From the time I was 12-years-old, Pearl Jam has been in my life. We talk about the band's debut album as it turns 30 years old.
I was slow to get into Pearl Jam, as I was more into rap in the early 90's. When Beastie Boys and Rage provided a gateway into rock and rap lost its freshness, I went full on into grunge and industrial. I didn't get into Pearl Jam until after the first 3 records were released, but once I did, I was hooked. I've seen them several times and bought all of the "bootlegs" of those shows. However, after they skipped Cleveland on the Lightning Bolt tour (which is also my least favorite album), I kinda stopped listening to them. Eddie's Cubs mania in 2016 did not help the situation. However, when Gigaton came out during the pandemic and with nothing much else to do, I got back into the catalog and remembered just how great they were. I'm hoping Cleveland will be back on their next U.S. tour.
I've seen about a dozen pearl jam shows in my lifetime; pales in comparison to my online friends at BlackRedYellow (RIP), which was the forum for pj poster collectors who would snicker at the annoying fandom of people on the 10club forum, which probably measures in the 50-100 range, sometimes more.
But as great a song as it is, there was no bigger relief than to hear the opening riffs of Even Flow knowing you had about 6-8 minutes, depending on how frisky McCready was feeling that night, to run up to the concourse to hit the bathroom and get back to your seat.
I am that annoying Pearl Jam fan that is now too good for studio albums and only does the bootlegs.
Good article. As soon as I heard “Jeremy”, I was sold. The first CD that I let play through again and again, without forwarding past any tracks, because it was all so awesome. “vs” solidified my appreciation of the riffs and lyrics. It’s no secret that Eddie’s voice is often the primary instrument, but the rest bring it together all so well. When Matt came in, it was simply another step up. I’ve listened to PJ live pre and with Matt and he’s a noticeable improvement, especially on “Evenfllow” and “Betterman”. I hope to see them live at least 1 more time.