September 5th, 2023
United Center
Chicago, Illinois

Setlist. . .
Release/Low Light/Just Breathe/Retrograde/Who Ever Said/Corduroy/Gods' Dice/Faithfull/Quick Escape/Animal/Light Years/Even Flow/Dance of the Clairvoyants/In My Tree/Comatose/Down/Rearviewmirror
Encore. . .
Throw Your Arms Around Me/Inside Job/Wishlist/Not For You/Better Man/Alive/Surrender

I feel like we were sort of rushed to Chicago. We drove all the way back to Detroit from St. Paul...straight through, the Sunday after the St. Paul show. The kids did great...thanks to wifi in the car and headphones for the iPads. We had one day at home to get laundry done...and it was bizzaro because our house had been under construction but our main bathroom was mid-renovation. So anyway, we dropped the kids off at school, went home, packed up the car and PEACED OUT to Chicago. We drove to our hotel in the burbs, settled in, and I took a nap. Because naps are great before Pearl Jam shows. Plus I woke up early to ride with Peloton crew on my much-missed Bike at 5am eastern.

We got to the United Center pretty early. Waited in the merch line for stickers...only for them to be sold out. Oh well. Waited to get inside to get our stickers and pricey water. After some terrible Giordano's pizza and nachos we concluded that the United Center has the worst vegetarian food options out of any venue we've been to. Terrible food choices. Two thumbs down. These things are important - we need fuel for the show.

Gotta say, pre-show I was not happy about my seats. I know...wah. We were on the floor, 11 rows back. But you know what? Again, try to have perspective. I'm in the door. It's like show 119 for me. I've been in the front. I've seen a lot. There are screens...but honestly, I knew I'd be fine rocking out with my eyes closed. And really - I was. I thoroughly enjoyed the show. What I ended up not enjoying is the guy who sat next to me who kept occupying my space. Unfortunately he was next to us the next night and he was next to Mike and tried the same shit with him. Boo.

It was great, too...because just walking around, ran into Britney. Saw Dan & Lynn in their seats. Got to talk to Rich. See Doerr. See Baker & Jess. See Manish & Vikas. PJ shows always feel like home but seeing so many faces really made Chicago feel even more like home.

Regardless of how many times a show may open with Release and even if it seems eye-rolly since Let's Play really is a great opener and I was thrilled the first night opened with it.

Some great things thrown at us...Low Light! Gods' Dice....really!?!?! into Faithfull...just push me over man. Ed's intro into Animal talking about The Bear and how Jeff thought the use of Animal was the best visuals to their songs ever...yeah. Fully agree! And thinking of that show and the scene of The Bear right there in Chicago that night was something special. Another bright spot in the main set? In My Tree...and then Comatose?!?!....and then Down. Just pure happiness.

It's hard to imagine (haha) that Ed would come out and play Throw Your Arms Around Me and then the band would play Inside Job. Man, when any of my top 5 songs are played I am just THRILLED. Show closing with "hometown" boys, Cheap Trick was great.

It really was a great, solid show. Ed's Chicago love was there - with stories of visting his grandma's house after attending his aunt's memorial. Chelios coming out in Evel Knievel. And honestly, just a great feeling to see a show in Chicago NOT at Wrigley!

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