A friend of mine lamented recently that he hoped for other things to bring people together other than sports teams, since it seemed like big Bills wins were the only time joy was spreading through his facebook feed. Almost immediately, I answered that I thought music had that power, that a great song not only “gets” you, but it brings people together, makes friends, build memories and other shared experiences that aren’t easily definable.
I had some traffic cop responsibilities at last night’s Pearl Jam show, but it was a blast to see music sort of front and center. The looks of genuine anticipation on the faces waiting to take their spaces on the floor in front of the stage made me smile. While waiting to head to my post for the night, I snuck a peek at the stage set up and it was one for the music being front and center (listen up, U2) and that made me eager to get to it. Now, the downtown arena (sorry, no free ads, my blog) gets criticized for sometimes being devoid of atmosphere. I think that has more to do with the mediocre hockey getting played in it in recent years. When the team plays well, we cheer, and buy jerseys and stuff, but I digress. The true point there is when the bulk of the attendees are into what is unfolding in front of them, the building has a pulse. And even if you can’t fully participate, it’s an awesome thing to witness. I’m a big believer in the benefits of losing yourself in something bigger that you, letting yourself go (it doesn’t always work, but I’m game to keep trying), as that is just good for your soul.
The Pearl Jam show was one of those times. It was the second show of the tour and they hit the ground like they meant it. It was a great mix of new stuff, hits, back catalog, all played by guys who definitely were not phoning it in. I’m not the biggest fan, don’t know everything, but have always respected them tremendously. Liked the new songs a lot. Back when unplugged was the show, they definitely made the best one. But they put on the best arena show I’ve seen in a long time. When everybody joined together, meaning the spontaneous choir of 20000, you could feel the music without looking.
Blew the roof off the dump they did.
A good soundtrack is pretty great and I’m glad they are a part of mine