This was a huge deal for me, if you have followed me at all it is no secret that I love this band. This show in particular marked the 25th time I’ve seen the band live, the second time I have been able to photograph them, and I gave my two weeks at my now old place of employment. Needless to say there was a lot that I had to be excited about this evening and for those of you that attended, the below highlights were amazing to share with you!
- This was the first show I had been to where there was a line for merch outside the venue at 1pm that actually stretched almost 1/2 way around the building, and it was that long for at least the next four hours that day. In fact they even brought beer vendors out to accommodate the fans in line.
- Most often us photographers get walked into the photo pit anywhere between 1-2 minutes before the band takes stage, so you pretty much just hit the ground running. This was not the case this evening. Pearl Jam was supposed to start at 8pm and it took me until 8:10 until I figured out what was going on. The insanely packed venue was merely being treated to the Cardinals game on the Jumbotron and the other big screens around the hockey arena. The band left the game on for about 30 minutes until the Cards got the lead. This was a first time I had ever experienced this at a concert and it was so fitting for a St. Louis crowd.
- The energy of the set started off slow but gained steam at a rate that left the crowd at times completely immersed in the memories of when they first heard some of Pearl Jam’s more known hits, in fact I would have lost my mind if this had been the first time I ever saw the band live. They played a lot of hits and also delivered a 3 hour long set. Who else other than Springsteen does shit like that, it’s AWESOME!
- Ed stopped many times in the set to recognize fan club members who had wrote the band expressing thanks for making music that has helped them through very tragic times. He was compassionate, appreciative, and very humble many times during the set. He even dedicated a couple songs to specific fans, it’s why we all love him so much!
- The buzz approaching the venue and the excitement of the crowd when the band took stage was stronger than any of the 5 times I had seen them in this city between ’98 – ’10. So much so that Vedder commented on size of the crowd by stating, “You know as I look out tonight at the crowd I’m reminded of something I hear from my wife when I come home from being on the road for a while…It looks bigger than I remembered”.
Thank you Pearl Jam for one hell of a rock show!