My first memory of listening to Pearl Jam was when I was 13 years old. It was No Code and I remember leafing through the strange Polaroid photos that were included in the CD case. I listened to “In My Tree” and related it my own existence. While not exactly a very uplifting song, it was (and is) relevant to me. In some ways I’ve always felt strange and out of place. This band helped me feel normal.
It was 2003 when I first saw them live. It was the summer before I started school in State College and I was fortunate to see this three encore marathon that ended the first leg of the Riot Act tour. Over the next 6 years I saw them at least once a year while traveling to Canada, Germany, Poland, Italy and England along the way. In 2009, I joined my brother for the last two (of four) shows they played at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. 43 songs later and they closed out the Spectrum and it would be 7 years before I saw them again.
Picking up where I left off 7 years later; I managed to get tickets to both Philadelphia shows in April. I was able to share this band with the person who makes my strangeness feel normal. Breein allows me to be the person I am without feeling like I need to do anything differently or be anyone else. She enthusiastically embraces the things that make me happy.
This band is the soundtrack of my life. The good and the bad, all have music associated with it. It just so happens that these events have the same vocalist.