Given to fly

In 2001, a friend of mine from Turkey told me that he saw Pearl Jam live in Istanbul… DSC01678That day, I felt so jealous, why not me!? The only big concerts I saw were Sting, Michael Jackson and… Eros Ramazotti… Pathetic

Same goes for you Angie, with all the concerts you went to: I saw Manu chao last week, oh I saw U2 yesterday and next week it’s the Roling Stones… oh I have tickets for Depeche Mode but I don’t wanna go… Grrrrrrrrrr

Yesterday the curse was broken… I saw Pearl Jam live at the Air Canada Center, home of the Toronto Raptors and the Maple leafs… and it was absolutely GREAT.

Opening starts at 7.30p.m by “My morning Jacket”, good band but the sound was so fuzzy and squeaky. I was like “NO f**ing way, that’s the sound at the ACC !?? Is it gonna be this way during PJ’s concert!???”

They play for half an hour, then lights on again, to let my fellow concert mates empty the arena to go buy their beers, pop corn, hot dogs and other Pearl Jam’s goodies at – the not so expensive after all – 30 to 50$ for a tee-shirt, 15$ for the night program and 10$ for a poster…

8.30, the crowd start cheering and calling the band out, the arena didn’t get full until that time, I was there since 7.15 pm… oups. Lights off, unleash the beast, let the show begin. The fun starts with an awesome kick off with “Severed Hand” …

As soon as they played the first note, the fans (in a synchronized move) took their lighters out. Not to accompany the song, but to light their smokes and perfume the air with an… “herbal” scent.

The atmosphere was great, the sound was great and the crowd in a total communion with the band. One of the great moments of the concert, was Eddie Vedder playing the intro of “Better Man” alone on stage with the crowd singing along, then “She lies and says she’s in love with him, can’t find a better man…” and the band jumps in to rock the house.

My seat was a bit far from the stage, I enjoyed it from there until the adventurous in me took the power and I sneaked out after the first set to get closer… I got very close to the stage, until an asshole usher asks me”where is your seat buddy!?” who cares where is my seat, are you in an opera show dude!? Hello, it’s a rock concert, since I am not bothering anybody and I didn’t jump any fence, leave me alone. He insists, he doesn’t even let me take a picture… so I gotta go back the stairs, but hey I found an empty seat a couple of rows up, asked about it, no body was sitting there, BINGO.

So the whole show was awesome, a nice mix of new songs from their just released album and older ones… even though I think they played too many songs from “Ten”. I particularly enjoyed “Given to fly”, “Garden, “Inside Job”, “Alive”… For me, the best moments of the concert were “Better man”, “Sad” and Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the free world” (I told you it was a great version by Pearl Jam).

I would have loved to see them play one of my all time favorites “rearview mirror” and two great songs from their album lost dogs “Alone” and “Hold on”. “Lost dogs” is a remarkable collection of unreleased songs, but unfortunately didn’t get the attention that it deserves; they only played “sad” from it.

You could feel they wanted to please their fans. BUT, what’s going on with those super expensive goodies? and the bootlegs of every show available to download for money. Where are the good old days when they were fighting Ticketmaster to reduce the concert prices?

But it is all good, I had a great night. They played for 2h30 almost non stop. They only took two short breaks after the first set and the first encore. The band was very cheerful and Eddie was toasting to the crowd with his bottle of wine. When they returned back to the stage for the second Encore, Eddie goes “People told us you shouldn’t play that long, you are playing tomorrow… I don’t care about tomorrow; I just wanna have fun tonight”.

I had fun too, thanks guys… That night, I was “A human being that was given to fly”


2006-05-09 Toronto Ontario Air Canada Centre

Set 1 Severed Hand, World Wide Suicide, Life Wasted, Marker In The Sand, Given To Fly, Better Man, Even Flow, Unemployable, Garden, Sad, Corduroy, Present Tense, Daughter, Grievance, Not For You, Inside Job, Why Go
Encore 1Do The Evolution, Jeremy, Come Back, Alive
Encore 2 Porch, Rockin’ In The Free World, Yellow Ledbetter

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4 Responses to Given to fly

  1. SNAWSI says:

    Good for you Man ! My own dearest wish is to attend a U2 concert anywhere on earth before I die or … they do :-)))

  2. Angie says:

    Yayy!!Well yeah, i guess i have to admit Ive been a lucky bitch when it comes to concerts! :pPearl Jam is definitely one of the best shows ive ever seen, i love them on stage, and im not the only one.Knowing how much you like these guys, and what is like to wait YEARS to see one of your favorite bands LIVE… im reaaaally happy for you today Anis! :)The song im missing in that setlist is Black. Other than that.. great selection! :)Keep on roooocking in the freeee world! /APs. Ah and btw, i DID want to see Depeche Mode, im just too broke at the moment!

  3. A. says:

    hahaha, thanks Angie… It is true that it was great for me… there are so many other bands I would love to see live… hope I’ll do, someday !!!!And hey, I’ll tell you how Depeche Mode rock too 🙂 A.

  4. VeryApeAZ says:

    Everytime I see them I feel like it’s a religious experiene. Severed Hand is my favorite song off the new CD. I’m jealous you got to hear Sad–it’s one of my faves off of Lost Dogs.

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