Wednesday night, this girl from the small town of West Winfield, New York witnessed Pearl Jam performing live at Safeco Field in Seattle. My brain is still processing the fact that it really did happen.
As a teenager, I used to listen to songs from Ten, VS, Vitalogy alone in my bedroom or with friends during parties I wasn’t supposed to be attending. Don’t tell my parents! That teenage girl couldn’t have imagined she’d be living in Seattle and seeing Pearl Jam twenty-something years later. I bought tickets last minute, just before leaving work for the evening, realizing this was an event I couldn’t miss. I wanted to go, and the FOMO built as the day went on. I just had to bear witness to the hometown boys playing for their home crowd.
The weather was summer perfection, albeit a bit warm until the sun began setting during Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town. Eddie Vedder’s voice is still as soothing as it was to me all those years ago. The slower ballads like Black, Better Man, Yellow Ledbetter were my favorites growing up, and sounded phenomenal live, but I also appreciate the heavier, louder rock songs at a show, during which McCready can shred his guitar (sometimes behind his head, what the?!) and Cameron can bang out on his drumset. There was a guy near us, wearing an REI tshirt, drinking a tall can of Rainier beer and singing along to every Pearl Jam song, inside Safeco Field. There’s no higher level of Seattle than THAT exact scenario.
Wednesday night was one of those nights where I felt so present, alive and grateful for this time in my life. Thankful I was a part of the giant crowd experiencing such an extraordinary performance together. What IS this life?! I am truly feeling it. Therefore, I’ll say it again: summer, you cannot go. Even though us Seattleites are struggling to tolerate the 90F+ temps. August 2018 is proving to be an unforgettable month, not just for summer concerts but also NFL and the Premier League are both about to begin, two of my favorite shows (Shahs and Insecure) are back, baseball season is still going strong. Did Christmas come early this year and I just wasn’t aware? Are we sure this isn’t the most wonderful time of the year?? Debatable.
Thank you summer. Thank you Pearl Jam, for providing the soundtrack to my teenage years and for three hours of the most badass instrumental jams and meaningful ballads. Seattle loves you. What a night.
You can view the night’s set list here.