After our trip to the merchandise table, we found our seats which were in the upper level behind the stage. This may seem like a terrible seat to some people, but honestly it wasn't bad at all. When you think about it, we were closer to the stage than those on the other side of the arena. There were also screens on which we could see the "up close and in action" shots so really, you will get no complaints out of me and I would definitely sit in this type of seat again.
The band that opened was called Midlake and they were from nearby Denton, Texas, of which they reminded us on multiple occasions. They weren't too bad, but all of their songs sounded very similar and I doubt I'll be rushing out any time soon to buy their album. They took the stage around 7:45 p.m. even though, as mentioned, the show was slated to start at 7:00 p.m. and played for about 30 minutes.
After the Midlake set, the stage was switched and finally at about 8:45, Pearl Jam came on stage to the roaring applause of the 20,000 or so people and opened to one of my favorite songs off the new album which is called "Pendulum," and it only got better from there. They played a perfect mix of both old and new songs for three hours and Eddie Vedder's energy was amazing. I didn't want it to ever end. This was the first Pearl Jam show I had seen indoors and I think that contributed to how electric the atmosphere was and the sound was incredible. I thought my eardrums might explode and I honestly didn't care. Eddie Vedder's sister and nephew were in attendance and maybe he wanted to make the show extra special because of that; because to me, he sounded better than he ever has and while he always puts a lot of energy into his shows, it just seemed even more incredible than it usually does.
Before the Dallas show, there was about a two week break in the North American tour and I had noticed that during the last show before the break, Pearl Jam had played "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns" and I thought to myself how much I would LOVE to hear them play this duo of songs live. "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns" was originally sung by Mother Love Bone and I had it on a cassette tape which Justin and I proceeded to wear out by rewinding and playing over and over and over again on our way to school in the mornings. Well, as luck would have it, "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns" was one f the last set of songs in the second set and I could hardly believe my ears. Even though they had not played "Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town" (AKA "Small Town") yet (which is my all-time favorite and was requested by me via Twitter), I didn't care since they had played "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns."
After the second set, they took a small break and then came back out. The drums were elevated on the stage and there was a little platform behind the drum set. Eddie Vedder took the stage and instead of going to the front, he came to the back to that little platform and sang "Small Town" while facing us in the back. With that, my dream concert was complete. There was seriously nothing else they could have played that would have made it any better. It was absolute perfection. As is always the case, they sang "Keep On Rockin' in the Free World" at the end, but surprisingly sang "Indifference" after that and then what was a magical night in Dallas came to a close.
We walked back to the car and then drove to Nevin's grandmother's house, finally arriving around 2:00 a.m. It was obviously dark and since we were in farm country, there weren't many lights and at one point we turned onto a small dirt road where the sign said, "Darden Cemetery" which was a little creepy. I slept surprisingly well seeing as how it was a strange environment but the exhaustion from the day before had apparently taken over.
The next morning we were up and ready to go earlier than we anticipated and we headed out around 8:30, stopping for gas and breakfast before hitting the interstate. We only made two other stops on the way home which will come as a big surprise to those of you who are familiar with me and my tiny bladder. We made it back home around 9:00 p.m. and the drive was really not as bad as I had anticipated. While there wasn't much to look at, there was good conversation and music and really, what more can you ask for?