Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mischief Night -- Pearl Jam Concert at the Spectrum

 I've been waiting for this weekend for a while... since the summer, I think. Looking forward to my autumn of concerts... all leading up to this one -- the last concert at the Spectrum, starring Pearl Jam! And of course you know how addicted we all are to Pearl Jam.

Thor is still kinda shocked. He started listening to them in the 90's, when the boys were born. At the time, I was listening to mainly country. I think it was a maternal thing, actually. Pearl Jam seemed TOO LOUD. He kept telling me that I should listen, I'd like them.

He laughed about it tonight over dinner. His biggest hope at the time was that I would let him listen to them in the car once in a while... he never expected that the whole family would become so addicted.

Frankie is the main reason I gave them more of a chance. Thor took the boys to a concert when they were pretty little -- Pearl Jam played the Garden State Arts Center. They had good seats. Frankie really loved it. And when Frankie had Crohns, he found out that the lead guitar player, Mike, has Crohns too. And when Frankie was feeling really crappy, he listened to a lot of music to make himself feel better -- and especially in the hospital. We were the only room in the pediatric hospital that was blasting hard rock down the hallway. It may have been weird, but I was happy for anything that got Frankie's mind off his illness. And THEN, the leader singer Eddie actually CALLED Frankie, because he'd heard about how sick he was... WOW. Now, I'll love them forever. Eddie still does stuff like that. There was a girl at the concert last night that he called to the stage, who'd been in the hospital for months after a car accident and had missed the concert last time -- I watched her walk down to the stage -- she was crying, and I was too...

(Anyway. Can you tell that this is ANOTHER long post? Sorry. Skip it if you want, I won't mind. I won't even know! :D I'm writing it down for my own head, ya know? Like my diary entry... "Dear Diary, Today I saw the most WONDERFUL concert..." I just happen to put my diary up online for anonymous strangers, friends, and family to read. I'm nuts.)


Four nights, Pearl Jam is playing the Spectrum. Then, it's closing down for good. I went last night. Mischief night. And Thor and Frankie went again tonight, Halloween. Should I have gotten tickets for me for tonight? Maybe. Maybe not. Like another famous rock song says, "you can't always get what you want. But sometimes, you can get what you need."

So -- my concert review:

Pearl Jam, Night Three at the Spectrum, was ROCKIN'. (Of course, the rockin' part isn't really my favorite. I love the more mellow stuff. But there were a lot of sing-a-longs, too. At least four songs had me jumpin' up and down like I was on a trampoline, I was that excited.)

The four of us walked in, and found our seats. The boys were sitting in the back of the floor; we had seats more in the middle. Floor seats leave a lot to be desired. They are folding chairs, and REALLY skinny. People these days? Not so skinny. The row numbers were chalked onto the floor, and the seats actually had little blackboards under them with the seat number chalked in. Old school. But I was surprised at how small the venue seemed, especially compared to MSG, which is where we saw PJ last; and at the Spectrum, I was surprised... we were pretty damn close to the stage, considering!!! That was really exciting. I sat and waited while Thor went to get a few beers. :P

The Spectrum might have a fine reputation, and a great history, but it FEELS dank. When we walked in, it was damp and cold. The steps were wet, like they'd just been hosed down to wash the beer off from the night before. It is certainly time for Philly to upgrade.

I paid $7.25 for a glass of really crappy red wine, but it hit the spot. Bad Religion opened, with a few songs I knew, and they were really rockin; I think I would have liked them more if I knew more of their material.

As the time got closer to PJ, the crowd filled in and the seats got tighter. So floor seats, even if they are close to the stage? Can't see a thing. Especially at 5 foot tall...

But really? In spite of all those heads, I got the whole concert vibe I was looking for. Because it isn't really about getting next to the band. If it was, no one would bother buying those nosebleed seats. It's all about BEING there. Being a part of the whole thing.

And I was totally a part of the whole thing. It was rocking. They played some great songs. At some point, I could feel the room go from dank and cold, to hot and humid -- from the thousands of strangers pressed against each other, all facing in one direction, all jumping to one beat, all screaming at the same moment, singing back to the singer. One huge organism, with one central focus, one united thought. How many people have listened to these same songs, under trying situations, on nights when they had no hope, and found the answers that they needed to get through the next day?

It became a religion. Not really too bad for a religion, actually. And no, I'm actually not even exaggerating.

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Seraphine said...

you lucky! and you're right, it's the whole 'being there' thing that makes concerts special. pearl jam has been around forever, so they put on a great show.
putting a human face on the band- the phone calls, the acknowledgement of their fans- that's so cool.
i'm glad you had a great time.

Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don't know, so he chases them away
Someday yet, he'll begin his life again, yeah
Oh, whispering hands, gently lead him away.

(but black is my fav song of theirs. especially the acoustic version)

Anonymous said...

Love your narrative Sue! Really. You have a wonderful way with words! :) Glad you had a great time. Keep on writing...and I'll keep on reading! Wish you would post your Nanowrimo and your novel in progress!

Sue said...

Sera - Thanks! My own new favorite song is "Unthought Known...." and I got to hear them play it!!!

Marisa -- I'm glad you like to read my stuff :D although I must say, once in a while I say to myself, Am I out of my mind? WHY do I think anyone would be interested? But today is the first Nano day, and I wrote my quota of almost 2000 words, not even counting the blog. I definitely want to put some of it on here - but the first step is just spewing the words into the computer, and I can polish them up enough to share later!

Seraphine said...

$7.25 for wine?
heya, i hope they gave you ice with that.