22. Be as close as possible to Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper as I can on June 30.
Well folks, I think I did a pretty bang up job of No. 22 on my 33 Things list. At the end of last month, we had tickets to see Pearl Jam (with Ben Harper opening) play Wuhlheide in Berlin, which is personally one of my favorite venues ever. (Click here for a post about the Radiohead show we saw there in 2008). Fan Club tickets meant early entry, shorter lines, and we got to cherry pick our spots. We were definitely there early enough to stand in the mosh pit, but decided on prime viewing seats instead. Perfect!
But that’s not to say that it was the closest I’ve ever been. In 2000, I was mere feet away from Eddie Vedder when he made a surprise appearance during a Supersuckers concert at the Showbox in Seattle. Swoon! In 2002, my friend and I were in the first row during Ben Harper’s performance at the Sasquatch Festival in George, Washington (which required standing all day in the blazing sun during the entire day’s program). And in 2006, another friend and I attended an intimate surprise performance from Ben Harper in NYC, where we stood just feet from the stage. Swoon again!
In any case, the concert in Wuhlheide was perfect. Say what you will about their music, but Pearl Jam is at their very best when they’re on stage performing. No fancy light show or pyrotechnics necessary. Their performance has all the electricity and energy you could ever need. So great!
If you don’t believe me, just check out this video of a surprise appearance by members of REM during a cover of Kick Out the Jams. Or the dancing crowds during Do the Evolution. All fancy camera work, including the photos below, was done by mein Schatz — I apparently was too busy rocking out.