view from the hill

A look at the elements and events that come into view from where I'm standing...
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... the stuff that matters in this life. Some flicker and are gone in a matter of hours
only to live in memory, others become life long travelling companions, never far from reach.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pearl Jam at the Gorge

July 23rd, 2006
pj3I’m a late-comer to the whole PJ live experience (I was actually a bit of a late-comer to their early albums – an unfortunate situation that has since been remedied). But I have now seen the Original Kings of Grunge, the keepers of the flame of Authentic Rock, and I did it all at the infamous Gorge amphitheater in Washington state last Summer as Tiff and I drove back from Vancouver to LA.

pj1What an incredible show in an incredible setting! Pearl Jam has loyal fans, and this venue brings ‘em out in force because it’s a trek to get to. The amphitheater is carved into the hillside overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, in the desolate landscape of Eastern WA, miles from anywhere. There’s overnight camping, so a concert at the Gorge is always a multi-day party.

To the average 98.7 listener, PJ may have seemed out of the limelight lately, but they are a band forever strong, continually putting on blazing live shows. It helps too that they’re latest album rocks! These guys have some true power. They are the real deal.

pj2I missed the first night’s show where they played a more “radio friendly” set (according to the couple next to me). The second night, my night, and the last night of their US tour, dug into the deep tracks and the crowd ate it up – Rats, God’s Dice, In Hiding, Little Wing, Crazy Mary, Marker in the Sand (as the sun set), Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down, and of course, closed with Yellow Ledbetter with Mike McCready’s scorching guitar.

The music echoed off the bluffs and into the star-filled sky, and my grin didn’t fade until well south of Portland as we continued our drive into CA.

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