The waiting drove me mad... I'm finally here and I'm so glad! A couple months ago I made this post about how difficult it was to get tickets to this PJ gig. That was the hardest part of the whole trip. Once we were there it was smooth sailing.
We stayed at the Abbey Resort on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin.
The hotel was old, but well kept and really beautiful.
It was about 30 minutes to the venue from the hotel. Our travel package included transportation to and from the show. We met up with our great friends Mark and Chris, who were staying at the same hotel, and caught the bus to Alpine Valley.
From the bus we could see lightning in the distance and hoped that we would make it into the venue before it started raining.
We had arrived!
Thankfully we did make it in right as the rain started.
And it rained most of the day. There was a little break in the middle of the day and we ventured out to see Glen Hansard perform, always a treat!
The ticket package we purchased from the fan club included all kinds of goodies, including admittance into the "VIP" section. It was roomy, had clean bathrooms with no lines and free food!
At the top right of this photo you can see the VIP sign with stairs leading up to where we hung out most of the day.
We all had a great time talking music, telling stories and drinking beer!
Some of the best times I've had have been spent with my Pearl Jam friends. They are all so cool!
We had great seats and were pretty darn excited when the music started on the main stage! First up was a Seattle band called Mudhoney. They have been around longer than PJ and they rocked the house.
Next came Queens of the Stone Age, who also proved what an amazing rockin' band they are!
The surprise for me was The Strokes. I'm a super casual fan, only familiar with the radio hits. I loved their set and the lead singer reminded me of my son! Unfortunately the lighting for their set was really dark so I only got blurry pictures.
When The Strokes finished their set the anticipation of the crowd was incredible. We were all waiting for our favorite band.
Finally it was time for Pearl Jam. To say I had an emotional moment during the opening song, Release, would be an understatement. It's the first time I've almost cried at a concert. Not to get all mushy, but seriously the love and admiration coming from the crowd to their favorite band was palatable.
It was definitely a show for the fans. They played obscure favorites that a casual fan might have never heard before. I was in heaven.
What happened next would have been a shock if I hadn't already heard that these songs were soundchecked. Eddie introduced Chris Cornell to the stage. This meant there was going to be a Temple of the Dog reunion. Temple of the Dog was a one time band, who put out one album in honor of Andy Wood. Andy was the singer of Mother Love Bone and just as they were about to hit it big he died of a heroin overdose. This left Jeff and Stone looking to form a new band, which is how Pearl Jam was born. Eddie had just come to Seattle to start recording music with Jeff and Stone and walked right in to the studio where Temple of the Dog was recording. He sang back up on a few songs and did a duet with Chris Cornell called Hunger Strike. Here is what Hunger Strike sounded like on September 3, 2011!!
It was a day/night to remember and we still had another day/night to go!