July 16th, 2013
Budweiser Gardens
London, Ontario

Setlist. . .
Present Tense/Nothingman/Elderly Woman/Corduroy/Mind Your Manners/Got Some/Given to Fly/Sad/Alone/ Even Flow/I Got Shit/In Hiding/Lukin/Not For You/Black/Porch
First Encore. . .
Last Exit/Last Kiss/Parachutes/Man Of The Hour/Just Breathe/Daughter/Unthought Known/Do the Evolution
Second Encore. . .
Smile/Brain of J/Better Man/Alive/Rockin' in the Free World/Indifference

Waiting for these shows felt like forever. While Wrigley was a challenging ticket to get, London was an even more difficult challenge than Wrigley. Not surprising considering the size of the venue and proximity to Toronto - and factor in all the nutjobs willing to travel...

I was so excited for these two Pearl Jam shows for so long, but let me be honest. Then I got pregnant and experienced the first trimester. I was only 7 weeks pregnant for London and while I was not experiencing puking, I was still experiencing morning sickness. I couldn't go long without food, water or a bathroom. Add on top of that some extreme heat and humidity and being tired ALL THE TIME, some of the excitement waned and I became more apprehensive. How was I going to stay awake? How was I going to keep eating during the show? More importantly: how was I going to not pee?

We made it to London and within five minutes of being outside by the box office, I declared, "I can't do this." The heat was too much and I immediately felt like I was going to be sick. I swear everyone must have thought I was the biggest wimp on the planet. I went and got some water and then waited in a merch line that moved quite quick - and even ran into Steph. She was also purchasing some merch. I'd say "small world" but the PJ world is small so it's not that unusual :-)

The most shocking thing to me, arriving at the venue, is that I had my own history really wrong. I only attended three shows of the 2005 Canadian tour: Kitchener, London and Hamilton but my memories of Canada are so blurred. For some reason, in my memory, London was Hamilton. I remember walking around the market across from the venue with Getto but I could have sworn that was in Hamilton - not London. This was such a pleasant surprise to me.

Rob and I were not up for the heat, so we went to a bar across the street to hopefully find some wifi and air conditioning. We found air (the wifi was not working) but we did not find any seats. I ate a banana and drank some water and wondered, "How am I going to make it through tonight without falling asleep?" I'm telling you --- I was such a buzzkill. Let's just say my nickname at the time was "Vegan Pregnant Party Pooper."

We connected with everyone else and meandered over to the market across the street from the venue and chilled there until doors opened. We decided to head in shortly after doors to check out our seats. We had some really nice seats on Stone's side (seems like a rare occurrence for me!)

I had not put much thought into what was going to be played - except for Last Kiss (duh, there were people sitting behind the stage, it's a given, not rocket science.) I was sooooooo surprised when the band came out and began Present Tense. It was one of those moments that I wanted to rub my ears like one rubs their eyes when they can't believe something they are seeing. London. Already shaping up to be awesome.

Nothingman came next and this is where I was reminded, "Duh, this is an Evening with Pearl Jam, it's gonna start slow." Remember, not much thought was put into this show from my brain. Did that really happen, though? No, not really...because Elderly Woman heated the place up and then Corduroy really got the place rocking.

Mind Your Manners sounded good - but it was weird. It's always weird the first time a new song is heard - whether the crowd is familiar or not. It's a weird song to "move" to and I think it will take some practice. On everyone's part. Hehe.

Sad was awesome but even more incredible? The fact they played Alone --- and it was an incredible version! Stellar!

Ok, by this time, I was sadly admitting that I needed to pee. What is the opportune time to pee? I mean, I'm sure everyone would say, "Better Man, duh." Maybe even Last Kiss... but I couldn't wait. Even Flow was starting...and I was like...just make it through most of the song. Get to the McCready solo...and BOOK IT! So that's exactly what I did. I felt so damn guilty - I hated missing it. I've not had to do that before...and I felt like I was disrespecting Even Flow! So stupid! Rob even asked Mike, "Is Jess ok?" Cause yeah, I don't leave during shows... no matter how much I have to pee (*except for that Eddie Vedder night 2 in Chicago where I had a bit too much to drink and had to visit the bathroom twice.)

The rest of the set was solid - especially In Hiding...and Porch closed out the main set.

What was weird? Playing Last Exit and then going into Last Kiss. Bunch of comedians.

Parachutes was refreshing and I was happy to hear it. Quite honestly, I don't want to hear it all the time, but it was good to hear.

Man Of The Hour was amazing as usual - they could play that as often as they would like! Would be no complaints from me.

The remainder of the set was slow - up until Do The Evolution (yee haw!) But I must say, Stone rocked out like a crazy idiot during Unthought Known...I couldn't stop laughing! Oh Stone!

Second encore opened with Smile and I thought...wow, this isn't going to be a long show at all. I didn't think much would follow Smile but I was wrong (so that was good.)

Brain of J? Yes! Will take it! Better Man into Alive into Rockin' in the Free World and then...beautiful...Indifference.

This show was so great. We all left it going --- wow, if this was so good, what in the world is Wrigley going to be like?!?

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