and having brain cancer. I have no idea who this guy is, but I am very sorry he has brain cancer. I hope he recovers.
12) I Got ID-- Merkin Ball has two songs on it. This is one also known as I Got Shit. I got a drunk chick invading my space and I am getting annoyed,
13) Mind Your Manners-- Catholics cringe at this one. Or they should. All I can do is scream "Mind your manners" at the appropriate time.
14) Unthought Known-- from Backspacer. Another beer run for a lot of people. Elaine is not dancing. Thanks for small favors.
15) Masters of War-- I love this song. Nobody covers this Dylan rant like Eddie Vedder. The intensity builds and builds as Eddie gets angrier and angrier. All the money you made wont buy back your soul. You go boy. The dancing chick has no idea.
16) I Am A Patriot-- Jackson Browne wrote it, Steve Van Zandt made it famous. Pearl Jam lives it. I love my country cuz I got nowhere else to go. About sums up most patriotism. Elaine is not dancing.
17) Daughter--from Vs. ya know that one I stood in line for. Yeah yeah I was younger and dumber. Its fairly well known. Dont call me Daughter. Its a chick song. Elaine is back and crowding me again. Ugh
18) Jeremy-- another one I feel they phone in. Who can blame them? But its a classic. They are sick of playing it but everybody demands to hear it. Me included. Max's name would have been Jeremy had....oh its a long story....I'm glad he's a Max. The drunk chick is out of control.
19) Better Man--- like Thunder Road by the Boss, Eddie doesnt even need to sing this one. The crowd does it for him. He spots a woman in the crowd with a "unfuckwithable" t shirt and tells her the song is about her. And his daughter. And then......they are done...For now...
They leave the stage for about 10 minutes or so giving me a chance to sit down, but the dancing chick has crowded me over so much I sit on the arm rest and hurt my ass. Damn Elaine.
20) Bee Girl-- yes its a Lost Dog and is about the Blind Melon video. Its just Eddie and Stone acoustically. He tells the story of how he worried at the time of the sudden fame of Bee Girl and also of the 12 year old who played Jeremy in the video. Some drunk Bro behind sarcastically claps and hollers for more rock n roll. Elaine seems tame now.
21) Just Breathe-- Eddie had been looking for an Army guy in the crowd. He found him. He brought him and his gal pal onstage. Her favorite song is Just Breathe. They sit onstage. and then it happens. The Army guy proposes. Now I know most people, well most women anyway, melted at this moment. I got sick of it real fast as they made out onstage while a great song was being played. Get a room. I know I am an unsentimental oaf. I still love Just Breathe.
22) I Believe In Miracles--no not the Hot Chocolate you sexy thing song. Its a Ramones cover and unlike most Ramones songs, it actually lasts more than 2:00. The drunk Bro behind me is getting angry cuz he hasnt rocked out for 20 minutes so he starts smoking.
23) Let Me Sleep-- its Christmas single time. you see, Pearl Jam used to send Ten Club members a 45. Thats a disc shaped black thing, oh never mind. So nobody knew this one. More beer runs. The Bro is getting downright exasperated and Elaine is not dancing.
24) Inside Job-- from the Avacado album. You have to be taught to hate. Steve Gleason, the ALS stricken former New Orleans Saint, wheels out to speak thru a computer and says he feels "fucking awesome". I really hope so. "How I choose to feel is how I am".
25) Comfortably Numb-- fucking awesome. Ive seen Roger Waters do this live. This is one of my Top 5 songs of all time and Pearl Jam does it as well as anyone. I screeched the lyrics into Elaine's ear as revenge. She had no idea. Mike McCready's solo was also fucking awesome.
26) Interstellar Overdrive/Corduroy -- another Pink Floyd cover. And then launch into Corduroy. From Vitalogy, Corduroy is the sort of rant everyone knows. I would rather starve than eat your bread.
27) Porch-- From 10. Little played but it gets the Bro up and rocking out. Smoking and swilling beer while Elaine dances and crowds me out. I begin to tire, like one of my front running horses. I feel like I am getting to old for this shit.
Then they leave again. But they come out before I can sit on the armrest again. Probably for the best.
28) Go---from Vs. Its a rocker. The Bro is happy, still smoking but happy.
29) Black-- From 10. I know people go ape shit over this song. I never got it. That whole oaf thing I guess. The cell phones are out all over.
30) Surrender--yes the Cheap Trick cover. Hey its a great rocking pop song and Eddie and the boys do it proud. I sing out loud again right in Elaine's ear. Mommys all right Daddys all right....
31) Alive--another must do from 10. Another song where you went who the fuck IS this guy back in 1991. The backwards baseball cap, the cherubic face, and then that voice. Wow.
Then the ballpark lights come on like a get the fuck out moment but he comes out again. And he talks about the Cubs. And he talks about the Cubs. And he brings out his favorite ballplayer from way back, Jose Cardenal. Damn, I am the one impressed now.
32) All The Way-- its a song about the Cubs maybe going all the way. yeah right. Lots of Cubs highlights during the tune. I have my thumbs down going. Not for the song. For the idiotic Cubs fans.
33) Baba O'Riley--yep another cover. The Who. But Eddie screams it well enough to make Max happy. Teenage Wasteland.
And then they leave for good. Abruptly. Like the city threw them out. Or the Ricketts family threw them out.
Oh man. Pearl Jam is a must see. I cannoty emphasize that other then The Boss and the E Streeters , nobody works harder than these guys.
And to Elaine and the drunk Bro. You failed to ruin it for me cuz I was with my son. And nothing ruins anything I do with Max. Period.