July 19th, 2013
Setlist. . .
Release/Nothingman/Present Tense/Hold On/Low Light/Come Back/Elderly Woman
Main Set Part 2. . .
All The Way/All Night/Do the Evolution/Setting Forth/Corduroy/Faithfull/Mind Your Manners/Lightning Bolt/State of Love and Trust/Wishlist/Even Flow/Leatherman/Eruption/Bugs/Why Go/Unthought Known/Rearviewmirror
Encore. . .
Future Days/Mother/Chloe Dancer - Crown of Thorns/Porch/Wasted Reprise/Life Wasted/Black/Rockin' in the Free World
Wrigley. The moment we had all been waiting for. The big build up.
And the build up continued by the Ten Club sending out an announcement confirming that they would be selling merchandise outside the stadium the WEDNESDAY before the show. Do they know their fans or do they know their fans?
Mike, Rob, Rich and I drove out to Chicago on Thursday, arriving there about mid-afternoon. We all checked into our hotels, met up with Doerr and then drove down to Wrigley. I picked up my tickets in less than two seconds and then looked at the merch lines. No way, Jose. I wanted merch just like any other junkie, but I was not willing to wait in the hot sun for three hours to give the band a TON of money. It quickly became apparent that the Wrigley Field event wasn't so much about the actual concert itself: the show was being outshined by the gazillion merchandise options and the rabid fans wanted their merch. Really sad.
It was getting close to dinner and Doerr was going to go to his college friend's restaurant. I departed with Doerr and Rich and they took me to Pho's to get my all-time favorite Pad Thai. It hit the spot. I had been craving it for weeks. It was a shame I didn't eat it all and we had a stupid hotel filled with "mini bar essentials." We then went to Doerr's friends restaurant which was really cool and had about a billion different burgers to choose from. They had a vegan patty that wasn't from a frozen box...it would've been great to try but back then, I tell ya, when I had a particular food on my mind, that was all I was going to eat. Pad Thai it was.
We then headed back to the venue to await soundcheck. The merch lines had died down, mostly because most of the merch was sold out. I waited in line though and bought some trading cards and and the tank top. Very limited choices of everything remaining. In fact, the shirt I wanted sold out two people in front of me. Whatever the case, I went to the opposite side of the stadium where everyone was awaiting the sweet sounds of soundcheck. Met up with TJ and Britney. The sun was starting to set and I plopped down on the ground and enjoyed the cooling temps. A little after 8, the soundcheck began...
Off He Goes, Bee Girl, Daughter, Speed of Sound, Mother, Unthought Known and Amongst the Waves. It was so awesome --- we didn't see a lick but it was like our own private concert. The sound was great. I was thrilled, THRILLED, to hear Speed of Sound and Amongst the Waves. I was thrilled to hear Amongst the Waves for obvious reasons but I was thrilled to hear Speed of Sound because I am quite fond of the song and I was so hopeful I would hear it again the next night (obviously did not happen.)
On our way back to the hotel we stopped and talked with Munk One as his team was painting the very cool billboard. We then made it back to our hotel and ordered up some pizza and hit the hay.
Mike and I went and picked up Rob and went to the Chicago Diner for lunch. I had the most amazing BBQ bacon "cheeseburger" and then a warm peanut butter chocolate cookie thing. Probably by best pre-show meal to date. YUM.
Ten Club had sent out an email stating that the merch stands were going to open earlier and be restocked. As a result, the lines were beyond nutty. We found our pals that had been there very early in the day in hopes of scoring some merch. When they finally opened the merch stand, it was beyond ridiculous: the merch was not that restocked. I'd say about 50% of the merch was missing. Maybe even more. It was really ridiculous, especially for the people who got to the venue early because of an email that was sent out stating the merch booths would be restocked and would open early.
Eventually I made it over to where the other Tour Kids were at some bar --- and tried to stay out of the sun so the heat did not seem so bad. I was pretty miserable. I just kept drinking as much water as possible but realized I really needed a banana. So...I took a trip to 7-11 to only discover there were no bananas left. Geeze! They had apples and oranges so I grabbed an orange and went back to the bar. I was still quite hungry and so not long after doors opened, I made my way inside. Britney and TJ had run to their car and Britney said Starbucks had some bananas earlier in the day...so she would pick some up if they had them. I don't know, I was ready to get in, so I left. Buying $1 water bottle on the street (not knowing if I could bring it in since Baker did tweet to the 10C the day before asking about water but never got an answer.) Of course...you could bring in water bottles. I wish I would've brought in about 6 bottles of water. Since I think they were selling for about $4 inside. Once I got inside, though hungry, I went to the field and found my husband...then decided I would go wait in the merch line. I ate a granola bar while waiting and I felt much better. Was able to get a onesie for the baby :-) as well as the Munk One poster, an event tshirt, the very last pennant and some baseball cards.
Eventually I made it back to my seat where Doerr and Rich were in our same row (Baker two rows in front of us). Doerr gave me a banana from Britney. I ate it right away and it was exactly what I needed! Eventually I saw Britney and TJ and they had fared the merch line but they were out of some things by the time they went to the front, including the baseball cards. Figuring Britney had hooked everyone up at the house with pizza two days prior and she got me that coveted banana, giving her my baseball cards was the least I could do.
Mike and I went to find some veggie cuisine and got a veggie burger and some of the most yummy shoestring fries ever (do you see how much particular foods meant to me in the first trimester?!?)
An "Evening with Pearl Jam" was supposed to start early...but par for the course, it did not. Later, when we were "only" seven songs in when they had to stop for weather, you couldn't help but be more annoyed with the fact that if they had started on time, we would've gotten more songs. Grumble, grumble.
So...after a lot of waiting (months, weeks, days, hours...) the band made it onstage and the show began with Release. Not a surprise at all but completely and utterly welcomed. We were all here --- we were so lucky to be here. The night was finally here!!!
Similar to London, we started off slow going into Nothingman and Present Tense. This was about the time I stopped trying to see the band on stage and just surrendered to the video screens. Due to this, the show immediately began to feel so impersonal. So big. So many people :-(
Hold On was a very nice surprise and it sounded FANTASTIC!
Low Light into Come Back...I'll take any day. I believe this is when Ed announced that they might have to stop the show. Though he indicated that if the show were to stop, it would continue again. It would not be canceled. They then went into Elderly Woman. Right when Elderly Woman ended, Pete came on-stage and took quite some time to talk to Ed and there was some dialog back and forth. I turned to Mike...I needed to pee and we knew where this was headed...must as well get off the field NOW. So we took off for the "inside" with Ed formally making the postponement announcement as we were just making it in. I stopped in the bathroom and then met up with Mike. It was crazy inside...no space...so we kept moving and going up like a bunch of PJ refugees. We found a nice clear space and I texted others to let them know where we were at. They made their way to us and as I looked over the crowd as they made their way up to us, they looked like the most miserable people on the planet.
And that is where we stayed. For hours. We had a really cool perspective, though, because we could see a little bit of the field. Prior to the rain starting, I saw how long it was taking for everyone to leave and then I realized it was all the GA people not wanting to fully evacuate as to not lose their place in the section - totally understood but what a sucky situation. Eventually, it started to rain and the wind really picked up. The heat dissipated and I found that I was cold so I put on my event shirt. The rain got harder and suddenly, no one was on the field. Thunder. Lightning.
This was the big event. And quite honestly, it was pretty miserable.
Things that made it less miserable? Kirk coming back with a ton of food. More fries! And then Britney came back with more food, too. More fries! It was typical PJ shows --- all the Tour Kids looking out for each other and making the best out of the one situation we have become totally awesome experiencing: WAITING.
It kept getting later and later but I didn't think a single one of us thought that the show would not go on. And then finally, I saw the GA people make a run for it. They were letting us back on the field! One more stop at the restroom and we were back in our seats --- our slightly wet seats.
I couldn't even tell you what time it was because I was beyond tired. Everyone else was, too. You could see it. But what was amazing? Looking around and not seeing empty seats. They stayed. We all stayed. Amazing. But what were we going to do? It's not like the majority of the crowd was local. People traveled from all around for this show. What were you doing to do? You don't give up...
Ed came out and performed All The Way and even though I'm not a Cubs fan, it was completely appropriate in the moment. It was special for sure. But...
We were ready to rock...
And All Night assured us the band was ready to rock, too. Woo hoo! Got all night? Yeah...we've already given all night. Haha...
...yet when the band went into Do The Evolution, I realized, I was pooped. I looked around. Everyone else was pooped, too. The band was bringing the energy but I think the crowd, filled with aging people, was trying its best, but there was a lot of sitting down here and there that occurred. I hate to admit it, but I had to sit here and there, too. Blame it on the pregnancy, blame it on being a wimp, whatever the case, I have to say, making it through the rest of the show became increasingly difficult as the night wore on.
Faithfull was incredibly fitting.
Mind Your Manners was followed by a Lighting Bolt debut --- Lightning Bolt. I remember feeling unsure of the song at the time.
Other highlights in "main" set included McCready playing Eruption and Ed breaking out the accordion for a rendition of Bugs. Unthought Known is always good to hear when you are at an outdoor show --- it never felt more fitting as we just experienced some crazy "fun" from the sky.
Another new song from Lightning Bolt opened the encore, Future Days. Again, hard to judge the song upon first listen...
Mother was awesome to hear - at least for me. I was so excited to hear it. Great version. Was so nice for the song to end and then we got another treat of Chloe Dancer into Crown of Thorns.
Wasted Reprise into Life Wasted had me tickled pink...but I do remember I had to sit a little bit for Black (hey, it was LATE!)
We only had a limited time left with the band (wait - there were time constraints, who knew?) The last song ended up being Rockin' in the Free World. And them bam! Wrigley was over. Hard to believe. Now here we were at 2/3 in the morning...and had to get downtown to the hotel to sleep. Hmmm...
Something so simple turned out to be so darn hard. The El was wayyyyyy backed up so we decided to start walking south towards downtown. It felt a lot like Atlanta post-Midtown last year - only a million times worse. None of the buses were running and every cab was full. We walked all the way to my sister's old neighborhood (Clark and Belmont) and all the bars were getting out. It was such a hot mess. Mind you, while the walk may have only been a little over 1/2 mile, I was a weakling. It was past 3 in the morning (4 eastern time) after attending a rock show. No one had energy. It was pure torture. Michael and I separated from Doerr, Grenough and Rich and eventually got on the El. We still had over 1/2 mile to walk to the hotel, but Mike and I sucked it up...arriving at the hotel at 4am. It never felt so good to lay in bed. We had to wake up prior to 8, however, to go take Tyler to a birthday party. Nevertheless - the entire adventure was memorable. Baby's first two Pearl Jam shows - check!
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