Ok, here it is. The Best Concert Week of my life. Even though it could have been so much better if I didn't have to include my #1 concert regret of all-time.
I bought tickets in advance for all 3 shows. The 1st show I had to enter a lottery because Pearl Jam was in the midst of their ban on Ticketmaster and playing larger venues that supported Ticketmaster. I won the chance to buy 2 tickets to see them at the GMU PAtriot Center and was jakked to be seeing them in a small venue. Add to that finally being able to see Tool, the band I worshipped at the time at Hammerjacks followed by my favorite vocalist of all time Rob Halford and the mighty Anthrax with John Bush all playing the same nightclub. I knew I'd remember this week for the rest of my life but little did I know why...
I took 4 vacation days for this epic week. Both Fridays and 2 days for Tool because that was the night I was going to get rowdy and probably lose my mind. Tool is very emotional music to me and I'm not a very emotional person. Something about those Opiate songs tapped into a side of me that I loved. The same emotion I felt during Freedom when Zack from Rage Against the Machine would sing ANGER IS A GIFT! It's a combination of emotional, powerful lyrics with great riffs that is my favorite thing about music.
So, I wake up Friday, April 8th to start my epic concert week to the worst news. Kurt Cobain was found dead. I had recently bailed on seeing Nirvana live because they only played DC and I hated driving into DC. Not only was I sick that I didn't go to that show but I was fairly certain Pearl Jam would cancel their show that night. Eddie had been canceling shows for stomach issues and this was way worse than a belly ache I thought. I contacted GMU and they said the show was on. I wanted to know because it's a 90 min drive. I was still thinking it might get canceled but we soldiered on.
We get to the show and it's packed but very somber. You can feel the electricity but it was certainly an anticipation for a show that I've never felt. What was going to happen? Eddie came out by himself drunk as fuck and gave a very emotional, moving 5 minute speech about his friend Kurt and dedicated the show to him. They opened with Release and people were balling. I've never seen anything like it and actually had to fight back tears at one point. It was hard not to get caught up in the moment but after that they went on to play 2 hours and 30 plus minutes killing it all night. After 4 encores we were ready to leave and I said I need to stay to see if they play my favorite Pearl Jam song. I figured the odds were 20-1 that they would play ANY song after that epic performance and probably 50-1 it would be my song. They came out 1 last time and did Indifference and fucking KILLED IT!
I walked out of that venue with a feeling I've never had leaving a show. It was like satisfied, spent, happy, almost every emotion out there. This was my 3rd time seeing Pearl Jam and by far the best show they did. I still like their music but haven't seen them live since. After that night any show they would play just wouldn't compare for me. One of my 5 most incredible concert experiences of all time.
Sorry didn't expect such a diatribe. Part 2 coming later...