October 23rd, 2010
Mountain View, California
Soundcheck from 10.22.10. . .
Santa Cruz/Driftin' (x2)/Unthought Known/Other Side/Dancing Barefoot/Walk With Me/The End/Just Breathe/Lukin/Black/Slow Better Man/Santa Cruz and Just Breathe strumming
Actual Show on the 23rd. . .
Last Kiss/Unthought Known/Santa Cruz/Nothingman/Dancing Barefoot/Better Man/Walk With Me/Just Breathe/Black
To a certain extent, everyone was "saving the date" for 10.22.10 - the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam's first show. It was fun imagining where it would end up being. Most people speculated the show would wind up being in Seattle. It was only natural - hometown, local of first show 20 years prior, etc. As the date kept crawling closer, it was becoming quite apparent that a major 20th anniversary show would not come into fruition (silly if you ask me, but Pearl Jam doesn't ask me, so. . .)
Then Bridge happened. While Bridge is great and a fun experience, I can't say I was a little bummed out that we wouldn't be spending 10.22.10 rocking out like we all should be. I knew though, we had to be at these Bridge shows. It didn't matter who else was playing. It didn't matter that Pearl Jam plays under an hour. The band was going to be somewhere playing near the 20th anniversary. Needed to be there. Period.
Mike and I flew out on the 21st. Some other folks (Rich, Simon, Shaunna and Carl) were arriving on the 22nd. We eventually met up with the crew - where else - at Shoreline. There was little haps and we had to depart to pick up Simon at the train station, so we left Carl and went to pick up the Brit.
No sooner than 10 minutes after we got back to the venue, soundcheck began. Talk about timing.
Santa Cruz sounded so nice. It was just a total stop. Listen. Enjoy. Look around. Smile. It was a moment. And I was so happy to be sharing it with other enthusiastic fans. There was no better way to be spending that moment in time. 20 years after the first show of our collective favorite band.
Driftin' came along next and sounded so fun. Unthought Known followed. I never really anticipated Unthought Known to be played at Bridge but it was a perfect fit and I'm biased because I looooove this song.
It's what came next that had everyone sooooo sooooo excited: Other Side. It sounded AMAZING. AMAZING!!! Smiles all around.
Two covers followed - Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith and a newer Neil Young song Walk With Me. Walk With Me sounded so great. Loved it from the get-go.
Strings joined the soundcheck at that point and we got the expected The End and Just Breathe. And a fast Lukin (and this is where Mike went nuts. If anyone would've happened to pass us by they would've thought something was wrong with him --- well, I guess there is). What came next was a bit of a surprise, Black with the strings. It was a nice addition. I'm beginning to think Pearl Jam needs to tour with a string quartet. And some amazing musicians. Not just joe blow schmoe off the street. Maybe I should pick up the violin again. This could be an excellent a) incentive to start playing again and b) opportunity.
The last true song played for the night was a slow version of Better Man. It was a very interesting spin on the song and I liked it a lot.
Seriously, the best soundcheck ever heard. It was amazing on a special date. All in all, the soundcheck last for almost an hour.
We celebrated the evening by going out for some pizza in downtown Sunnyvale. We were appropriately sat at table 20. Wine, beer and good cheer. It was a perfect, perfect way to celebrate 10.22.10.
With that said, I guess I should talk about the actual show I'm supposed to talk about on this page and that's the first night of Bridge 2010.
I will preface this by saying this was only my second Bridge School concert series. The first of the Bridge School concerts that would've been remotely possible for me were Bridge '99 however, I had just started my freshmen year of architecture school and I was going to class a solid 5 days a week. It just would not have been possible. I remember Bowman going and just being so bummed out that I SHOULD have been there but couldn't be. For the record, Bowman bought me a poster - this was before we had even met in person. See, he can be a nice guy ;-)
While I had been to Bridge in 2001, that trip was kind of a whirlwind (I had flown to Chicago, picked up Mike along the way, had a layover in Denver, flew to Las Vegas for one night since we were supposed to drive to LA to see ATP that got postponed and THEN flew to San Fran). Most of the memories came back to me once I got inside the venue. Any romantic notions I had with Shoreline were quickly washed away, though, because the weather was absolutely horrendous. Not Alpine '00 horrendous, but wet, cool and, well, sucky. And since the venue is not fully covered, it just made for an even more miserable situation.
We watched Neil open the show and well, did not go back to our seats until Pearl Jam hit the stage. If the weather was better we probably would have watched more of the show. It just wasn't worth it. I didn't feel it necessary to see Billy Idol be obscene in front of handicapped children as I did 9 years earlier.
We parked ourselves at a picnic table and watched the show on the televisions. I'm telling you, wet butts can certainly turn you into a wet blanket. Hot cocoa tasted like heaven and I was pissed when I was finished drinking it because it was warming up my hands. It was all around a ridiculous situation. At one point, we looked at the time and it was 6:00 and Pearl Jam wasn't coming on until after 10 --- talk about torture. It was. It was pure torture. "4 more hours of this???"
But we waited it out and headed to our seats for Pearl Jam. Only to be waiting for hours in the rain for. . .
Haha I didn't care. We finally made it to the Pearl Jam set - that is all that mattered.
Unthought Known came next. And since it's one of my favorites (just ask my iPod), I was thrilled.
Santa Cruz sounded so good! It would've felt all around better if the weather was gentle, but it was still great to hear.
Nothingman sounded amazing. Dancing Barefoot was a good new song added to the mix, but I'm not a big fan of the song.
Better Man was re-arranged and sounded good. Walk With Me was probably the highlight of the night for me. I love when Pearl Jam takes a Neil Young song and gives it that extra "oomph." It was just classic.
Just Breathe was a crowd pleaser and Black was good (it's got better 2nd time around) with a string arrangement added.
Once Pearl Jam left the stage, Operation Stay Warm was in full effect. . .
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