HEARTS AND THOUGHTS THEY FADE, FADE AWAY: Pearl Jam closed down the Philadelphia Spectrum last night. (Setlist here.) As we were leaving the game at 12:30 last night, I could actually hear that final song, the indecipherable "Yellow Ledbetter," booming out into the street as about a hundred people stood just outside the Spectrum's doors to take it all in.
When Pearl Jam's four-concert gig was announced as the last for the 42-year-old arena, I didn't get it at first -- what was their connection to Philadelphia or the arena? Why wasn't the last show the $6 Hall & Oates/Todd Rundgren/Hooters show they threw together last week? But then I figured it out -- freed from the cultural shackles of the "alternative" movement which birthed it (hell, my first PJ show was eighteen years ago this week) one could view Pearl Jam as what it always was -- America's youngest classic rock band, in aesthetic and sound, perfect to close down a place built by Deep Purple, George Thorogood and Queen. [True story: during the rain delay, my 78-year-old dad asked me, Pearl Jam ... that's Eddie Vedder, right? (Yes.) Do I know anyone else in the group? (No, I don't think so.) Is he the one who dated that woman from One Day At A Time? (Well, he got the first name, the last initial and the profession right.)
We started our farewell back in July 2008. I'll let you know when the demolition plans are set.