I’m going to be honest and mention that the show I am describing now is not likely the greatest I’ve ever witnessed, because I honestly can’t pick. I know that sounds like nothing more than an excuse, but shows can be monumental for so many reasons and can also really depend so much on where the witness happens to be in their life. For example:
My dad once took me and his girlfriend at the time to go see Sleater-Kinney support Pearl Jam. It was an incredible marriage because Pearl Jam was his girlfriend’s favorite band and Sleater-Kinney was mine. My dad didn’t like either group, it was an altruistic move on his part that I think back on fondly.
The show opened with Eddie Vedder coming out by himself to play a few songs. This was in a massive stadium and I recall him having the mic set out on the floor. He did a cover of the Beatles’ “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” — some other ones, then he went off. It seemed rather unceremonious to me, he just opened with a few songs and then stepped away. I liked that he was so chill about it.
This show was interweaving a “commercial band” with something closer to the DIY community (which at this time in my life I hadn’t heard of yet). I didn’t understand the difference then but I was struck to see a band I had watched play a much smaller venue (the Trocadero in Philly) be playing in this massive bank center in Florida. Sleater-Kinney came on and they were fantastic. I remember being excited to have my dad see what a cool band I was into, a band that in ways could liken to his own favorites, though he likely might have disagreed if I’d said so. I kept forgetting he wasn’t a fan of them, I was just really excited to be able to witness live music together. To me, we were sharing a moment of understanding about something personal and full of meaning. And the crossover of generations, albeit in the case of Pearl Jam and Sleater-Kinney perhaps the distance is not so great.
The two groups actually meshed together really well. At the end they covered “Fortunate Son” and absolutely slayed it. My dad loves CCR — he used to play it in the car with me — so it was perfect that they were covering it together.
It’s funny, I’m remembering it with fondness now, but it’s likely that at the time I wasn’t really so appreciative — which is not a new story by any means. Regardless, it’s a memory that stands out.
Frances Quinlan plays at 8 p.m. on Thursday March 12 at the Pico Union Project.