Plaid shirt? Check.
Hate on for Ticketmaster? Check.
Yup, ready to see Pearl Jam.
It’s been 20 years since Ten was released and I was feeling a bit nostalgic, but I didn’t want the show to be a nostalgia trip. I just wanted to Rock Out in the here and now.
It was hard, though, not going back to the 90’s — angst, aggression and apathy. The whole concert for me was a mix of feeling very connected to that 90’s stuff (I am a Gen X’er) and very removed from it (I’m 43). It was easy feeling the rage in ‘Jeremy’ and ‘Corduroy,’ screaming along with everyone else. Damn it feels good to scream amongst thousands. And then they played ‘State of Love and Trust,’ which used to take me instantly to a violent and angry place, but I was now somehow removed from Vedder’s screaming and pleading and had difficulty connecting with his energy. Like I said I’m 43 — I only have so much angst and aggression…or maybe that just says a lot about me because the band had no lack of it. They were near the start of their tour in Toronto and they were fired up — Eddie was always close to his bottles of red wine.
Stone Gossard’s family was in the house and during an extended ‘Even Flow’ jam Gossard filled his solo with reckless aggression and emotion. It felt like he was pushing the guitar further than it could go — but it still went there. I kept thinking that if his guitar just split apart after the solo I wouldn’t be surprised, maybe even a little relieved. It was a great ride and the crowd responded with amped-up enthusiasm.
Eddie dedicated ‘Wishlist’ to Doug Gilmour and I thought to myself “nice one Dougie”. I smiled as I thought of Dougie rocking out to Pearl Jam and how fucking amazing he was in the ‘93 playoffs and how good it felt to believe in the Leafs.
Eddie talked about how NYC stood for Neil Young Country and the crowd went nuts — like I said, it’s so good to scream with thousands of people — especially in praise of Neil.
And that was the night for me: sometimes screaming, sometimes feeling far away from the 90’s and the way I felt then, and sometimes thinking about hockey. I will give the concert a 7, and the band a Ten.