Pearl Jam got me drunk my freshman year of high school. Well … not literally … let me explain.
I was a decently athletic kid back in the day. I played three sports and earned a varsity letter that year in Track & Field. To celebrate Spring break, the varsity letterman had a house party in the hills. A classmate of mine’s brother was a member of the club, and he invited a couple of other fellas to join in on the fun.
Being an underclassman, attending the privileged lettman party was a bit intimidating. My only point of reference of what parties of that ilk were like I gleaned from movies like “Sixteen Candles” and “House Party“. I was anticipating the latter, and I shuddered at the though that I could be that party’s Long Duk Dong.
When I got to the party, the varsity letterman and their upperclass female friends were already there boozing it up. The hot, unattainable upperclass females aside, I noticed the music playing the background. It was Pearl Jam’s “Ten”, and it was on repeat for the whole evening. At least, that what I remember.
With nervous anticipation, I stepped into the party and grabbed my first beer in a plastic, red cup … ever. In the kitchen, a crowd had amassed around willing participants beer bonging, and before I knew it, I was on my knees, taking tips from others about how to effectively take in the 4 beers in one incredibly large “shot”.
The rest of the evening, truth be told, is a bit of a blur. I remember hearing “Alive” and “Why Go” while I was babbling about how my parents would kick my ass if they found I was a drunk. I remember flirting with the sophomore I had a crush on in the backyard while “Black” was playing. I remember listening to “Release” while I was nibbling on tree leaves because some of the varsity letterman convinced me that it would freshen my breath so that my parents would never be able to tell.
I woke up the next morning with my first hangover ever, and with Pearl Jam melodies echoing in my head. Pearl Jam may not have actually gotten me drunk, but they were there with me, and I remember that vividly, and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Pearl Jam has been on my concert going bucket list for the longest time. When I heard they were playing two nights at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, I and a friend jumped at the chance to get tickets and tickets were purchased for their show on the 24th. Knowing that Pearl Jam never plays the same set twice, I kept my fingers crossed that Sunday would be the day they would play most of the tracks off of “Ten”.
Hours before the show on the 23rd, another friend of mine called to invite me to the show for that evening. WHAT?!?! Canceling the plans I had made for the evening, I accepted the gift that the music-gods offered, and thank the heavens that I did as they played almost all of the songs from “Ten” that left such a strong impression on me at that party.
I won’t wax poetic about the shows as they have been eloquently written about HERE and HERE. The set lists for the 23rd and 24th can be found HERE and HERE respectively.
Though I didn’t beer bong for either of those shows, I did have a couple beers and reminisced about those early days of my halcyon youth, watching them kill the stage with their musicianship and music. Cheers, Pearl Jam. Next round, or beer bong, is on me.
Highlights from November 23, 2013
Highlights from November 24, 2013
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