Pearl Jam – Live in Concert

It had been 4,777 days since I had seen Pearl Jam in concert. The only time I had seen them live was October 21, 2000—one day shy of the ten year anniversary of the band’s first performance. pearljamticket I’m not a big concert guy—I’ve only been to a couple of PJ concerts and two other Flogging Molly ones—but that original concert was special. Pearl Jam has been my favorite band for two decades now. Not only to do I love the music, but I’ve really appreciated their politics and social outlooks. Hell, they even devoted a song to one of my favorite books. Unfortunately, the band hasn’t included Phoenix in any of its tours for more than a decade. So when the band announced that they would be visiting Phoenix on November 19 on their Lightning Bolt tour, there was no way I was going to miss it.

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Seeing Flogging Molly on St Patrick’s Day

When I think back over my life, I often find that while I’ve done some cool things, I’ve also failed to participate in the common high school and college activities. Not drinking or doing drugs, having long-term relationships (thereby skipping the dating scene), and working and volunteering frequently pushed my life in a different direction than most of my friends.

For whatever reason, I was also far less interested in many of the popular culture activities that most people that age seem to be. Movies, tv, fashion, and music are all examples. Concert-going in particular was something I just seemed to miss.

Kim brought me to a Pearl Jam concert—my first concert experience—several years into our relationship. I had a blast, but that’s what you’d expect in seeing your favorite band perform live.

Fast forward another 8 years or so, and my concert total remained unchanged. That changed on St Patrick’s Day when I joined a few friends at the Flogging Molly concert at Tempe Beach Park. I’m not a big music fan, so while I had heard of the band before, I didn’t know any of their songs. I had a good time—in spite of the pushing, flinging sweat, and attempted theft of my iPhone—and enjoyed the experience even though I didn’t fully participate in the bouncing, fist-pumping, and singing.

I’ll probably never enjoy live music to quite the degree that my friends do, but maybe I should give it a shot more often.

Just breathe….

It’s not quite what I expected, but I’ve enjoyed the new Pearl Jam album Backspacer. In particular, I’ve found myself gravitating to the song Just Breathe. Without Vedder’s distinctive voice, you probably wouldn’t guess it was a Pearl Jam song – even if it does have an Into the Wild feel to it. It’s just one of those songs that unexpectedly speaks to me.

Unofficial video, with lyrics below.

Yes I understand that every life must end, aw huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, aw huh,..
I’m a lucky man to count on both hands
The ones I love,..

Some folks just have one,
Others they got none, aw huh,..

Stay with me,..
Let’s just breathe.

Practiced are my sins,
Never gonna let me win, aw huh,..
Under everything, just another human being, aw huh,..
Yeh, I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world
To make me bleed.

Stay with me,..
You’re all I see.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.

I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face, aw huh,..
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, aw huh,..
Nothing you would take,..
Everything you gave.

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one know this more than me.
As I come clean.

Nothing you would take,..
everything you gave.
Hold me till I die,..
Meet you on the other side.