Ah. 2 weeks have passed since seeing the most amazing band in concert. Pearl Jam.
My connection with their music goes back 20+ years. My most vivid memory of connecting with their music comes from the loss of my Mom in 1993. I’ve always kept up listening to their music but when we lost Kenneth it was my go-to music in ways that I can’t describe just like it was when I lost my Mom.
So 2 weeks ago Pearl Jam played here in Vancouver. My sister and I went and it was absolutely fantastic. First time I had ever seen them live. To see Eddie Vedder live. DREAM! It was emotional leading up to the concert. I was 21 when my Mom passed away, my sister was 8. Pearl Jam and the whole grunge music scene was mainly what I listened to in ’93 so that’s what SHE grew up listening to. She knew the words, sang the songs at 8. She could tell you each band that was singing. It was a big deal going to the concert together to share the experience. The lead up to the concert consisted of many trips down memory lane. Lots of reminiscing. Lots of swooning over Mr. Vedder!
We completely lucked out on tickets and I’m quite sure my Mom had a hand in getting them. Bless her Angel heart. We knew exactly where we wanted our seats to be if we couldn’t get front row floor. I scoured the internet for the tickets and wasn’t having any luck. My sister called a ticket broker who said the tickets would cost at least $250 each and that was if he could even get his hands on some. Not 10 minutes later I went to Craigslist and there were our tickets! $45 each. I pounced on those quick and we had our tickets for the seats we wanted.
I checked the set list daily to see if my absolute favourites would be played. I was hoping for one specific song but I was also not sure if I wanted to hear it live. I had mixed feelings about it. The song is called “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”. I never knew what Eddie Vedder’s interpretation of the song was but I had my own. I played it a lot. It was a song that I played when I was grieving hard for my Mom. I guess I played it so much that my sister picked up on it; the song. To this day it reminds us both of my Mom but it was only as of late that we let the other know. So it was a song I wanted to hear but then didn’t want to hear. Needless to say all the worrying about hearing it was for nothing because Eddie didn’t play it! But I have posted it as my “picture” today because it means so much and I love it.
There was another song that I was hoping they’d play but didn’t. It became my go-to song for Kenneth. These go-to songs. What I mean by go-to is that I would play them purposely when I was really grieving. Really missing. Really feeling. Period. You know you have songs as you grow up, you’d be a teen-ager and have slow songs that would remind you of someone who broke up with you (let’s face it, it was also being dumped that made us cry!) but you’d put together a bunch of songs and listen to them to couple your sadness. I don’t know why we do this but it’s done and Pearl Jam has been my go-to band for this. Anyway, I got lost in the shuffle of explaining myself, the go-to song for my sweet son that I lost is “Just Breathe”. Again, I don’t read the lyrics to interpret what the writer meant. I interpret it in my own way and the title alone has always gotten to me because it was Kenneth’s lungs that gave out and the “just breathe” words alone are relatable but the words don’t have to relate, it’s sometimes just the voice and the melody that makes the connection for me.
Along with the go-to for my grieving angst, Pearl Jam’s music has been there with lots of great memories as well. Great friends, great trips and great times. Far too many to list but just thinking about some of them makes me laugh and smile. So many songs come with at least one memory and at least one really good story!
Before, after and during the hard times this is a band that has always been on my play list through it all. So seeing them finally was a true dream come true. Check that one off of the bucket list.
Have I mentioned that there’s a distinct possibility I would leave my husband for Eddie Vedder? In a perfect world of course.
I’m just saying! 😉
Pearl Jam … thank you.