The selfish, they’re all standing in line
Faithing and hoping to buy themselves time
Me, I figure as each breath goes by
I only own my mind
They said the gates open at 6, and the show starts at 8; so of course the crowds began to gather the night before. The stadium was packed. Danes, Swedes, Brits, a few Indians, and some other accent owners that I couldn’t place, all crowded around waiting, watching…
The waiting drove me mad…
You’re finally here and I’m a mess.
I take your entrance back –
Can’t let you roam inside my head.
No starry airs, no rock star antics, just a song –Throw Your Arms Around Me, a big hello and an introduction to the opening act – some big noisy mistake from the UK called Future Head. For the next one hour this poor band made their noises under the pressure of opening for Pearl Jam, while the crowd caught up with friends, hoarded up on the beer and queued up to the loo.
And then they were back. Pearl Jam. With a mind blowing set – Long Road, Corduroy, Why Go, Do the Evolution, In Hiding, Love Boat Captain, Love Reign O’er Me (performed live for the first time ever!), Severed Hand, Light Years, Marker in the Sand, Given to Fly, Breath, I Am Mine, Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town, Hard to Imagine, Life Wasted and Porch.
Throats were burning, legs were cramping and hands were sore, but the music kept flowing. The first encore began with a much expected anti-war message –No more (a solo, brilliant of course) followed up by World Wide Suicide, Down, Once, Black and Alive.
After this any hope for the throats was lost, it just got crazier and crazier. No matter how tired you are of Alive, you just couldn’t help jumping up and down and screaming out the song. Stomp, stomp, clap, clap, scream, scream.
Turns out Pearl Jam played on the same day, 15 years ago for the first time in Copenhagen. The second encore began with a thank-you from the band to the crowd, and a few words in memory of the accident that killed nine people during a Pearl Jam performance in 2000. Eddie Vedder was as brilliant with the little speech as he was with the music. More screaming, more clapping, more stomping.
Betterman, Yellow Ledbetter and then the lights came on, for the last song of the night – Rockin’ in the Free World. I am not sure how to describe it, I could say it was sensational, but that would be insulting to the band, I could say it was orgasmic, but it won’t cover the emotion, I guess you just had to be there.
Any regrets? Sure! No last kiss, that would have been sweeet! And yeah I’d have liked to switch places with the Swedish girl (in my head – COW) who got to jump on stage and exchange kisses with Eddie, loads of little Swede girl voodoo dolls doing the round in Copenhagen, I hope.