Pearl Jam Concert
Madison Square Garden
July 9, 2003
Following an afternoon of touring Wall Street/Battery Park area, stopping by my office and a brief visit to Times Square [saw radio DJ Cousin Brucie] … Josee, Michelle and I headed down to MSG. We placed voicemail messages to Erica and Andrea’s cell phones in hoping to meet up before entering the venue. We heard back from Erica, but couldn’t find her outside, so went in about 7pm. Again we agreed to meet up after concert in MSG lobby. This time I went with Michelle and Josee went her way. Shortly before entering the venue, Josee sold her extra 10 Club tix to a nice chap from NJ. Michelle was hunting down a particular t-shirt. So we hit most of the vendors, but sadly the t-shirt she wanted was sold out.
At our seats, which were pretty decent, we spotted Josee in her seat across venue from us and waved. We also spotted Erica in her front row seat and called her on cell phone. Michelle asked her if she would stop by Josee’s seat and inquire about t-shirt, then she walked over near our area and we talked abit on the stairs. She went to see “Phantom of the Opera” matinee with her step mom earlier. Which she enjoyed. Still no word from Andrea and I was getting concerned.
It was close to 7:30pm and Sleater-Kinney was the opening group. Their okay … personally I thought the Buzzcocks were more entertaining. Anyhow, 45 minute set later and done. Now comes the 30-minute wait, while the roadies set up the stage for Pearl Jam.
Lights go down, 19,000 fans rise as one, as well as letting out collective screams of joy and its show time! Hell yeah!
OMG! They started the concert with CRAZY MARY. We fans get to hear this cool song again, as they’d played it the night before. As Boom Gaspar starts ripping into a groovy keyboard solo, Michelle and I are hoping that Mike [lead guitar] would stroll over and do a musical duet or duel. We flipped out when he does stroll over, cause he didn’t the night before. Next song up is the fast paced SAVE YOU. The next few songs [ie: HAIL HAIL, WHIPPING & CORDUROY] have the whole venue going berserk. Totally! Michelle and I are dancing our asses off. We be in happy mode! Next up is one of those Pearl Jam songs I’ve been wanting to hear in concert ever since I purchased “Live on Two Legs” cassette back in 2000. RED MOSQUITO! WooHoo! Next up was DISSIDENT and I AM MINE, which had many from the crowd singing along. Then another song from “Riot Act” called GET RIGHT, followed by one of my favs … GIVEN TO FLY. It was breathtaking. They kick into EVACUATION, which isn’t a fav of mine, but the next song is … EVEN FLOW. Long, killer guitar solo by Mike, who is again on fire this evening.
Eddie called Johnny Ramone, but he wasn’t home to hear the next song [Ramone’s I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES], so we left him a message. [ie: “Johnny, its me Ed, why the fuck aren’t you home.”] That was amusing, seeing Eddie on a cell phone during mid-concert. The next two songs [MFC & DEEP] were a great addition to the gig and kept things rockin. This was followed by two fav songs of mine from the Pearl Jam catalog, PRESENT TENSE and NOTHINGMAN. Especially the latter song … it was sooo good. Sigh! Couldn’t tell what next song was by its intro, but knew it was a rare good song cause Michelle was going nuts. She yells in my ear … STATE OF LOVE & TRUST. Wow! Then rounding off the set the ever-popular PORCH. The guys played a great jam set during it with Eddie wandering around the stage.
Then the guys depart stage for a “break”. The crowd [us devoted fans] wants more and we scream and stomp up a fuss. MSG is vibrating! This crowd was just as intense as the night before. Long live rock! After about five minutes or so Eddie comes out on stage. He talks for abit about different stuff, reads fans signs [ie: “Play LEACH U Pussies”] before singing a Beatle tune … YOU’VE GOT TO HIDE YOUR LOVE AWAY. Then the rest of the band came out on stage and jumped into another fav song of mine … ELDERLY WOMAN IN A SMALL TOWN. OMG! Can’t believe it … they did GLORIFIED G! Another 10 Club fan fav. Eddie does abit more talking and they do ALL OR NONE. Which they first performed live up at the Albany show I attended back in April. This time around it sounds so much better. It’s a slower, blues type of song. Several folk in the crowd head out to concession stand for beer during this time. Makes no sense to me … I wouldn’t want to miss any moments of the show. Next up is DO THE EVOLUTION … which seems to be another crowd pleaser. And finally … last song of 1st encore … ALIVE! Yeah baby … this song totally kicks ass in concert and the whole crowd is responding in loud unison. Gives me goosebumps! Plus I try to imagine what it’s like for the band on stage when entire crowd is screaming YEAH on the backbeats of this awesome song.
Another break, only abit shorter than last one. And they come back out to do a 2nd encore and start with GO. Hell yeah! Then Eddie talks briefly about the Clash and late Joe Strummer, before the band does a groovy version of KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Right-on! OMG! A song I’ve been wanting to hear live for quite some time … KEEP ON ROCKING IN THE FREE WORLD. The band [ie: Jeff is jumping, bouncing & spinning all over the stage] and crowd are whooping it up. If you stand still for about 30 to 60 seconds you can feel the floor vibrating. Whoa! Its an event and we’re all totally into it. And finally, the closing song of the evening, yep, you guessed it … YELLOW LEDBETTER. During the closing guitar solo that Mike rips off, the rest of the band sit around watching and listening. An awesome moment, to be sure, then they all line up on stage and bow to the audience. Sweet! What a terrific show!
Michelle and I make our way down to the lobby to meet up with Josee and Erica. We’re all happy, smiling and chatting with others. After awhile Erica takes off for her hotel and we all stroll outside to locate Andrea. Using cell phones we finally hook up outside MSG. Andrea is with her friend Tieran and they showed up 10 minutes or so into Pearl Jam set. We’re all standing around on sidewalk chatting, gossiping, drinking soda/water from a street vendor and taking group pix. Lots of fun! We part company shortly after 12:30am and head to our respective transportation. There is talk; even Eddie mentioned it, that the band will do a mini tour next summer. Damn … I sure hope so!