Pearl Jam have been a big influence throughout my life, on my music and constantly a companion through tough times. So when they announced shows at manchester earlier in the year I couldn’t believe it and was grateful when they added a second show , as the first sold out in hours. We travelled from north wales to get to manchester and arrived at about 6pm. We were in time to see the support band , X , which were a very tight and very loud punk band. Then the lights went down and piano music circled the arena , pearl jam entered the arena and went straight into Go, the crowd singing along and releasing the emotion into the air. I felt tears rise as they led into Animal and one of my favourite tracks,Hail, Hail, with the encompassing lines, ‘hail, hail, the lucky ones,I refer to those in love’.
I’d seen the band in 2000 and 2009 at the same venue and thought they couldn’t get any better, how I was wrong. They played with passion, with Eddie Vedder singing with honesty and universal spirit. The balance of songs was well thought out, with most albums represented. ‘Wishlist’ from yield, the defiant not for you from vitalogy, present tense from no code and fan favourite ‘Daughter’ with extension from vs and of course the meditation on homelessness and lost dreams(my interpretation), even flow. The show lasted two hours and the crowd was inspiring, 15,000 people singing and dancing together with no trouble, politicians could learn something from this, music really can save the world. We are one. Highlights for me, were off he goes, betterman, I am mine and the last song, yellow ledbetter, but really all the songs were great, life affirming and a real injection of positivity. I speak for many, but I must thank pearl jam and all the fans for a very memorable time. Its just what I needed. I’d lost faith in music in the 21st century and just felt isolated , where was the voice for the ordinary people, I just couldn’t relate. But this gig has instilled me and I believe many other people with hope again. Music is and always will be the voice for the voiceless. Dreams are possible and life can be good. Peace and love.