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My review of the Pearl Jam concert at Wrigley Field on July 19th, 2013.

Discussion in 'Tilted Entertainment' started by Borla, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    A few detailed thoughts on the concert that I posted about in PA earlier in the weekend. Just skip it if you aren't a PJ fan or honestly interested, because the detail may be overkill for some of you. :p

    1) The Merch situation was crazy. They announced that trailers would be set up outside of Wrigley on Thursday afternoon (day prior to concert) and all day Friday. I talked to tons of people who waited in line for 4-5 hours on Thursday only to find out most/all of the shirts were sold out. Many more people waited in line for hours on Friday to get what they wanted (didn't hear much complaint of anything being sold out on Fri, everything was restocked). I personally waited in line for almost an hour before giving up because we wanted to grab a burger and a beer before the concert with enough time to get a decent GA spot. Lots of the shirts are on eBay already for 2-5x what they went for retail. Hopefully they do something through 10Club for people who want a shirt and didn't want to/weren't able to spend hours in line. Not a huge deal, but a common complaint.

    2) Ticket prices as advertised on various broker sites seem to accurately represent what people were paying for GA tickets. I talked to one guy in line who, with no prior arrangement and no negotiation, immediately sold his GA ticket to the first scalper wandering around on the street for $1200. Anyone with a brain knows that if a scalper's first offer to you is $1200 cash on the spot for a ticket, he's going to be selling it for at least 2-2.5x that, and he's SURE he can move it. I also talked two other people who claimed to have paid between $2-3k for GA tickets.

    3) The rain delay was incredibly annoying, but I think it'll be one of those things that makes for a cool story later. The staff tried hard, the people on the field hated having to be moved, the GA people hated it worse, but in the end it was the right call. The worst things were 1) Wrigley Field's ability to communicate is horrible due to antiquated public address systems. No one knew what was going on, and there was no way to tell them. I learned from Twitter when the concert was going to restart and that they still had plans to play a full show. 2) The coordination of getting the field people back was horrible. Some openings started letting people back on way before others. They did not do a good job of moving barriers so a lot of people got pushed and smashed (mildy for a rock concert, but still) against barriers trying to shove their way back onto the floor. 3) They didn't do a great job of checking wrist bands/tickets for admitting people back into GA. It was quite obviously a good 25-35% denser packed after the rain delay. Beforehand there was plenty of space to stand around, no one was crowding anyone, and there was a lot of extra space towards the back of the GA section. Afterwards people were much closer (admirably there wasn't really any pushing, no fighting, and people were fairly respectful of those around them), there was almost no empty space, so I'm sure a good number got into GA that didn't belong.

    4) PJ worked hard after the rain delay to make up for the condensed time, and it showed. First, the songs played immediately after the delay had somewhat rushed transitions and I got the sense they felt hurried. You could kind of tell there had been a big disruption to the show. After 3-4 songs they settled into a groove and did an awesome job of making up for lost time. They took a shorter break than normal, band members left the stage during a few long solos (I'm guessing to rehydrate or discuss any ad-libs they may have pulled due to the tight schedule), and I think Eddie talked a little bit less during the first hour after the break than normal. But once they settled into the groove (somewhere between the end of 'Evolution' and 'Corduroy' IMO) they really killed it. I'm not sure I needed 'Bugs' (even though it is very cool to see an incredibly rarely played song performed), but I'm sure it was good for the other guys to get a quick rest. Also, the amount of SWAG tossed into the crowd was more than any other PJ concert I've ever seen. I think it was a way to make up for the delay. McCready was tossing shirts and picks into the crowd like he was going to be charged for any left on stage. Eddie tossed a ton of picks in, and they brought out multiple boxes of tambourines during "Rockin' in the Free World" and were tossing them out wholesale, even more than normal during the encore. And there is no way I thought they were REALLY going to play until 2am (especially since Wrigley curfew enforced by the city is typically 11pm), but they did. 32 songs is an awfully impressive show.

    5) Mike McCready is a beast. Seriously, I cannot begin to imagine how tired and sore he must've been when he woke up this morning. The dude runs and jumps for 3 hours straight, plays to specific people in the front of the crowd constantly, and carried the band IMO during several stretches. I've been to many PJ shows, but somehow have ALWAYS been to the Stone Gossard side of center. So while I've seen McCready in action, never as up close and personal as this time. I have a whole new respect for the man. And to top it all off, there was a quadriplegic guy on the edge of the stage (hidden from most of the crowd, but we were close enough to see). Multiple times McCready went over to that side to play right in front of the guy, sometimes almost right in his face. It was cool to watch the guy's eyes light up and see him smile ear to ear during those times. There were a couple people with the guy (seemed to be his family) and I'm pretty sure McCready is their hero for life. Very fun to watch.

    6) Personally my brother and I had a blast. Even though we had sore feet and backs from standing so long (on our feet about 85% of the time between 2pm and 2am), we had a really good time. We were disappointed to give up our primo spot at center stage due to the rain delay, but we got a spot nearly as good afterwards. We were actually closer to the rail, but a little to the left instead of dead center. Even with the extra crowd, everyone was pretty respectable of each other. No pushing or shoving, no fights, and very few people trying to scam their way to the front. Very cool show, and though I was completely exhausted (got 4 hours sleep the night before, was up at 4:30am and didn't get home until 4am after the concert), it was well worth it. In the end, I'm glad I didn't sell the tickets (partially for the experience, partially to avoid the scams and hassle), and it'll be a cool story to tell.



    Here are a couple videos I took and some more pics.

    First, a shot to show how close we were after the rain delay:

    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_o4fW9y1Es


    This was the video I took of the opening of the concert from our original spot:

    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T18atGJhdQ0




    The people who complained about my head being in the way:

    [​IMG]


    View from our original spot:

    [​IMG]


    As they are evacuating the field:

    [​IMG]


    McCready rockin' out trying to get everyone back on track after the delay:

    [​IMG]


    McCready playing a killer solo cover from Van Halen's Eruption, while holding the guitar behind his head. This is one of the times when he went over to the quadriplegic dude and played to him, it was great to watch:

    [​IMG]



    Eddie right in front of us during 'Rockin in the Free World'. He came by us maybe 3x like this, and did the same to a few other areas multiple times.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
    • Like Like x 3
  2. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member Donor

    I just laid in bed and sang along with "Black", as it is my favorite PJ song. Sounds like they're a great group to see live.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor



    They are. I'm not nearly as die-hard as lots of people. It seemed like every person we talked to in line had traveled the world to go to various concerts in Europe, Australia, and all over NA.

    I felt like a faux-fan having never gone further than 5-6 hours away to see them. :p
     
  4. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    PJ is coming to Wrigley again this summer. Two shows. There is a 10Club lottery for both dates, I put in for tickets for both. Here's hoping I can get a hit on at LEAST one of the dates. :cool:
     
  5. ralphie250

    ralphie250 Fully Erect Donor

    Im,jealous
     
  6. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Don't be jealous yet, I might get shut out. :p
     
  7. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize.

    Location:
    Large City, TX
    I've never understood why the states allow the scalpers, namely the Big Business re-sale ones, more than the "enterprising" individuals.

    Here in Texas measures have been taken--lotteries, restricted computer sales, etc--to allow actual individuals a chance a getting a "hot" ticket, but that doesn't stop the Big Business Scalpers from snatching up a large number of tickets. I'd like to see them completely outlawed.

    When I was a teenager I witnessed guys working for the scalpers walk into the official TicketMaster (or whatever it was called back then) locations and buy large stacks of tickets with wads of cash. Example--Neil Young played the Music Hall, which seated about 2,500 people; scalpers immediately snagged the tickets. I was a huge fan, and was very much into music in general. I spoke with many people, and even the people who knew people (such as record store owners) couldn't get a ticket at face value.

    These days they do it by manipulating the computer programs designed to stop them. Every once in a while one of the local TV stations will air an investigative report, and inevitably most of the people with wrist bands/vouchers/whatever are being paid to obtain the tickets for a "ticket outlet."
     
  8. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Pearl Jam does as good of a job at keeping scalpers at bay for their fan club tickets as any band I've seen. You have to be in the fan club (prior to the concert being announced) to get the best seats. You don't get to pick up the tickets usually until the day of the concert. You have to show photo ID matching your fan club name. Since entire sections are often designated areas for the fan club, if those seats are listed on StubHub or other resale sites they know someone is cheating the system and they often try to pursue it. If you are caught reselling your tickets for more than face value they kick you out.


    It's not a perfect system, but it keeps a lot of tickets in the hands of the fans who originally bought them.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize.

    Location:
    Large City, TX

    That's very good to hear, kudos to Pearl Jam for looking out for their fans.

    I especially like the same-day as the concert pick-up only with ID required.

    These days concerts don't mean much to me, other than some friends who are in local bands, but back in the day I got really POd at how quickly the hot shows "sold out." It was particularly bad when a popular (not in the pop music sense) artist wanted to play a smaller, more intimate venue.
     
  10. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist

    Location:
    North


    When Jack White did his flash show here in Anchorage the tickets were wristbands that were invalid if they were cut off or damaged in any way.
    They were sold one per person at the door, so you had to be there cash in hand (they were only $3.00) the morning of the concert to get your ticket.
    There were a lot of people who complained that only people who didn't have jobs got to see him that way but my friend took a long lunch and I had that day off so it worked out for me.
    There are ways to beat the scalpers.

    I am jealous of you getting to see PJ in concert, wish they would come up here but I don't see that happening.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Won both drawings. Got tickets in the pit for Sat and reserved seats for Mon. :cool:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize.

    Location:
    Large City, TX

    You suck :p.
     
  13. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    This Saturday I'll be in the pit again at Wrigley. Going with a buddy of mine that I've been friends with since we were 8-9 yrs old. Our wives are doing a "wine and paint" event, and we are all staying downtown Chicago that night at the Drake Hotel.

    On Monday Mrs. Borla and I have reserved lower bowl seats. The two of us are chilling in a suite at the Drake from Fri-Mon, so hopefully it is a relaxing and awesome weekend with some stellar shows sprinkled in. :D
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Great show last night. Three encores, 34 songs, tons of crowd interaction, tons of tributes.

    We were in an excellent spot. Left hand corner of the stage about 6-7 people from the front.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    And a repost of the sky about 90ish mins before showtime, just after we got in place.

    [​IMG]



    Full write-up for any music review nerds that want more detail:

    Pearl Jam Returns to Wrigley Field: The 10 Best Moments | Consequence of Sound



    One cool anecdote.......early in the show Eddie Vedder calls out and asks if there is an Army Sgt in the crowd named Kyle Johnson. Eddie says "I've been trying to email you, but you haven't answered back!" He then tells him to find an usher and come up to the side of the stage.

    Several songs later there was a short intermission, and Eddie introduces Kyle and his girlfriend, saying that the girlfriend had bought the tickets as a gift for Kyle and they had traveled hours to the show, and he wanted to dedicate their favorite song to them.

    Then this happened (not my video, from Youtube):


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulql2qwgYsE




    Stuff like that is what makes PJ shows unique IMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Tonight is a weeee bit further back.

    [​IMG]

    Still, aisle seats, 8 rows off the field. Elevated just enough to see over the field crowd, central enough to have good sound. Should be another great show. :cool:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize.

    Location:
    Large City, TX
    @Borla, how was the sound mix?

    I ask because I used to go to a lot of concerts. The sound mix could range from excellent (Kansas, many years ago at what used to be called The Summit) to horrible (Willie Nelson's New Years Eve Concert, also many years ago, same venue).
     
  17. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Though I don't consider myself the ultimate audiophile or music quality expert that some are, the sound was very clear to me. They had speaker stacks strategically placed throughout the stadium. From what I could hear they were all properly balanced.


    Check this short video out:


    View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tUbJ8prKgCM


    How many bands would stop a show mid song in front of 40,000+ people to make sure someone in the audience wasn't being bullied?

    Pearl Jam put crowds are notorious for how respectful they are to each other and this is part of the reason why.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    • Like Like x 1