Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pearl Jam - Consol Energy Center (11-12-13)

How cool is that Pearl Jam opened their fall tour in the Burgh?  Rhetorical questions seem to be all the rage these days.  So I will answer that question with two words --- "Very Kewl."  And check out the progression of the last night's date... 11,12,13.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Actually, who the hell honestly gives a fuck about numbers and dates?  I'm not running some psychic-zodiac chit-chat hotline.  That honor would fall to the indomitable Dionne Warwick.  We share the same birthday.  Yep, me, her, Bette Midler and the late Jerry Garcia.

Speaking of the fat man, many people have asked me the question, "Hey Saf, what's your favorite Dead song?"  I would always give the same answer - "It's the song I least expect to hear when I'm at one of their concerts."  So naturally, after having subjected my brain to 46 shows, that would encompass most of their library.  After all, who could ever forget the Help > Slipknot > Franklin's  at RFK in 1992?  Or the scorching "So Many Roads" in Richfield of 1993.  Or the Bucket > Shakedown opener at Soldier Field in 1991 or the '95 rain songs at Three Rivers Stadium.  Or whatever really... everyone's got a god-damned opinion.

My point about the Pearl Jam - I think the same rule applies.  I'm a fan of almost all their material.  But there was something "unexpected" about hearing 2 of their songs last night.  "Given to Fly" and probably the best version of "Evolution" I've ever heard.  The funny thing is they play these songs quite regularly.  I've heard both of them a bunch of times, but there's something about those opening chords.  It just threw me for a loop.

I've seen these guys about 10 times - a few Starlakes, a couple Spectrums, throw in a Columbus, Cleveland, an Igloo and now a Consol.  Last night ranked pretty high.  The energy level was in a word... sick.  Is it really asking too much for the entire crowd to stand up for 2 1/2 hours or so?  I think not.  And in typical fashion, they encored with the house lights on.  More bands need to do this.

As usual, we scored a couple freebies.  It took a little more grit and determination than usual, but it was also more rewarding.  Just because it was them.  This wasn't some Drops of Jupiter on a Train heading to the vomitorium bullshit concert.  It was a Pearl Jam fall opener in the Burgh.

I remember last time at Mellon Arena when Eddie Vedder ripped on the city of Pixburgh.

Now that's some classic shit.  Great commentary and follow-up.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Hard to believe it was 7 years ago.

This time he had nothing but heavy duty compliments.  And he won the crowd over.  Not the biggest accomplishment considering if you mention the word "Corduroy" everyone starts to salivate like a pack of starving Pavlovian dogs.

Just for the record, there are a few Pearl Jam songs I really abhor.  Probably just because they're way overplayed.  The following tunes are what I call "piss songs."  This is where you literally go to the restroom and take a leak.  Songs like "Evenflow" and "Daughter."  I could also do without the "Rockin' in the Free World" encores.  The time has finally come to put that cover to rest.

The Grateful Dead had a few of these urinary songs as well.  Phil's "Wave to the Wind" comes to mind.  How about "Eternity", "Lazy River Road", and "Walkin' Blues?"  Those songs pretty much sucked?  I once heard a really atrocious version of "Loose Lucy."  Hey, I'll actually admit it --- I kind of liked it when Jerry's voice used to crack and he'd forget a lyric or two, but there's this one Loose Lucy that's really embedded in my brain.  Something about the band backing him up.  Singin' YEAH, yeah, YEAH, yeah, YEAH.  Thank you, but I am not having... a real good time.  Vince Welnick is quite possibly the most disappointing musician of all-time.  Just my take.

By the way, I actually do have a favorite Pearl Jam song.  Ironically, this atheist Jew's favorite is.. "Faithful."  Check the set list bitch.


Anonymous said...

WHAT? You DOUBT it? Are you kidding me? Why not? Baltimore? Philly?
I will stop with that nonsense...HOWEVER...I am very confused by the date thing 11-12-13???
What does that mean...
They opened on Friday. October 11th.
From your FAITHFULL follower,

sonofsaf said...

You're right. I got the date wrong. Not sure what I was thinking.