September 4, 2023

An Evening with Pearl Jam


An Evening with Pearl Jam

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for September 4, 2023

Krazy Kory came to town on Saturday.  He's a big Pearl Jam fan and regularly goes to their concerts when they're on tour.  They're kicking off a new one and started with two shows in St. Paul, so I figured I had to join him for one of them.

I took Kory for a boat ride earlier in the day.  We didn't see too many exciting things, other than several eagles.  This guy was busy hunting for something in the lake but we didn't stay with him long enough to see if he got lucky with his catch.

  We saw this guy wading in the lake a little while later.  He may have been hunting also, but it seemed more like he was just cooling off his feet.  It was a hot day.

Eventually we headed to St. Paul and had dinner at the Apostle Supper Club.  It was a nice venue located nearby the Xcel Energy Center.  I had a good steak and relish tray which paved the way for a night filled with jamming to some incredible music.

I wanted to buy a new Pearl Jam Tshirt so I could dump my Pink Floyd Tshirt I was wearing.  Unfortunately the line was three hours long so Pink Floyd it was.

The opening band was called Deep Sea Diver.  They're a young band from Seattle.  The lead singer said her first cassette tape she ever bought was Pearl Jam, but she may have been lying.  In any case, their music was trippy and unique and I really enjoyed their set.

Pearl Jam came out close to 9pm and played a bunch of their classic hits.  Our seats were behind the stage so we mostly got to see their backs, but every now and then they'd turn around and smile to us.

We saw the people in the front row camped out in line to get there first.  I have no idea how long they waited, but I'm pretty sure it was at least 12 hours or so.  Maybe more.

I must admit, I've never been a huge fan of the band but I did gain a new appreciation for Eddie Vedder watching him perform.  This guy oozes a Cult of Personality vibe.  I can see why so many people are drawn to him.

I actually knew way more of their songs than I even realized.  They played Daughter, Jeremy, Better Man, and Even Flow to name a few I knew.  I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

They also did some cover songs including Brain Damage from Pink Floyd, I Won't Back Down from Tom Petty, and Purple Rain from Prince.  They talked about how playing at First Avenue in Minneapolis early in their career was a highlight for them and invited the guy who booked them for that show to join them on stage.  It was a pretty cool trip down memory lane.

They even turned around and sang a song for us behind the stage.  I'm not sure if it sounded any better, but it was cool to get to see their faces for awhile.

Good show, Eddie.  Best of luck with the rest of the tour!

Here's a video I shot:
@toddswank Pearl Jam Concert - September 2, 2023 #evenflow #pearljam #xcelenergycenter ♬ original sound - Todd Swank

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