Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pearl Jam at the Gibson

Argh! Why don't I bring the camera places? After last night's dinner at Craft, you'd think that I'd learn my lesson. But apparently I didn't and showed up to Pearl Jam's final night in Los Angeles at the Gibson Theater with nothing but my crappy iphone camera. And it died halfway through.

The lighting was really good at the concert and our seats were decent enough that I could have gotten some good shots. I guess my reluctance to lug the camera everywhere stems from my fear of not being allowed in to a particular venue with it. And I don't want to look like a camera geek. And it's a pain to drag around and make sure I don't leave it in the women's bathroom. All pretty stupid reasons, and now I have to live with my stupid pictures.


(But you don't have to. I'll intersperse my ramblings with sidehike's wonderful shots of the Austin City Limits Festival. It was the same set and they wore similar outfits... lol)

Our seats were good, but there really wasn't a bad seat in the house. When we walked up the stairs to the end of the lodge and I looked back at the stage, I would have been more than happy there. I've provided this helpful annotated illustration.


It was sort of an intimate stripped down concert vibe. I was pleased.


Several of my "reasons why I hate concerts" were in full effect.
  • Bald guy in front of me that looked like a cross between Benjamin Linus on Lost and Ron Howard's brother toking up and blowing smoke in the air? Check.
  • A hall of people singing aloud at the top of their lungs? Check. Fortunately, Mr. Vedder's voice drowned them out. heh.
  • Erratic spastic dancers that are crazily distracting? Check, checkity, check, check.
  • People encroaching in my personal space? Check.
And I even crafted a new one - a stray lock of hair from a woman wildly thrashing next to be nearly got in my contact. Nice.

Despite my stick-up-my-ass behavior, I actually had a good time. lol. I've never seen Pearl Jam live, despite having Ten and Vs. permanently stuck in my 3-cd Aiwa stereo for most of the 1990s. The couple next to us had traveled to this concert from El Salvador as a birthday present and the guy kept offering Mr. Insom swigs from a bottle of tequila in his jacket pocket. Pearl Jam is a good band to see live, and a great band to see live in Los Angeles. I know they probably act like this in every city, but I really get the feeling that musicians pull out all the stops when the arrive in a city like Los Angeles. Maybe my Angelocentric bias is showing here... but actually, they performed several songs that they typically don't (including one that hasn't been performed in six years), so score one for my hometown.

(Photo courtesy of sidehike)

Vedder began by telling people that he just had watched the movie The Cove that afternoon and that after seeing the worst of humanity, he couldn't wait to get some positive energy at tonight's show. I don't blame him. I haven't seen that movie, and I don't want to as I'm sure watching dolphin slaughter would put me in a horrible mood for the next 3 years. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss, I guess. (I was going to stick in an image of the movie poster, but even looking at that made me feel queasy and sad.) Then Vedder said he was going to throw away throw away the set list and proceeded to rock his little heart out.

Guitarist Mike McCready is a dynamo and his extended nimble solo during Even Flow (which he played a decent chunk of it behind his back) brought the house down.

(Photo courtesy of sidehike)

Vedder did his "intense grip the mic" thing, careened around like a dervish, and drank from a bottle of booze (which he graciously shared with Ben Harper during the Indifference encore and a few fans in the first row). Lots of energy and the crowd was really into it, so much that at the end of the concert, they were literally drained.

(Photo courtesy of sidehike)

When it was all said and done, I was pissed that they didn't play Yellow Ledbetter, Elderly Woman, or Rearview Mirror like they did at previous nights. Yes, I'm one of those fans.

Setlist is available at here at, with random video clips....
    1. Long Road
    2. Animal
    3. Hail Hai
    4. Gonna See My Friend
    5. Got Some
    6. Alone
    7. Nothingman
    8. Amongst The Waves
    9. Even Flow
    10. Untitled
    11. Unthought Known
    12. All Those Yesterdays
    13. Why Go
    14. Wishlist
    15. Present Tense
    16. Force of Nature
    17. The Fixer
    18. Spin The Black Circle
    19. Porch
    20. Just Breathe
    21. The End
    22. Lukin
    23. Red Mosquito (with Ben Harper)
    24. Jazz Odyssey
    25. Love, Reign O'er Me (The Who cover)
    26. Bloodnwith Atomic Dog snippet
    27. State Of Love And Trust
    28. Crown of Thorns (Mother Love Bone cover)
    29. Kick Out The Jams (MC5 cover) (with Jerry Cantrell)
    30. Alive
    31. Indifference (with Ben Harper)
Note: Four songs made their 2009 debut. Both Alone and Crown of Thorns were played for the first time since November 19, 2006. Kick Out The Jams was played for the first time since November 16, 2006. All Those Yesterdays was played for the first time since July 11, 2003, and was played for only the 10th time ever.

One more thing:

I had no idea, but apparently people are making quite the killing selling concert posters on ebay. They had different posters for each of the nights in Los Angeles. The one from our night is selling for 70 bucks. (Granted, there have been no bids yet, lol) But the one from a couple nights ago has 10 bids and is going for 60 bucks. Next time, I'm going to get some posters my damn self and turn a profit. lol

1 comment:

weezermonkey said...

I am cracking up at your seating chart.

If it makes you feel any better, DSLRs aren't usually allowed at concerts (except at the Hollywood Bowl for non-lease events). :)