June 16th, 2008
Colonial Center
Columbia, South Carolina

Ed w/Kings of Leon...
Slow Night, So Long
Main Set...
Can't Keep/Why Go/All Night/Hail, Hail/Sad/Severed Hand/Red Mosquito/I Am Mine/Even Flow/Off He Goes/Elderly Woman/Present Tense/Whipping/I Got Shit/ Army Reserve/Glorified G/Do the Evolution
First Encore...
Inside Job/Given to Fly/Education/WMA/Better Man/Save You/Porch
Second Encore...
No More/Footsteps/Alive
Third Encore...

It had seemed like it had been so long since I last saw Pearl Jam. Though it was less than a year earlier, I had seen the band at Lollapalooza in 2007. But it just didn't feel like I had...it was one-off show. There wasn't a whole lot of travel involved.

I was most excited because I was craving some Pearl Jam in a serious manner. More than I had in more recent history. While I still loved the band and enjoyed all the shows I attended thoroughly, I think I got a little burned out on that 2003 tour. Which was the main reason I only did 7 shows in 2006. Anyway, I hadn't really done any "serious" Pearl Jam road trips in 5 years. Since the 2003 tour. Yes, I traveled in 04 (Reading/Toledo/Grand Rapids) but that was a 3 day affair... that doesn't count! 2005 took me to 3 shows in Canada, again, a 3 day affair that doesn't really count. In 2006, the aforementioned 7 shows were all in the midwest (Chicago, Grand Rapids, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati)...so that doesn't count. Do you like my logic? Anyway, I hadn't taken a full week off for a set of shows since 2003. I hadn't hopped on a plane to see the band since 2002 (those 17 shows I saw in 2003 all involved some crazy driving).

So here I was. Set to meet Dan on a plane to fly down to Columbia, South Carolina. Meet up with Rich and many other friends along. Dan and I flew in the night before the show. I got us a hotel on Priceline and it was clutch. Room, overall, was kind of small, but it was a clean, classy place. I like clean, classy places. We stayed up late that night (which wasn't hard considering our flight got in around 11pm) catching up and b.s.ing. We had some fun little adventures the next morning and my old college friend, Erin (who was living in Greenville at the time), drove to our hotel, met up with us...and off we went to find the venue.

Knowing nothing about Columbia, I didn't really know what to expect. The venue was on a college campus. Good vibe around it. It was quite hot, but we didn't care so much because the show [unfortunately] was indoors that night. Got our tickets...and discovered that venue security was being cool about letting you hang out inside (should be noted that it was nice and cool inside). We stuck around and soundcheck started...and it was a freaking awesome soundcheck.

Soundcheck included: Off He Goes, Undone, Education, Thin Air, All Night, Love Reign O'er Me, and All Or None.

This is when it really started hitting me. I'm on tour. I'm seeing the band tonight. They could possibly play these songs during the show tonight. Geek out time!!!

The soundcheck lasted quite awhile...and it didn't really allow us any time to eat before going into the venue. There was an organic pizza place nearby that Erin had eaten at before...but it was crazy busy and apparently their service was really slow. That meant venue food for dinner...not ideal, but totally fine.

I heard that there were reusable shopping bags...and I was soooo geeked to get some of those. I didn't care how much they were...I knew I was at least getting a few...and one for my mom. I use reusable shopping bags all the time and I thought it would be super rad to have some Pearl Jam ones to add to my collection. So while Kings of Leon were on, Erin and I went to the merch stand. It was ridiculous. The line was so long and the stand still had posters at it...so it was super crazy because the last minute Larrys all wanted posters. Because of that stupid venture, I missed most of Ed performing Slow Night, So Long with KoL. My fault. Totally my fault. I love that song and I should've known better than to be buying stupid merch than down on the floor.

I couldn't even begin to guess what they would open with at this show. I was just simply quite overwhelmed immediately before the show and would've been happy as a lark regardless of what the opener was. Definitely wasn't disappointed with Can't Keep. Man, this show really really really BURNED. Prior to the show, we all talked about what was on our wishlists. Rich, obviously, always has Whipping on his. Dan loves Corduroy. I never "really" care, but I do think I've resolved to "5 favorites" (Hard to Imagine, Inside Job, I Got Shit, Dissident, and Glorified G, though I think Get Right belongs in there, too somehow, but we're talking five). I knew Erin wanted to hear Red Mosquito because it's her favorite Pearl Jam song...but she wouldn't say it. She didn't want to curse herself.

I can't say Dan was unsatisfied because he didn't hear Corduroy...but we were all definitely satisified. Rich got his Whipping. Erin got Red Mosquito (her first), and I got Inside Job, I Got Shit, and Glorified.

Inside Job just thrills the shit out of me, in general. But especially live. I have listened to studio Inside Job and all the live versions I have heard countless numbers of time on my iPod. I was so scared I wouldn't hear it at all this tour, so to hear it at my first show of the tour just totally, well, tickled me pink.

This show was great. I knew, deep down inside, when I was picking what shows to do on this tour, that this show was a must. I am so glad I did it. I wavered a little bit prior to tour... did I pick the right run? Was Columbia -> DC the right choice? Or should I have done New York -> Mansfield? Such a silly question to ask myself because you can't do 'em all (well you can if your name is Rich) and regardless of that, you're still going to be totally satisfied with what you DO see (ok, well not all people, but I've gotten to the point where I am satisfied with whatever happens, everything on top of normal is a bonus).

We left the show feeling ecstatic. Dan treated us to a late night breakfast at the Waffle House next to our hotel. What a successful June 16th, I must say.

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