I had some mild reflection of my life as a Pearl Jam fanatic this weekend as the wife and I joined 20,000 or so others to celebrate the band’s 20th “birthday” at Alpine Valley. With our lives consumed by kids’ schedules we didn’t head out early and rain kept us from communing with folks during day 1.
As I try to put together some of the sights and sounds I captured from our journey I’ve come across a bunch of terrific YouTube videos from the shows. And that got me to reflect much more than anything from the actual weekend.
[If you just want to see videos of every song from night one, in setlist order, click here. Otherwise, here are my deep thoughts.]
Back in college during Pearl Jam’s ascendant years as a touring band (1994-1998) I was heavy into trading the group’s live music. Like many others I took part in tape trees, recorded shows myself and from time to time traded videos.
I was much more of an audio guy but videos were often offered to me in trade from folks if I had everything on their audio list. Yes, we fanatics used to maintain detailed lists of every show we had on tape, their generation and lineage.
Even the best videos back then captured from a stadium’s feed were degraded by VHS technology. There was only so much tape could do in regards to video. Audio obviously was a different story.
Today, digital formats, iPhones and small cameras can capture the shows far better with no loss of quality. And then YouTube allows for instant sharing – no need for trading via email and waiting on the mailman to bring a package – in relatively amazing definition.
That’s why I’ve decided to post the best versions of each song from each night, in setlist order, here on DadTherapy. I’m not sure of the future of this blog, but it is a place I can put my thoughts in long form with some audio/visual help. And right now, Pearl Jam is about the only hobby I have to keep me sane. That and the NFL coming back.
That busy life makes the change in how I collect live shows really interesting. I used to spend hours curating and building that tape collection. Now I can find any of those shows pretty quickly online, usually in better quality, and download them in minutes. It’s only the sheer breadth of the band’s live shows after 20 years that make it an arduous task to keep collecting. But give me an hour after the kids are in bed and I can generally have a few gems downloaded.
A new show goes on the iPod right away and I’m listening to it on the commute to work or in the cube. They make the mundane time away from the family much more enjoyable. Thank you Pearl Jam for keeping me going after 20 years, and as I get to watch my little ones grow I too think life has just gotten good.
This collection below is the best of the vids I could find. If you can fill in the blanks or have any better suggestions paste the link in the comments.
Do The Evolution?
In My Tree
Who You Are
Push Me, Pull Me?
Not For You
In the Moonlight
State Of Love And Trust
Say Hello 2 Heaven
Love Reign O'er Me
Kick Out The Jams