OCTOBER 22, 2001
Gimme Some Truth, Grievance, Insignificance, Given To Fly, Light Years, Nothing As It Seems, I Am Mine, Better Man, Do The Evolution, Long Road (w/Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)
I think everyone was waiting for the grand finale...the "final" show in Seattle. Sure, acoustic Pearl Jam is nice...but it had been almost a year since we saw our boys plugged in and rocking the joint. There were a few things that made the anticipation huge...the fact we didn't know what in the hell they planned on playing...which was a big deal because we really had no idea how long they would be playing, due to the fact REM was headlining. 45 minutes? 90 minutes? We all wanted them to play for 90 minutes, and we kept saying, "They'll play for 90 minutes." But deep down in our hearts, we knew we were swallowing the truth and lying;-) On top of that, it was a holiday...October 22nd. 11 years since first show...our minds couldn't ignore that (and I can not forget to mention, my father's birthday as well...).
Sleep? Forget about it! After Bridge, we all went to our respective hotels to attempt to get some sleep...for we had an early plane to catch. Bowman, Rich, Benton, Alex, Grenough, Hammond...not to mention me...were all taking an early flight to Seattle from Oakland. We had to be up at the buttcrack of...can't even say dawn, because it was dark when we were waiting in line at the airport. Everyone but Benton, Bowman, and I napped on the plane. We were all tired, and all excited, but I don't know, I have a hard time sleeping on airplanes...especially when we chose to sit at the back (the loudest, uh huh) so we could all sit together.
When we arrived at SeaTac, we kind of just sat around conversing and waiting for other Pearl Jam Peeps to arrive from their flights (since our flight was just about the earliest arriving into Seattle out of the flights people took). Finally, Bowman drove Rich, Benton, Alex, and I to Seattle Center...where we headed straight to the box office.
A lot can change in a year. I think we all know this. But stepping into Seattle Center...and seeing they were tearing down a building...that was active at the time of those Pearl Jam shows last year...was weird. Destination? I think I had to pee pee first...of course! Then we went directly to the box office. Where no one was.
I think another thing we all were excited about was a true box office day. I don't upgrade tickets...don't care to, but I like sitting at the damn box office. It's where you can socialize. Uh huh, uh huh. We didn't get that box office experience so much at Shoreline because...well, it wasn't really allowed and many people were waiting in line for a good spot on the lawn.
In any case, we were in Seattle. It was lightly raining. Glenn arrived and took Benton and I to our hotel (which was the same hotel Glenn was staying at). Upon our return to the box office, it was clear to say more people had shown up and it was feeling more like home;-)
Out of the entire 2000 tour, I think Seattle stuck out to me the most and I have the most romantic attachment to those shows because it was a cool 48 hours of hanging out with your Pearl Jam friends and in a cool area...in the "mecca." Not to mention, anytime I have the urge for pizza when I am at Key Arena, the Seattle Center food court is just a second walk away. And I must not forget...the fudge:-)
I went on a walk with Benton and Rich down to the water...as close as we could get. It was really cool because in 2000, I didn't really get a chance to explore the city. I think by the time we got back, soundcheck was about to start. I think Benton and I had just finished eating, and we were walking around the building...and heard noise. Pearl Jam? Mmm hmm!
I think at this point it was I Got Shit...then a very rad Insignificance. Called up Rich and found his location and he came to the same doors we were at. Heard Grievance and Last Soldier (I believe). And that's when we started whining and we were shushed and we were kind of pissed for being shushed since we were there first and we were just a bunch of party peeps enjoying the moment...for chrissake! So instead of making a huge ass stink, we moved and we could talk and comment all we wanted about the soundcheck there, thank you very much. Great to hear Gimme Some Truth...as I think that song was the highlight for those three shows for me (besides you know, Lowlight). I believe the soundcheck ended with a rad Nothing As It Seems...
...and then we were off...to go find Shirley to get Rich his ticket for the show. (Was it Shirley? I can't remember...) Short stop at Dick's Cheeseburgers and some sitting with Bowman, Protzel, Protzel's girl, and Chuck. Was Glenn there, too? I can't remember.
Then back to the box office were we...and fun socializing times ahead. Don't remember much other than getting my chat on with Kirk and then trying to get Stephanie to come join in the fun.
Got in. Got the posters. Socialized, cause that's what we all do best. I love Pearl Jam shows...cause seriously, you can't walk in a venue and not recognize a face...it's a beautiful thing. Got the official Maos and Gwen invitation for post show fun times.
Benton and I were sitting together...and no, our seats were no 4th row (ahem, Bowman and Rich), but good view I think. The section was rocking. Club 128. Lots of Pearl Jam peeps. Kirk was two rows directly ahead of us...Sue Ann was to the right and down about 10 rows. It was cool. Plus we could spot all the loser friends of ours on the floor;-)
Not going to say much about opening bands. They were kind of scary. I watched some of Alanis' set while Glenn and Benton had a beer or two. I just wanted to literally say I saw her and she sucked;-) Artis the Spoonman and then time for our band...
...the moment we all had been waiting for...
...and what do those guys do?!?
They OPEN with Gimme Some Truth! Geezus! (Hah I can't stand it any longer, I gotta pop this show in!) Gimme Some Truth...plugged in...it was so powerful in that arena that night. I don't think the recordings can quite grasp that...because I feel it...but not to the extent I felt in that moment. I mean, that's a usual reaction, but I really feel that way with this song. You had to be there...hearing it on CD is not enough, sorry.
As if that weren't enough for us to fall over to...they go into Grievance...and don't let up at all...
They're plugged in...and they want us to know it...and feel it...oh yeah!
Insignificance...and Given to Fly. Whew. This is when it hits us we're all out of shape for shows;-)
Given to Fly was sooooooo good to hear and probably my favorite part of the night.
I remember taking a second to realize...the whole place...is just rocking out! These peeps...they're not here for a good old REM time...they're here for that damn Pearl Jam band...
What a good feeling:-)
We got some break time with Light Years and a beautiful Nothing As It Seems. New song time? Were we all secretly, evily wishing that it wouldn't be Last Soldier? I think so...I think we all wanted to hear I Am Mine...and hear it in a new light with power.
Then it was time for the crowd pleaser of the evening <groan> and not to mention, the song that VH1 would broadcast...as if Better Man is the epitome of the band. Overall, I have nothing to complain about, they could've played Even Flow, too;-) It's just, when they had such a limited time on stage, it's hard not to whine about hearing Better Man when they could've played...who knows? Anything else? ;-)
I think out of every song played that night, I did not think they would go into Do the Evolution. We all needed it though. I'm really surprised there wasn't damage to the building during this song. At least we can say the architects and engineers of Key Arena did a decent job building the place...withstand four Pearl Jam sets and still be standing? Heh.
Weirdest...but most logical...ending the show with Long Road. I mean, Long Road is usually an opener (as most of you know)...but I think it was just known as soon as the first note was heard, that this was it. They would be ending...this was the end of our Pearl Jam Adventures in 2001. Sad...but Long Road fit all the way around. I'm not even talking about logical for the band...logical for us...the fans. While 2001 didn't hold a "long road" for us...it still was a long road...a short long road...but we had cherished fully our short time together as friends. So it was perfectly fitting for the journey to end with a song like Long Road. And then when Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, it was a beautiful thing. A beautiful event to end a beautiful long weekend.
One of the most touching things, for me, that entire day, was the way the entire place was not about to let the band leave silently. We all tried our damnedest to keep those guys on stage. We did not let up. I hope that made the band feel good...it was a direct display of our love and affection for them. Especially when we all booed when they started to take down everything:-)
What a way to go out...
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