Stonebot & Devils
ticket scan coming in 40 years
October 30th, 2002
St. Andrew's Hall: Detroit, Michigan
Five years it had been. Well, over five years. I saw Brad once before on July 12th, 1997. 1/2 a decade later...I think it was about time to see them again.
Dziama and I went together. Parked his car and headed to St. Andy's. I figured there had to be some people there...it was like 1/4 after 5 after all. As we turn the corner onto Congress, I see the tour bus...and I see no one. LOL. There ended up being one woman on the steps. I was slightly cold at this time...as I had left my jacket in the car because I didn't want it to smell icky from all the cigarette smoke. Evenutally, Dziama had to go back to the car and get my jacket for me because I was turning into a Jessicle.
When Stone first got out of the bus, I shit you not, he was wearing shorts. It was freezing out...like 40 degrees (but it seemed mucho colder). I just laughed to myself wishing I could scream, "What in the HELL are you wearing?!?" But I contained myself. Took a lot of strength.
As we were waiting on the steps, Jeremy Toback came over and introduced himself. He is such a nice fellow. We didn't even realize he was Jeremy because well, we'd never seen Jeremy play with Brad, therefore, had no idea to really even look out for him. Really polite guy, everytime he passed us for the remainder of the night, he'd ask how we were doing (of course he had stopped coming around once we were freezing our asses off, which is probably a good thing because I probably would have broken into tears demanding he take me with him inside).
Time passed. Slowly but surely. Eventually, there were about six of us nutballs outside waiting. I don't even know why I was really waiting...Pearl Jam tradition, I suppose. Maybe it's because I've never seen Stone in a close-up setting (including backstage) and I just wanted proof he isn't kept inside a box for storage in-between show times;-)
The thing that got me super agitated was that doors were going to open at 8. Yeah, I saw that "8" was printed on my ticket...but I didn't even flinch while seeing that: I figured 8 was showtime because that's usually the time printed on the tickets. I called Erica down in Texas because she attended the Austin show...I asked her what times doors were and what time the show started. She told me 9 and 12. I was having a heartattack...thinking about how tired I was going to be the next day and how I shouldn't go to my classes. Doors ended up being at 8 and the band came on around 10:15/10:30 (which is still hella hella hella LATE).
Because Dziama and I were 2nd in line, we had a nice pick of where to go. I needed to urinate (the re-accuring Pearl Jam theme with myself, eh?) so I figured I would just sit on the balcony so I didn't piss anyone off (ala Neil Finn in Chicago) when I went back to my position after the potty. But when I walked into the room, I saw that they had black curtains up over the balcony...so it was closed. I haven't seen a bunch of shows at St. Andrew's...but I've seen enough...and none of them have ever had the balcony closed: good indication to how many people were going to show up.
I ended up going to the front and grabbing a spot on the rail...just right of dead center. Everyone on the rail ended up being people I had just spent the last three hours talking to, so they said they'd watch my spot as I went to the ladies' room. On my way back, I stopped at the merch stand to be horribly disappointed (and so happy that I have grown up when it comes to merchandise and I no longer feel I have to buy every item): posters were $10! Can you believe that? I mean, they were cool and stuff...but my college-going ass is way poor and I expected them to be like $5...then again, I didn't expect them to be silk-screened. The shirts...one t-shirt design (black or white) and three wife beaters. Wife beaters?!? Pearl Jam hasn't even had wife beaters on the last three tours...what's the deal on Brad having wife beaters? The hats were cool...but again, I don't need anymore crap in my life and I can't afford unwearable merchandise, so I passed with ease.
As I was going back to my spot, I spotted Jeremy. Waved to him and Dziama, Jerm, and I ended up in conversation for a long while. I got annoyed by some guy that was by us...but I won't get into it. It was nice to have some good old raw-throat Pearl Jam conversations...with some down-to-earth peeps. I better get my chatterbox ready for Seattle...
Happy Chichester opened the show. I don't hate the guy, but he kinda scared me. Especially his song about a "sexy lady." Ah well, his set didn't drag on too long, so we were spared.
Right before Brad actually came on, I looked around to see how many people were in the room and it was pathetic. There was literally no one there. Maybe 200 people max. 1,000 capacity venue? We commented on how they should have moved downstairs to the Shelter (300 capacity). People were getting restless and pissed and just as someone shouted, "Fucking start the show!" the band walked onstage.
Now, if you re-call, I've never been front row for a Pearl Jam show. I have been front for Three Fish (but not in front of Jeffy Poo)...and this was such a small venue...and I never have sat on the floor in front of Stone...so you think that I would be freaking out. Nah. I so wasn't. I guess Pearl Jam's become such a part of me it's like, "Oh, there's Stone." I ended up paying more attention to Jeremy Toback and Shawn at the show than Stoner Boner.
I had my digital camera with me...but due to the fact that they taped up "NO CAMERAS" signs and I was at the rail, I decided not to pull it out. I also decided that this night was special because no one was there. And why was it special? Stone had been wearing a beanie all day...and his hair...well, he had a slight case of hat-head. It was embarrassingly cute and I kinda felt like, "Hey, this should be reserved for Detroiter's only" ;-P If Stone has hat-head in your town...keep it to yaself because sure, it's a quite special thing. He was wearing black jeans and a brown sweater (that he later took off and I almost shouted, "Yeah woo! Take it off Stone!" I don't know if that would have been worse than me carrying in a sign that said, "Stone, you are my fashion inspiration!"). Ah, the shoes. Cream colored, worn out loafers. Gotta love his taste in footwear...
I, of course, do not really remember details in accordance of the setlist. I know they played Lift. Everything they play live is great...and it can never be captured on recordings. I guess it's the whole ambiance of the band that you miss out on with the recordings.
Stone was in a great ass mood. I've never seen him smile so much. He also was the band spokesman and he kinda had a lot to say. Maybe 1/8 shy of being Ed on a typical night;-) When he fucked up a song (which I can not remember, but it was either the 2nd or 3rd song), he just started laughing and Jeremy started laughing. It was a grand old time.
Seeing 20th Century with Jeremy playing bass was outstanding. The song is kickass as it is...I just don't recall it being so outstanding in '97 without Jeremy. Lessee...they also played Mr. Pink and If You Could Make It Good.
Eventually people started shouting requests (I held back from screaming Buttercup)...and Stone was like, "We just started, we'll cover them all tonight." The Day Brings and Secret Girl...nice. Secret Girl always get people pumped, I think. Such a great song...
Now I must admit, whatever song that was played before Secret Girl (which was the last song of the main set)...I was sleeping. I wasn't sleeping as an insult...I was resting my head on the rail and closing my eyes and listening and I think they saw me doing that...because it really seems like they cut the set short. Sure, there was hardly anyone there...but if they came on an hour earlier, I think people would have been peppier.
Thank goodness, however, they came back...and played...Buttercup. Man I swear, I love that song so much. It's one of my all-time favorite songs. They could have come on and played just that and I would have left happy with my ticket purchase.
Ah yes, I must not forget, Stonebot played the drums. He drummed just like anyone could imagine. He has got to have the best drummer face on the planet.
I don't recall what they closed with but I thought they might come out for a 2nd encore...but they did not. It was a shame, but to be honest, I was kind of glad because I was so tired and it was to the point of exhaustion that I was not enjoying myself.
As we were leaving, Jeremy was in the entry talking to some people. He seriously is so rockass. What a pleasant man.
All in all, good time seeing Brad. Good time seeing Brad up close. Bad time seeing Brad after freezing to the point of a Jessicle. Bad time seeing Brad so late. But I'm happy I went and got to hear some groovy tunes...and see Stone say some positive things about Detroit and St. Andrew's Hall...you all know by now, that's the way to my heart:-)
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