I ended up getting to the new BiLo Center around 2pm and found a door without many people. I was able to get one of the famous soccer jerseys before the show, thanks to this cool merchandise guy who let me get the stuff before the doors opened when I told him I had GA tickets. I met up with friends from Louisiana and we talked about what the opening song might be. I thought Corduroy because I had been to three shows and seen three different openers so I didn't see a reason why this show would be different. But I did mention that Oceans would be great, especially since they had played Release the night before. My friend Brian said he wanted to hear Fuckin' Up, but I had never heard it before so I really had no comment.
We finally got into the arena around 7pm and claimed our spots. I moved to Stone's side and sat down on the floor and waited for Mudhoney. I had never really heard any Mudhoney songs except for Overblown since it appears on the Singles soundtrack but I was impressed with the band as was much of the crowd. As Mudhoney was playing, we could see Mike on the left side snapping pictures, and then Matt and Ed on the right side doing the same. After Mudhoney finished, the intensity level increased with so much anticipation. I couldn't hear the music very well so the dimming lights told me the show was about to start. They came out and Ed didn't have a guitar so I knew it couldn't be Corduroy or Sometimes. I thought for a split second Release but that was quickly thrown out when Ed began, "1,2,3 ..." and the opening chords to none other than Oceans started. I was surprised and very pleased to hear such a great song live for the first time. They then immediately kicked into DTE and I knew when they played it so early that it would be a tremendous show.
The crowd was pushing more and more and I was finding it a bit difficult to breathe, but I was under no circumstances giving up my spot in the second row in front of Mr. Gossard. Animal was up next and I had been listening to it all week so I was excited to hear it. I think that was the first time in my life that I could do the hand counting half way decent. I was one of very few doing the counting along with Ed.
GTF was up next and it is just an amazing arena song. The images of clouds on the backdrop only helped the feeling of flying. After GTF, they began Corduroy. I absolutely love this song. It was the first PJ song that I actually got into and it turned me on to this tremendous band. It was awesome to hear I Got Shit again and I love In Hiding. In Hiding is my favorite off of Yield and I was pissed that I couldn't enjoy it because I was fending off all these assholes pushing. Why people like to attempt moshing when we are packed like sardines is beyond me. When they started Jeremy, the pit intensity grew since all the casual fans knew this one. Even Flow contained yet another amazing solo by Mr. McCready as Ed gave way on stage to Mike grabbing the spotlight. Nothingman was beautiful and very calming, then they started the opening notes for Not For You. I hadn't heard this in a long time and was very happy to hear it again.
Rearviewmirror was amazing and Ed gestured to a girl who was at the barricade but was just tall enough to see over it during the line "... try to endure." Wishlist was great and I was able to forget about the surge long enough to watch the mirror ball twirl. I was finally able to get to the front of the barricade by the time they started Brain of J. It was much easier to breathe and I could actually enjoy the music.
All Those Yesterdays was a huge and welcome surprise. Ed turned and treated those seated behind the stage for this one. Porch was amazing and I pulled out my signs for Hard to Imagine and Baba O'Riley that I was able to keep in my pocket throughout the show. (I had pretty much given up on the idea of Breath so I brought signs for songs that they have been playing occasionally). I handed one sign to this guy I met in line, Andrew, and I held the other. Ed saw them right away and during the solo, came over and took them. I had only intended for them to see the signs, certainly not for Ed to come over and get them! We could see Ed asking Stone something (maybe about playing the songs?) after he took the signs. That finished the first set and I wondered if they would really play either of the requests.
They started the first encore with a very tight version of Go which led directly into Hail Hail. I love this song and the version tonight did not disappoint. Daughter comes next and Andrew has been writing down the setlist all night and asks my help on the tags. I wasn't able to get the first, but I definitely recognized WMA. I had never heard the WMA tag and was happy to hear it and to be able to identify a tag while I was hearing it live at a show. Before Mankind, Stone jokes about how he had to twist some arms to finally get to sing. A very good version, with Ed going to town on the tambourine Elderly Woman comes next with Ed saying that he was glad Matt got to see the small towns in South Carolina and that the next song was called Small Town. This comment drew big applause for Mr. Cameron too. The crowd was totally into this song especially at the part when Ed just wants to scream "hello."
Fuckin' Up is a total surprise. It was the first time I had ever heard the song in my life but I enjoyed it completely. The house lights were on with Ed getting the crowd to sing along, "Why do I keep fuckin' up?" They said good night and many of the people in the stands began leaving. I was hoping they would come back out and sure enough, they walked back out a few moments later. Ed commented that they had gotten a couple of requests from the guys down front and motioned in our direction, but that they couldn't play them because they had played them the night before. So they launched into a song they hadn't played in a while, Indifference. It was totally unexpected, but wow.
They left for the last time but as the stage techs were taking down the stage, one of them threw a setlist my direction. I was able to catch it and ball it up before the other people around me started tearing it up.
All in all, it was a tremendous show, but I must say now that I will probably not be on the floor for another GA show. It's great to be up front, but being crushed and having to worry about staying on your feet is not worth it.
It was a great show and the band seemed very happy to be there. Stone was jumping very early into the show and Mike's ran around in a frenzy and played his guitar while laying on top of the speakers during Fuckin' Up. Jeff seemed to be frustrated with all the stuff being thrown up on stage, especially when something hit his stand up bass. But that didn't seem to deter him from having a good time. Matt was on. He was even able to sing back up a couple of times. Ed was interacting with the crowd, making great catches, and commenting on how they were the second concert to play the BiLo Center, after Janet Jackson.
As far as the experience, the Greenville show was the best show I have been to. I heard songs I had never heard before as well as songs I hadn't heard live since 1995. Although I certainly did not miss Betterman, I sure did miss Alive. I can't wait to catch PJ the next time around ... hopefully that will be very soon.
setlist scans by Scott Gerace