by mamaschmama

My husband and I went to the Pearl Jam show last Friday night.

photo-3 (1)

I know.  That’s not enough proof.  Anyone could have stood outside and taken this picture.


Do you believe me now?  On Friday, Chicago had a heat index around 100 degrees with a 60% chance of the sky exploding.

This is how we  felt about being at Wrigley:


And that is why this will be a two part post.  Sit down and get comfortable.  I mean, not 3 HOUR RAIN DELAY* comfortable, but you know.

*There was a 3 hour rain delay on Friday night due to the sky exploding.

The suffocating weather got to me and I bailed towards the end of the rain delay.  My husband “Mr.  The Great Indoors” was so blissed out about the show that he managed to not care about the fact that we were sitting on the surface of the sun.

Despite my Lukinwarm feelings about the band, I appreciate the Pearl Jam community and some of the songs and of course Eddie Vedder and his hotness…

No, really.  Do some research on this if you are attracted to men.

Back to a point I was trying to make about their community.  No matter where we’ve been to see them, the fans are very kind to each other and Friday was no exception.  The field had to be evacuated and everyone sort of smushed into the stands.  I saw no bitching, just a bunch of happy and drunk people gushing about their favorite band.  I think back to the nineties and all that introspection and openness with the darker places our minds can go and I get how the Pearl Jam community formed.  Maybe it’s like a “life can suck, let’s hold hands about it” thing.  Or maybe since the nineties, we’ve all grown up, made some money, and we’re just happy we can go to Pearl Jam shows when we feel like it and since we must see them at least once on every tour even when your wife just had a baby 9 weeks ago the fans see each other all the time.  I don’t know.  It’s something and it feels like love.

So, 90′s, darkness, introspection, flannel.  Pearl Jam.

Please welcome my husband, he’ll explain more.

Corduroy – Vitalogy 1994

Listening to Q101 in my mom’s Toyota when I was in high school, I tested the limits of its factory speakers every time this song came on.

Corduroy automatically goes up to full volume when it comes on to this day and I test the limits of the factory speakers in my boring car.

Present Tense – No Code 1996

I hated No Code after hearing it for the first time. And the second, and the third.  So much so that I kind of gave up Pearl Jam for a few years.  I still listened to their older stuff, but any time something post-Vitalogy came on, it was usually turned off.

Upon my re-discovery of Pearl Jam several years later, I heard this song for the first time live at a show in Chicago.  I was stunned when Eddie stopped singing and the crowd took over for the rest of the first verse.  I had seen that happen during a couple radio hits, but what was this song?

I went home and looked up the song as I couldn’t place it and was shocked to find it was on the album I had all but thrown away.  The album that turned me off of the band I was becoming increasingly more fond of again.   How could it be that I had missed it?  And did I miss something else? I listened to the entire album over and over and over.

Present tense is now, in my opinion, the best song on what is now my favorite album of all time.  The lyrics are simple, the message very clear.  But I still can’t forgive myself for missing out on this one for so long. [Editor eye-roll – Jean]

Alive – Ten 1991

I first heard this song when I was 12 years old.   I made a mix tape from my cassette tape of Alive on a loop just so I wouldn’t have to always rewind back after it was done playing- the original repeat button.

At my junior high, you had to pick Nirvana or Pearl Jam.  I was a Nirvana fan, which meant I had to hide my closet PJ love.

Alive is still one of my favorite songs of all time 20 years later.  Having seen the band play it live on several occasions, I still get shivers every time I hear the opening notes.

Long road – Merkinball 1995

I bought this CD when I was 15 years old because the other song on the disc was I Got Id, a popular song on the radio that I loved.  There were only 2 songs on the CD and Long Road was the other song.  It was too slow for my musical tastes and lyrically boring as it did not involve teenage anarchy.  It was regularly discarded via the “back” or “forward” button when it came on.

Long Road was used in several movies (such as my wife’s favorite “Eat, Pray, Go Crazy”) [Editor’s note- That is not my favorite movie] over the years, maturation and tragedy gave it new meaning .  Eddie Vedder played it with Neil Young for the September 11th telethon.  Watching it again still evokes profound emotions and every time I listen to the song I think about the people I love and have loved and appreciate the times I have had with all of them.

Breath – Singles Soundtrack 1992

When the movie “Singles” came out, it was instantly my favorite movie.  I was 13, so obviously that makes no sense since the subject matter had no meaning for a kid my age.  But the soundtrack featured some of the best bands and songs from that era like Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, and Screaming Trees.  so surely the movie I was watching was good too, right? right???

As I grew older, the song became a sort of anthem for my life.  In my 20′s I wanted to do everything, go everywhere.  Explore the world and experience life.   Only problem was that financially my life was much closer to those folks in the movie.  I traveled anyway and made my credit cards cry.

Several years later, I look back fondly at the trips I took when I was younger.  When I hear the song now I think about those times, and I think about my children and my hope that they will do the same.  The world is small and time is short and I want to make the most of it.

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