Sunday, March 30, 2008

life is what you make it

i was going through some of my old cd's today, and i came across a recording of pearl jam at las vegas in october, 2000. this was their tenth anniversary show, and i flew across the country for it. i wasn't planning on going to this show - during the summer of 2000, while pearl jam was playing at the roskilde festival in europe, nine fans ended up being trampled to death. i don't exactly know why, but at the time, that affected me a lot. in a way, i guess it made me realize just how fragile life really is, y'know? the best advice my mother ever gave me was to fill my life with experiences not things. so that's how i try to live. i don't want ever to regret not doing something, if that makes sense.

the whole experience before the show was, in some ways, even better than the concert. i went to a pre-party with other fans from a pearl jam message board i used to read; i still have the rubber band bracelet (probably modeled after the rubber bands that ed used to wear around his wrist all the time) that says, it's instilled to want to live - 10 years of pearl jam.

the show itself was really fun. the best part was when pearl jam came out for the encore and people in the first couple of rows sang happy birthday and sent dozens of balloons onto the stage. it was a really great moment, because, a couple of months earlier, it had seemed entirely possible that pearl jam would never play another show again.

the second greatest moment of the show was when they played crown of thorns. ok, you have to understand some pearl jam history to know why this was so great. before eddie vedder ever moved to seattle, before pearl jam existed, stone (the guitarist) and jeff (the bassist) were in a band called mother love bone. the lead singer was a man named andy wood, who died of a heroin overdose just before their first album, apple, was released. crown of thorns was one of the songs on that album. some time later, eddie vedder - who was living in san diego - got ahold of a demo stone and jeff had recorded, put some vocals on it, and flew up to seattle. the rest is, as they say, history.

the lyrics to crown of thorns are absolutely gorgeous:
you ever heard the story of mr faded glory?
says he who rides the pony must someday fall
been talkin' to my alter, says life is what you make it
so if you make it death, well rest your soul

since 2000, pearl jam has played the song sporadically. here it is from the reading festival in 2006.


Kristine said...

Megan-Thats sounded amazing. I wish I was there to experience that concert!!! Gosh, this is a good blog, just to let you know... Your great at this.

megan said...

aw, thanks kristine. i think you're lying.. but thank you. :)