June 26th, 2011
Waving Palms/Can't Keep/Sleeping By Myself/Without You/Once In A While/You're True/Goodbye/Soon Forget/Needle & The Damage Done/I Am Mine/Off He Goes/Man Of The Hour/Far Behind/Long Nights/Setting Forth (cut short)/Guaranteed/Rise/The End (cut short)/Let My Love Open The Door/Elderly Woman/Immortality/Unthought Known/Arc (cut short)/Untitled Organ Diddy
Just Breathe/Society/Falling Slowly/Wishlist/Forever Young/Crazy Mary/Porch
Would ALWAYS take a Pearl Jam show over an Eddie Vedder show, but sometimes you really do not have the choice. Going to the Detroit show was a no brainer, especially since "Pearl Jam don't come around these parts." I was also so excited to see my favorite singer at the most beautiful venue in the city of Detroit - The Fox Theatre. Mind you, this is a classy place.
I had commented on Facebook that it felt weird having a show in my hometown since I am so used to that NOT happening. Pearl Jam hasn't played Detroit since 2006, and shit, Brad didn't even hit up Detroit on their last go-around. It was just strange to do normal Sunday things (like eat Slows) and then go see a rock show (ok, I'll use the word "rock" loosely).
Mike and I went in right when doors opened because I am a sucker for Michigan/Detroit merch. My poster rule is that I will only buy a poster if I like it - except I will always buy Detroit posters regardless of what they look like. I also fell sucker to the license plate Ed shirts. I knew I had to get one. I happened to stand behind a couple that had no idea what the fuck they wanted to buy - "Let me see shirt 5 in a medium. Now let me see the hoodie in a large." It was the most ridiculous display of indecisiveness I've ever seen. I didn't want to be in the mercy line at all so my patience was thin.
Though the theater was open, they would not let us to our seats. We hung out by the ushers for a bit. Everyone was really nice. And really old. I didn't know that retired Detroiters like to work at the Fox Theatre as an usher. Ten Club blessed me with some really good seats - as dead center as you could possibly get in the fifth row up behind the pit. I guess the ticket karma was made up for my so-so Ed solo seats in 2008 in Chicago.
The venue was taking the no camera and no cellphone policy very seriously. If you even had your phone out to text, you were told to put it away. It was kind of annoying, but at the same time, it ended being a super pleasurable evening without idiots raising their iPhones trying to get a terrible picture. Or no one calling their friend during the show. I loved it but there were so many times I wanted to take out my phone and jot down some notes. Paper? Hah! That's so 1996.
Glen Hansard was what everyone said he would be - fantastic. Felt like he played a relatively short set.
The "classy" event started with the curtain opening to Ed. Apparently he played Waving Palms but I am such a big fan I don't even remember it. I just remember Can't Keep. I was like, ok, I can do this - thinking back to how I love shows opening with this number.
But oh my. I can't lie.
The beginning of this show was such a snore! I love that damn ukulele album. Really, I do. But I think Ed's energy level was really low (people hanging outside said he wasn't feeling up to par when he arrived at the venue). Either I didn't catch that those songs are a bore (ha - seriously, I love these songs) or he was just kind of "blah." I think it's the latter and not the former (though many would likely disagree with me).
Ed did acknowledge the beauty of the venue. I felt like I thought it was something special but I thought maybe it was just because it's a venue in my hometown. I think a lot of people were in awe, though.
Needle and the Damage Done sounded beautiful and then came I Am Mine. Even though I Am Mine is not a rocker, I thought, "OK, this is where we're gonna pick up." Ed strummed some pieces of Let My Love Open the Door and I was like, "All right!" and then he played Off He Goes. Not a bad song in the least but good lord, PUMP IT UP!
Man Of The Hour preceded the Into The Wild section of the night. This was a very emotional portion of the concert for me that I was not anticipating. Before I get into it, Glen Hansard played bass on Long Nights and it sounded awesome...
My grandmother passed away, relatively unexpectedly in November of 2007. This was around the time Into the Wild was released and as she was in hospice, that album is what I listened to over and over again. I even played it for her in her room at the hospital. Since then, I really do not listen to that album, save for Hard Sun. During the Ed show in Detroit, Rise just got to me. It's such a beautiful song and it sounded so amazing and all the memories of November of 2007 came rushing back to me and before I knew it, I was bawling like a baby. I'm sure all of the other Into the Wild songs played right before it helped build me to that place, but nevertheless. . .
There were a few songs messed up or tuning screwed up. One of the instances where that happened, we got Let My Love Open The Door. I'll take that any day!
Let My Love Open The Door was the turning point for the show, I would say. Where some steam built up. Elderly Woman came next (complete with a marriage proposal a few rows ahead of us - hello? Amateur, this is an Ed show, he's gonna play Just Breathe. Elderly Woman? Really? Might as well propose during Immortality.)
Ed said that Detroit Rock City sang Elderly Woman amazingly. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Immortality came next and I definitely was not expecting that and it sounded great. Unthought Known followed. Arc came next but Eddie was having issues with his machine so he gave up on it and walked over to the organ and played some improv "aeiiiiii yeeeee aaaaah heeee" song. It was good and he held a really long amazing note. For a guy who seemed to be a little under the weather (I swear he was drinking Emergen-C) he really can belt it out.
The first encore started with Just Breathe and then Glen Hansard came out and sang Society with Ed (which is probably my least favorite song on Into The Wild now that I think about it). Together they sang Falling Slowly and it really was nothing short of amazing. Really.
Wishlist followed with an emphasis of a look from Ed when he sang "Camero's hood" and of course the Motor City screamedÉ
Prior to Forever Young Ed talked about how Detroit wasn't even originally on the bill but got added because of Chelios. Part of me is sort of like, "F you. It's not worth coming here to do a show? But cause Chelios says so, you do?" And another part of me is like, "About damn time we got something out of this since our Stanley Cup was at your show in 2008 in Chicago." Ha ha. The thought, though, that Forever Young was dedicated to Chris Chelios, I dunno, made me feel a little uncomfortable. A little too much man love for Chelios. He was on the poster. Now this slow, emotional song. . .hmmmm.
Oh yeah, additionally, a sign language interpreter was on the side of the stage. Ed messed around with her a little bit saying "fuck you" to her just so he could see what the sign for "fuck you" was. He brought her over before Crazy Mary and apologized and gave her some wine - some red wine that he said he won't drink on his solo tour because he needs to "concentrate" - meaning Pearl Jam shows require no concentration on his behalf? Interesting.
I do love Ed playing Crazy Mary on solo tour because 1. no Boom and 2. I can sit down and not feel like an asshole about it.
Porch closed out the main set and then the final encore was Hard Sun - at this point the audience was kind of nuts and everyone took their cameras and phones out as the last hurrah.
Overall, a very solid show. Ed's voice sounded great. The show as a little slower than I would've liked but still very good and enjoyable. Looking forward to Chicago night 1. . .