September 4th, 2011
Alpine Valley
East Troy, Wisconsin

Setlist. . .
Wash/The Fixer/Severed Hand/All Night/Given to Fly/Pilate/Love Boat Captain/Habit/ Even Flow/Daughter/Leatherman/Red Mosquito/Satan's Bed/Elderly Woman/Unthought Known/ The New World/Black/Jeremy
First Encore. . .
New Song (So Glad We Made It)/Just Breathe/Nothingman/No Way/Public Image/Smile/ Spin the Black Circle
Second Encore. . .
Hunger Strike/Call Me A Dog/All Night Thing/Reach Down/Sonic Reducer
Third Encore. . .
Alive/Rockin' in the Free World/Yellow Ledbetter

It took us quite some time to get out of the parking lot at Alpine - which was to be expected. This wasn't a new game to us. I think we made it back to Rich's mom's house between 3:00 and 3:30 in the morning. Of course, I am ridiculous and I just cannot sleep in. I think I originally woke up at 7 and told myself I must sleep more...finally getting up around 9.

I thought we would have a nice long morning since the gates were not going to open until 11. There was no need to rush, yet at the same time, after all the rain, the weather was cooperating (albeit quite cool) and we were all itching to get to the museum.

Prior to leaving for Alpine, the group staying at Rusty's posed for group shots. Funniest photo shoot ever.

We were less than thrilled when we arrived at the venue and discovered we were going to be parking in the same lot as the day prior - but only further away. We hung out at the cars for a little bit and then decided to check out the merch situation. Was interesting to see they didn't have two merch booths operating that day in the parking lot. In turn, the merch booth near the gate was rediculous. We had quite a few people in the group that wanted a poster, so thanks to the 10 Club, Doerr and Rich had extra lawn tickets. It worked out quite nicely - Doerr and I went into the venue with the lawn tickets just to buy merch. It was between 1 and 2 at this time and there were not a lot of people in the venue but a decent amount of people in line for the museum - no one in line for merch. Super quick and super easy purchases. Went back outside to go bring all the goodies back to the car - and then went straight back into the venue to get in line for the museum.

Oh the museum line...
It was ridiculous. It was long. It was a test of time. We might have gone a little bonkers waiting. It only took about three hours to get in!


It was so surreal. Really. We all had heard bits and pieces of what was in there but until you saw it, you really did not believe it. Additionally, I had a moment where I am looking at all these "artifacts" and thinking..."I remember all of this stuff. Oh. My. Gosh. This shit is really old. Oh. My Gosh. This band is really old. Oh. My Gosh. I am really old!" It also zonked me out in the respect of like...this is like Pearl Jam's own personal Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. I think of them as a big deal but I never fully grasp that anyone else (outside our group of friends) really gives a shit anymore and looking at this stuff gave me a strange perspective. I wish I could fully explain what I was feeling in there - it was good, but it was weird. Maybe it's that this band has played such an important role in my life, especially in my "formative years." I obsessively watched videos, listened to boots and read as much as I seeing pieces of the band's life from those time periods - I guess that was what was mind blowing.

I can't even wrap my head around everything that was in there. Ed's teeny shirts - and the smallest baseball jersey I think I've ever seen. Kevin's camera. The video footage they played on the multiple tvs. Stage props. Stone's Devo costume. Ed's hats and masks. Jeff's hats. Ed's composition books. Stickers galore. Crazy surfboards. Typewriter. I could go on all day - in essence, there wasn't a ton in there but there was so much (if that makes any sense.)

After the museum, we went on the ridiculous journey of finding food - try finding cheese pizza. Out by like 5:00. Really? We all hung out in the 10 Club section and I was disappointed I did not have the opportunity of taking advantage of the clutch "port o johns" for 10 Club members. Thank goodness Kirk packed a bunch of healthy food - I had some nachos, a bit of pretzel and a banana.

Headed down to the seats for The Strokes set. I was kind of tired so I just tried to nappy nap (I'm such a buzzkill.)

Ah, I had forgotten to mention, Mr. Doerr and I have very very very close fan club numbers and we lucked out by having our seats right next to each other this myself, Michael, Richard and Christopher all had seats next to each other. Then the Dolins showed up and they had seats right behind us (cause Mr. Dolin has a very close fan club number to me and Doerr.)

Though the band was hitting the stage earlier that night - 9:00 (rather than 9:30 the night before), they obviously did not hit the stage right at 9:00 cause then it wouldn't be a Pearl Jam show.

"A day delayed" - and out they came with Wash. Everyone speculated that it would be the opener the night before. I guess the day prior really had the impact on the decision. It was my third time seeing Wash...always a pleasure to hear.

The Fixer into Severed Hand came next - in retrospect, the show did start off pretty well. All Night had special guest background vocals (Glen Hansard, Liam Finn and Joseph Arthur) - indicating to everyone that night would also be littered with special guests like the prior night.

Given to Fly followed - YES! Pilate was also played...such a great gem to hear. Love Boat Captain followed and then came one of the highlights of the night...and I think Liam Finn deserves MVP of this show --- HABIT!!! Liam did an AWESOME job performing. One of the best performances of Habit I've ever seen!

A PJ20 concert would be incomplete without some of the staples - like Even Flow. Daughter came next and most of us knew where the tag was going to go since we heard the soundcheck on Friday - It's OK.

Leatherman came next and I recently really started thinking about that song and how ridiculous it is. So it made me laugh a little bit. Red Mosquito brought Julian Casablancas back out on stage to sing background. And this is also when Rich flipped the bird at Mike for the entire song.

Satan's Bed! I'll always take it even if I think the lyrics and music will get botched!

I will take me some Elderly Woman at any show...I love the energy of the crowd and I absolutely do not hate the song. I eat it up! Dhani Harrison also joined the band on guitar for Elderly Woman.

Unthought Known came next which always makes me smile. The New World was performed with John Doe. I have to say - SO MUCH better with John Doe than with Tim Robbins! It was SO good!

The main set ended with Ten "classics" - Black and Jeremy.

For the first encore, Ed came out alone and performed a song he wrote that weekend - the song talked about how he's so happy/proud that the band made it to the point where things are "good." Song was not the best in the world, but it was perfect for the occasion.

Just Breathe came next and then it was quite a slow start to the first encore. Then Ed did something awesome - he called out Stone and pretty much told him tough shit, we are going to play this song and I don't care if you don't want to. Stone really looked pissed - but you know what? Piss him off more, man, if it means you're gonna play songs like No Way!

The first encore closed out with Public Image, Smile and Spin the Black Circle. I was pleased they played STBC because I was wearing socks that had a record/turntable on them that said, "Spin it!" Rich joked about how I was saying they were going to open with that was off, but the socks still scored the song within the show!

For the second encore, Chris Cornell came out again like the night before. I wasn't disappointed, but at the same token, I immediately thought, "You should only do the Temple stuff one night." In retrospect, who cares? It was awesome! Hunger Strike and then Call Me A Dog. One of my favorite Temple of the Dog songs was played, All Night Thing. Stone ROCKED it sidestage for this song...never saw him really get that into a song live and in person. I wish he'd dance more... Then they performed Reach Down again because Chris screwed up the lyrics the first night.

After Reach Down, Chris left and then Mark Arm and Steve Turner joined the band to...botch Sonic Reducer.

Third encore was perfect - Alive...
Rockin' in the Free World with the whole world on stage...
And ending with Yellow Ledbetter.

An INCREDIBLE show. An INCREDIBLE two shows. An INCREDIBLE weekend. I was not disappointed by ANYTHING that weekend. It was the best "20th" anniversary show experience a fan could have!

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