17 years + 1 day ago, I started loving live music shows. September 21, 1992: Pearl Jam, Drop in the Park. Warren G. Magnuson Park, Seattle. Pearl Jam made me love real bands, smaller venues, and being part of a flash group loving on the music together.
That 1992 Pearl Jam show was the first time I felt part of the music and a participant in the event. Stage front, jostling and being jostled, passing crowd surfers, getting stinky dirty. I swear he looked right at me. I held my breathe as Eddie Vedder climbed the light scaffolding and swung like a monkey for what seemed like forever.
Until Pearl Jam, all my prior music shows were of the rock-arena variety. You know: hard-ass seats, eye strain- headache-inducing distance, and muddy sound. Alone in a crowd of thousands. Just for the priveledge of saying you were there. (Think Rolling Stones, The Police, Billy Joel, Van Halen.) I haven’t been to an arena show in years and very possibly may never go to one again.
The Drop in the Park show was a date with I guy I had been wanting to go out with. He asked if I liked Pearl Jam and would I like to go with him. (“Who?” I thought, “Yes!” I said. ) Between the asking and the date, I did hasty recon so I would be able to carry a conversation and know something about the band before I showed up. (Um, maybe I haven’t changed much since then.) I haven’t been in touch with the Pearl Jam date guy in 16 years. Not because he wore a baja shirt / mexican hoodie to the show. (Don’t mock, it was the fashion at the time.) I’ll always have general affection for date guy — and for Eddie Vedder — for being the catalyst of change in my music perception and experience.
You won’t see me at the Key Arena show tonight, although word on the interwebs is the new Backspace is worth checking out. If you go, get close, get in, let go. Watch for the PJ magic to be at work again creating new music lovers and live music supporters.[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drLiMbLR1kg]