Alone in a corridor, waiting, locked out
He got up outta there, ran for hundreds of miles
To the Pearl Jam concert, Hyde Park, London, 25/06/10. Heightened expectation, giddy excited anticipation. Relish this time to go free, release, realise.
PJ are a band you steal away with. When you lose your footing navigating the everyday, PJ songs are there waiting, to be unwrapped round your ears, so you can steady yourself again.
Put on PJ and the disparateness, confusion, triviality, fade. Their aural nuggets of impassioned solid intensity keep the soul heart mind fed and warm. They stitch up the mind scratches. Bring you back to the core, up above it all, to what matters.
Tonight we can get it full on.
Get it now, get it on, before its gone, let’s everybody carry on, carry on
Get it now, set it off, before its gone, let’s everybody carry on, carry on
It’s almost time, so we all converge, packing in, before the stage.
A sweltering throng, shifting in anticipation, we’re together, but also alone.
Alone in the crowd.
Ready to snatch at these songs, for what they mean to us, for our own pleasure, sustenance, survival.
And the barrel shakes and, a-directly at my head
Oh, help me, help me from myself
And I listen, from both sides of the bed
Nothin, I’ll do this one myself
The music starts up. Sparking from the stage; words, energy, guitar. Stabbing a connection.
A wave came crashing like a fist to the jaw
Delivered him wings, “Hey, look at him now”
Arms wide open with the sea as his floor
Oh, power, oh
Feel it coming back out, scratching on the throat. Here we are. Finally.
She seems to be stronger
But what they want her to be is weak
She could play pretend
She could join the game
She could be another clone… why go home?
But there’s also a disconnection. Between what’s going on up there on stage & what’s happening down here, ‘round me.
Up on that stage is feeling, thought, energy, emotion, behind the eyes, pressing the notes. And that’s what I’m here for, to plunge those depths & drown in swathes of sound, to get filled up and whole again.
All the things that others want for me…
Can’t buy what I want because it’s free…
Can’t be what you want because I’m…
Why ain’t it supposed to be just fun
Oh, to live and die, let it be done
I figure I’ll be damned, all alone like I began…
But those around me appear to be content with surface only. I’m set apart.
Here we are, on a sinking smouldering summer’s night, one of the greatest bands playing for us just a few metres away, and instead of melting and moulding to what they’ve got, you’re talking, texting, taking pics of yourselves so you can say you were ‘here’.
But you’re not ‘here’. You’re living for after, when you should be living for now.
Everything has chains… absolutely nothing’s changed
Song after song, she stands there, back turned, chatting to her mate.
Meanwhile, those sweaty sexy song bullets being fired from the stage, burning and real, scatter and get lost amongst my immediate crowd. They’re not hitting. And I’m here to get hit.
The beer bottles fly and land instead. Dusty smelly beer splashes and sticks.
Women flashing segue into Betterman. Chalking up one more disparity.
All the thoughts, you never see, you’re always thinkin’
Brain is wired, brain is deep, oh are you sinkin’?
But I cut to the clean- look up and ride the guitar waves, glide on that hearty rich voice, underneath the cloudy, darkening sky.
Here come the welcome surprises, jolt me back to it. Whimsical, time suspended, the song that’s been floating in your head all week is now being played out; past and future does not matter.
I saw the sun go down, and now it’s coming up
Somewhere in the time between
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin round my head
How quick the sun can drop away
Everyone pulls back round for the encore. Facebook profile pics, phones and pints have lost their pull – we’ve remembered what we’re here for, what it’s supposed to be about. Feeling
PJ are a band I bookmark my life with. When I saw them last summer I was stuck on a page, & they struck it with a song that summed things up so well. At this year’s show we just got the reprise:
Having tasted… A life wasted…
I’m never going back again.
Because now it’s time to head towards a new chapter. Another song marks the spot:
See the path cut by the moon… For you to walk on….
See the waves on distant shores… Awaiting your arrival…
So that next time I can sing from a different shore.