JB1: Hello...anyone out there?Sitting alone - at least no personal friends - in the first row of the mezzanine, I had a clear view of the stage. Nice, as far as I was concerned. We got the Man-trilogy tonight - something I still wish they would add here...Mankind. Tonight's RVM was a totally spaced out, trippy, out-of-this-world experience. The crowd didn't seem to be 'all there'. A "single" good show...just 'good' - even 'nice' would work.
JB2: The Invisible Force of Matt Cameron (or - Just another fuckin' editorial)Sat tenth row, Stone's side - but too far over to see Matt. But he was there - damn was he ever there (so there!). Like a storm of beats coming out of the ether. I was with the wife tonight - her fan club tickets. Now, I have to explain a bit. My wife likes PJ, but still holds a displeasurable taste for them since meeting/living with me (I hammered her with too much PJ early on in our relationship)...although she will admit to liking them more live - she has been to Randall's Island 2 (from '96) and MSG2 (from '98)...not too fuckin' bad for someone who only 'likes' the band, huh?! She doesn't really care for the new album, and would've skipped JB2 - but I insisted. Lucky her, she got to hear seven new songs in the main set (and I was lovin' this...anyone who knows me and my wife will understand my pleasure in this!).
If anything at all, this band brings up mixed emotions...no, not inside of me - all around me. Some people loved this show, others thought it was 'un-even'. Hmmmm? Were we at the same show? Listening or hearing differently? My wife supplied some answers on the drive home...don't all wives do this? She had me understand the uneven-ness of JB2...fast, then slow...old, then new.
It's the way I would make a mix tape, sort of like a rollercoaster ride. Whereas she would produce a tape of pounding, relentless song threats shattering the sound and speed barriers. There were certainly songs that did all of this, and more tonight. I walked away quite satisfied...a "double good" show.
[To just digress a bit, JB1 was a bit tepid. Fairly standard setlist, crowd not entirely into it. JB2, of course, would be better. This is how it goes with PJ - the second night at the same venue provides fans with a little something extra.]
What will happen for JB3? Can't wait (but will have to).
JB3: Ladies & Gentlemen, Mr. Stone Gossard (or - "Let's not break after Rearviewmirror...just to see what happens.")Tonight, it was Stone's night. The few songs played before the Baba intro were totally Stoney - funk, r&b, acid jazzy, a bit rappy type feel to things...I'm thinking - sweet. We'll get to hear Mankind tonight. He so totally doesn't seem to look comfortable in a fronting role...and this is just one reason why I love the guy. Hangin' back - chillin'. Matt was also waaaaaaay on tonight - way. He's got In My Tree down. Matt is in the driver's seat...Ed might be out front giving directions, but Matt's behind the wheel.
The band did what we were waiting for these last two nights...they played through RVM. They took us to that point (I think the JB2 version was better though), mellowed out a bit, then took off again...and again...and again.
Next stop (for me)...Camden.
Thank you Pearl Jam - you've made my summer.
© 2000 E.C. Groom
photo © John Reynolds