On Saturday I got to accomplish a goal of mine that I’ve had since I began shooting shows about three years ago. For anyone that knows me, it is not an unknown fact that I completely adore Pearl Jam. I have traveled many places to see this band and in fact saw my 22nd live show in Oklahoma City, but I have never had the opportunity to photograph the band as a member of the media. This past weekend changed all that and made it possible for me to cross off one of the top 5 things on my “bucket list”. Not only was this show personally special for me, you could tell everyone in the room was having the same amazing and fulfilling time I was. The band has only played Oklahoma City three times in their career, all of which have been 10 years apart. The first time being in 1993, the second time in 2003, and then finally again on Saturday night. I wouldn’t say the setlist was filled with rarities like the die hard followers (aka the Ten Club Members) like to see played in a set but the set did include about every song you’d ever want to see Pearl Jam perform had you never seen them in concert before. From the beginning of the show, when they opened with a b-side from the Alive single titled “Wash”, you knew Pearl Jam was going to play a set that included some of their most known tracks from early in their career. They in fact played at least one song from almost every album they’ve released, the only albums that were not represented in the setlist were their 2003 release Riot Act and their 2006 self titled release which is also known as Avocado. You can click this link to see the entire setlist: http://pearljam.com/setlists/1077/2013/22081/chesapeake_energy_arena. Below are my Top 5 Favorite Moments from the show:
- Seeing Pearl Jam play “Evenflow” and then go into their new single “Sirens”, which was so amazing because the crowd sang along to both songs with the same intensity. So much so that Ed continued to play out the chords of “Sirens” so he could continue to hear the crowd sing along with the “Ooh, Ooh’s” at the end of that track.
- Experiencing an impromptu wedding proposal from the crowd before the band went into “Just Breathe”. Ed actually acknowledged the couple, gave the girl a microphone, and she asked her man from the front of the crowd to marry her. You have to love the devotion of a Pearl Jam!
- Watching Ed go through what seemed like 4 bottles of wine which he was sharing with the crowd, pouring some in people cups, as Mike McCready ripped through solo’s during triumphant songs like “Jeremy” and “Black”.
- Hearing a blistering 31 song setlist!
- Getting to see a show in a new city amongst a community of fans that love to share the excitement of a band they love so dearly.
Enjoy the pics and let me know you’re favorite thing about Pearl Jam!