September 21st, 2012
DeLuna Festival
Pensacola Beach, Florida

Setlist. . .
Oceans/Interstellar Overdrive/Corduroy/Got Some/Once/Given to Fly/Amongst the Waves/ Grievance/Even Flow/World Wide Suicide/The Fixer/Daughter/Of The Earth/Elderly Woman/ Parachutes/Unthought Known/Do the Evolution/Porch
First Encore. . .
Black/Comatose/Why Go/Rearviewmirror
Second Encore. . .
Better Man/Lukin/Alive/Baba O'Riley/Yellow Ledbetter

Not really being tuned-in to the happenings of the Florida Panhandle, I had never heard of the DeLuna Festival. When the band announced they were going to be playing DeLuna, I grouchily looked up information on it (grumble grumble let me check out this festival I am not going to)...and was shocked to see that this festival actually took place ON the beach. Maybe this festival wasn't such a bad idea after all...

No other shows were announced at the time and they were touting this show as the "only" NA tour date. I was like... you know what, festival or not, it's on the beach. We are gonna go --- and I booked a room at the Hampton Inn that looked quite close to the venue. I saw the early bird specials for the 3 day passes, still thought they were pricey but it was the "only" date and it was the beach!

As time went on, more information came out. Oh let's add Philly. Atlanta. Missoula. At first it was like a slam dunk - we'll go to Atlanta and Pensacola - this will be great! But then I missed out on early bird specials. When I started adding everything up, I said, yeah, this Pensacola/Atlanta is not going to work out. Too expensive! Plus Missoula had been announced and I was satisfied with at least seeing them there.

Time went on and then it was announced they were selling one day passes for DeLuna. My heart skipped a beat: can we do this!?! On a Friday about four weeks before the festivals, I rushed onto the computer, booked a flight with miles, secured our tickets, booked a few hotels and got us a car. Rock and roll: three Pearl Jam shows in September!!!

In my mind, I really did not care about Atlanta - I just needed to get to that beach for some Oceans...maybe Amongst the Waves...maybe Big Wave.

We flew into Atlanta the night before and then drove down to Pensacola the day of. The five hour drive went relatively quickly - with a few diversions. One being the last minute hotel switch. I thought I was being proactive for the Atlanta drive back by booking a hotel one hour outside of Atlanta. When we passed it and saw that it was in the middle of nowhere, we decided we'd be better off staying near the airport in Pensacola. We also stopped off at the Mellow Mushroom for Mike's first MM experience.

We headed to the "venue" and found a hotel about four hotels down charging $20 for parking. It was a clutch spot - as a hotel farther down was charging $25. We got to the gates and saw what a cluster that was - no line at the gates but huge line at the "ticket exchange." See, you had to print a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper with your ticket on it and then exchange that for a wristband. That was redonkulous.

When we finally got inside, we were surprised by how small this festival was. And the view on the beach was amazing. We headed to the water and took off our sandals and got our feet wet. Amazing. After walking around a bit, we went and waited for Band of Skulls to start. Headed over to the main stage as Gaslight Anthem was finishing (yep, we "missed" Ed for State of Love and Trust. I was actually in the port-o-john when it happened and even though I was closer to the Band of Skulls performance, I could hear State over them). We started off on the beach side of the stage, but decided to move to Stone's side and we were surprised by how light the crowd was on that side of the stage. We were able to walk right up to the rail, hard right Stone side. Even though we weren't in front of the stage, we had an awesome view (and yes, it was being the VIP area) but it was probably the closest I had been to see the band in a festival setting. We befriended this young couple next to us that turned out to be brother and sister. They shared some pizza with me and we learned that this would be their first Pearl Jam show and they were both quite excited for it. They grew up on Pensacola Beach and were locals - we were psyched for them.

Guided By Voices were on before Pearl Jam. I sat my booty down on the sand and got tortured for about an hour. Slowest hour ever - really. The lead singer was so trashed and the music was just not good. At some point, the lead singer started hacking. Hacking!!! The crowd was not into it either. Yikes.

Before PJ came on, the VIP area ($890 for a three day pass) started to fill up more. At the same time, I was surprised by how we were not getting squashed from people moving up behind us. So not crowded at all. Loved it. There was a big mess that happened in VIP - they tried to get everyone out of VIP so they could let the -ahemgoofuses- 10 Club travel package people in before them. You try telling a bunch of people who spent a grand for VIP tickets that they have to leave to let others in first. Hahaha. It was funny to watch. Literally before PJ came on stage, they let the most amount of people you could imagine into the VIP area and suddenly our clutch spot didn't seem so clutch at all save for the fact we could see the screens very well. All the VIPs that came in kept trying to lean on the rail. Nu-uh, wasn't happening. We had waited three hours there, that was our f'n rail. Especially since they were blocking our view.

So the band finally came on stage, and you just knew what was coming. Oceans. Amen(t). Yes. You did us all right Eddie by playing that - predictable or not, it was perfect. The only thing that wasn't perfect is that the band came on after the sun set --- I think the sunset is the only thing that could've possibly made that show better.

In a typical fashion for a festival, and by typical, I mean not at all...the band went into Interstellar Overdrive into Corduroy and I was having flashbacks to NO Jazz Fest opening with So You Wanna Be A Rock and Roll Star and me just thinking, "Booyah! I love this band..."

Got Some into Once lead us into the perfect song for the evening, Given to Fly. It only got better...didn't think it could when Amongst the Waves started. There is just something about that song - it has gotten the most airplay on my iPod. It just overtakes me - I could be having the worst, most stressful day ever, and all I have to do is put Amongst the Waves on. To me, it summarizes a passion for a hobby. In Ed's case, surfing, for me, watching Pearl Jam. I just love love love it to pieces and it was the only song I needed/wanted to hear on the I was just beyond thrilled. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I believe after Amongst the Waves, Ed said, "This is a public service announcement with...a microphone." and I was like, "Oh shit, please DON'T play that gawdawful song." and they didn't, so that was awesome... they went into Grievance...which was a MUCH better choice!

Even Flow was great - and like I said in my recap to Rob, it was the million dollar song...because all of the VIPs felt like they got their money's worth and left after Even Flow allowing all of us to see a whole lot better without their heads being in the way. Best Even Flow ever!

World Wide Suicide into The Fixer led us into Daughter with a very nice It's OK tag. Never would've thought Of The Earth would come next! I really just never thought I would see of those things I chalked up to never being in the right place at the right time. The cool thing about it is that even though it was a festival setting and there weren't a lot of hard core fans, the crowd really dug the song!

Elderly Woman came next. I missed it, so glad to hear again! Ed introduced Parachutes by saying he wrote it about Johnny Ramone as he was dying. The song reminds me of water, so it was perfect for the occasion. Unthought Known, Do the Evolution and Porch closed out the set.

One of the funniest parts of the main set is when Ed mentioned that the last time they played Pensacola was 1994 and the siblings next to me exclaim, "I was 4!!!" And the sister goes, "I was only 1!" And I thought, oh my, I'm feeling oooooold.

Even though prior to the event, I assumed we would get Just Breathe at encore 1, it just didn't feel like it was going to it was cool to hear them play an excellent version of Black. Comatose was one of those I didn't think they would play (hello awesome!) Why Go and a slightly shortened version of Rearviewmirror closed out encore 1 (was sort of disappointed by Rearviewmirror not being so jammy, but also happy because it meant maybe one more song we wouldn't have gotten if it were extended.

Better Man to open the second encore - and it was awesome. Especially when they served cookies to the VIPs. What could make Better Man better? I think we may have all had our own ideas but none of us ever thought of adding cookies to the mix...

Ed started talking about the lead singer of Guided By Voices joining him but he said he would be too fucked up - so I thought it was time for Rocking in the Free World or something...but nope! Lukin!

Alive into Baba O'Riley into Yellow Ledbetter to close out an incredible show! SO glad we made it! McCready was on fire (though I couldn't stop laughing at his RNDM haircut). The crowd was decent to deal with. It had been just over a year since I had last seen the band live -- I was SO ready for it! Next time this band is on the beach and I can rock out barefoot in the sand --- I am THERE!!!

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