Friday, October 10, 2014

Pearl Jam 10/1/14: Tales of rail and wine.

My man and I went to see my favorite band.  I've never had the opportunity to see the boys live.  I was so excited.

This adventure started a while ago.  A long while ago, Hubs and I kind of discontinued going out on dates because, well, we did the kiddo thing.  I know, I know.  We didn't need to stop living life.  We didn't, but we were ignoring being able to go out and have a fun time together as a two-piece instead of a three-piece.

Lightning Bolt came out last fall and the tour ran right when my busy season at work does.  There would be no way.

Christmas came and it was a very PJ Christmas.  Hubs bought me some merch from the band website and set me up with a bunch of stuff that I didn't have.  (Lightning Bolt-- I was waiting because I knew I'd get it as a gift.  PJ20 DVD and CDs among other things.)

Rumors were afoot about PJ doing another tour.  I signed on to the fan club. I should have done it a long time prior, but life happens.  The tour was announced.  A pre sale lottery would be held at the end of May for any of the Ten Club members.  Plunk in the venue you wish for, the type of seating that you'd want (1st & 2nd choice) and you sit to wait for the lottery magic to happen.  Magic happened!

Thank you, Discover Cash Back, for helping to offset the cost of our date.

Hooray!  I won!  What did I win?  GA tickets.  For those not in the know, GA = General Admission, AKA the pit.  :insert anxiety attack:  "Holy crap!  We just won PIT!"  Hubs wanted pit.  He said that the reserved seats on the floor would be bad for me.  We couldn't see.  :deep breath:  I came to a conclusion, I'm going in.

Over the next few months, I prepared.  I read.  I asked questions.  I wanted know what to do when the day arrived.

We dropped our kiddo off to school and made arrangements for her to be picked up and cared for that evening.  We arrived in Cincinnati at noon.  We made a beeline for the General Admission (GA/pit) line.  I hung out for a few with Hubs and headed on upstairs to stand in line for merch.  They were supposed to have a merch trailer on the street in front of our line and a tent upstairs.  We didn't get the trailer, but the tent was a 20x10 Easy Up.  The line was long.  It took an hour and a half, but we were standing in lines anyhow.  Hubs and I texted each other back and forth.

I got my merch (a poster/tube, a shirt, 2 buttons and three stickers) cruised back down and showed it to Hubs.  (Thanks to my in-law's for the birthday money.)  About 15 minutes later, I got a text from a PJ forum friend that the will call lines were starting and that they were getting long.  I dashed back up there to hang out in will call.  That took about another 1/2 hour.  I texted Hubs that I got the tickets and wrist bands, but was on the hunt for the loo.  I handled all that, then sent him for a scenic tour.  He needed to get out of line and stretch his legs a bit.  He did that twice and on the second time-- all hail the last bathroom stop, the line starts moving.  "RUN!"  I had no idea.  Crap.  What would we do if I end up getting sucked inside before him.  I could stand out of line, but that trashes standing in line all day.  Turns out that people collapsed their chairs, took their coolers to their cars and that's why the line moved in.  Hubs got back in time. :whew:

We had to go through a security check point.  The band requested that everyone be wanded and patted down before going in.  Eddie made a few people mad earlier this summer with comments he made about the fighting around Israel.  A few of us think that may be why they had heightened security.  It didn't take long.  We had to show our wristbands several times, but then voila!  We were in.

I had done a lot of reading.  I knew what I wanted, where I wanted and how this was going to play out.  (At least in my mind.)  People were clotted on Mike, Jeff & Ed's part of the stage.  Poor Stone.  He is the last place to fill up.  There was a hunk of rail (the barrier between the people and the band) open and WE GOT RAIL!  For someone short, this is far more important than most people would know.  We were near the end.  There was a stairway that led up and out.  We weren't corralled into a giant play yard like I thought!  Claustrophobia subsided.  It would be good!

Our rail spot before the show.  The security guards behind us?  The coolest security guards ever!  (And for whatever it is worth, my husband was crouched down a little when they took the picture.  I guess he didn't want me to look that short.)

My man told me to turn around.  He wanted to get a picture with the boys and me.  :)  You can't see Boom, but you can see everyone else!  Since we were in front of the speaker stack, we did wear ear plugs.  Hubs wore two.  He said that wearing one had him off balance.  I wore just on in the right-- the ear that was 7' from the speakers.  My left was fine.

During the concert, Eddie went to the side stage and started pouring wine out into people's cups.  Security went running with a sleeve of cups.  One security guard came around the corner and was standing in front of me with 4 cups of wine.  I reached my hand out.  He looked at me for a minute and said, "But you have to pass it."  I shook my head in agreement, glad that I had the cup before 100 lips were on it, then he said again, "But you have to pass it."  I took a big gulp to prove I wasn't hoarding it (dribbled some down my chin, too) and passed it to Hubs.  He had no idea what was going on, so he passed it on.  It was tasty.  A red wine and I have no idea what I was drinking.  I was the first one at it and it came from Eddie, so it was all good.

The big guy beside me?  That would be Sean.  He and his girl, Elizabeth, were getting married that weekend.  Sean had been a security guard at US Bank Arena.  I was, at that point, the shortest one in a line of much taller people.  He sandwiched Elizabeth between him and Jay, her rail mate.  He sandwiched me between him and Hubs.  He told me that they would keep us girls safe.  They did!

Hubs watched out for me the whole time.  That's the kind of man he is.   :)  The next day, he asked, "Did you realize that the woman behind you was playing with your hair the whole time?"  Weird.  She was doodling with my backpack, too.  It was a stiff string backpack, so if she tried to get into it, I would have felt it.  Her friend weedled her way in next to Hubs and was smooshed up next to him the whole time.  Welcome to the GA pit! 

The concert was 14 ways of magical.  Truly.  The best. concert. ever.  (Trumps Pink Floyd at Cleveland Browns Stadium in 1994.)  The set list as posted by Sea, our fearless PJ Forum Moderator:

Pearl Jam
US Bank Arena
Cincinnati, OH
Set List
October 01, 2014

01. Pendulum
02. Nothingman
03. Of The Girl
04. Mind Your Manners
05. Lightning Bolt
(Notes how long since they last played Cincinnati and is glad to be back)
06. Corduroy
07. Spin The Black Circle
(“that goes out to the fine folks at WKRP”)
08. Got Some
09. Even Flow
10. Sirens
11. Love Boat Captain/Jumpin’ Jack Flash-(Jagger/Richards) {with new intro-similar to outro jam}.  Jumpin’ Jack Flash was one verse during the outro jam section
12. Present Tense
13. Daughter/Keep It In Motion-(Pollard)/Another Brick In The Wall Part 2-(Waters)
(Ed discusses the band rooming situation in the early days and playing at a local club called “Bogart’s” where the guy Ed was sharing a joint with “bogarted” it.)
14. State Of Love And Trust
(a story about Keith Richards’ knife)
15. Waiting On A Friend-(Jagger/Richards)
16. Jeremy
17. Comatose
(Ed introduces the next song and talks about the great band Guided By Voices)
18. Setting Forth
19. Porch (Ed stands on the barricade and sings)

Encore Break 1

20. Sleeping By Myself
(Ed talks about certain truth’s that the band are in agreement on like Climate Change and some sort of gun control.  There are many injustices in the world and while not as important as some, not having Pete Rose in the hall of fame is an injustice.  The next song is for Pete’s son as well as Pete)
21. Man Of The Hour
22. Parachutes
23. All Those Yesterdays
24. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town-(played to the people behind the stage)
Ed asks for the lights to brought up so he can find and thank Gerry.  She is a nurse that works with patients suffering from Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). 
25. Given To Fly
26. Unthought Known
27. Do The Evolution
(Ed dedicates the next song to his friend Sean (sp) and his wife Mandy.  “It doesn’t apply but I wanted to dedicate a song to them.”)
28. Better Man/Save It For Later-(Charley, Cox, Morton, Steele, Wakeling)
(Ed smashes his white Gibson SG at the end of the song)

Encore Break 2

29. Black
Dedicated to The Who and the families that had to live on with the terrible tragedy that happened in this building 35 years ago. Ed acknowledges that they have some experience with a tragedy like that and the guys from The Who reached out Pearl Jam after Roskilde.  Ed comments that is great to see so much positive energy here tonight.  “This is the last song they played that night.”
30. The Real Me-(Townshend)
32. Alive (Mike goes into the audience during the solo)
33. Rockin’ In The Free World-(Young)
34. Yellow Ledbetter/Star Spangled Banner
For 3 hours and 15 minutes, I danced, sang, bounced and jumped.  I left knowing that I gave PJ everything I had to give.  I was exhausted.

Again.  We'll go again.  We had a great time.  We keep talking about it.  Hubs, good with PJ but definitely not the intense PJ fan I am, seems to have turned a corner.  He is becoming a bit more and more PJ interested.  :)  Not a bad thing.  And yes, we will be purchasing the Cincy bootleg the day that PJ releases it.  I have a bootleg credit with my fan club membership & that will come in handy!

ETA:  The Cincinnati bootleg will be available 10/28!


ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

Good for you! I'd be scared to death in the pit. I'm glad you both had a great time :)

Bailey's Leaf said...

With all honesty, I would do it again in a heartbeat for PJ. We went to the Mayhem Festival this summer. We were on the edges or slightly inner edges of the pit. That was bat crap crazy. PJ peeps were far more reasonable. PJ is also extremely cautious because of Roskilde loss back in 2000. (9 people died and others were injured because of a surge forward of 60,000 people at an outdoor festival.) This particular venue also experienced the loss of 11 people and many injuries back in the late 70's. The Who was getting ready to perform. The lines of people outside heard music, thought the concert started before them and pushed forward. They crushed 11 people against the doors and they died. This venue did not allow GA tickets up until the early 2000's, but they still don't do it a lot. They have particular parameters in place and all was reasonable. Between that and that I've heard and seen on several different recorded concert occasions, PJ will call people out, check on people or plainly kick people out for being unreasonable or dangerous. Once I did more digging, I knew that we would be okay.

Rail. For PJ? Never a hesitation again. :)

Rach said...

I've been waiting until I had plenty of time to just sit, read, and absorb all your joy in this post. :o) Seriously, your excitement and joy oozed from your photos. :o) I'm absolutely beyond excited for you and so happy you went and had such an incredible time! :oD