November 29 and the RSR staff found themselves car pooling to Jon’s home for an amazing pot luck dinner and some quiet drinks prior to the Pearl Jam concert.
With full bellies and for some, a mild beer glow, we headed off to the AMI stadium eager with anticipation about the night ahead.
Parking wasn’t a problem thanks to Dan’s Dad’s business being situated only two blocks away from the venue and the Rockstar Recipes crew efficiently joined the steady wave of concert goers as the South Island grunge collective ascended upon the old Lancaster grounds.
Approaching the gates, the atmosphere intensified and you could tell that underneath the notorious Christchurch conservative exteriors there were a heck of a lot of rock ‘n’ roll fans bursting with excitement.
Liam Finn opened up while we found our seats and his energetic, indie rock felt very appropriate and really set the whole tone for the evening. Within the first three songs Eddie Vedder appeared on stage and performed alongside Liam much to the delight of the congregation.
By the time we found the right stand and got settled in Ben Harper and Relentless 7 were just kicking off and the show really did kick into second gear.
Once again it didn’t take long for Eddie Vedder to arrive on stage and together they performed ‘Under Pressure’ by Queen/David Bowie.
The crowd responded really well to Ben but as the sunlight began to fade and Pearl Jam came on stage and erupted into their set the stadium really did come alive.
The night grew colder but the light drips and drabs of rain didn’t seem to affect the crowd’s enthusiasm.
Eddie was a real gentleman and charmed the pants off the critical New Zealand audience with some well placed, locally geared anecdotes and a genuine concern for mosh-pit safety.
A real crowd pleaser, Eddie announced it was Matt Cameron’s birthday and thirty thousand fans all sang Happy Birthday at the top of their lungs.
The show rolled out like clockwork and Pearl Jam performed exceptionally well, musicianship was absolutely in the pocket and the set list was a very sensitive mix of old and new tracks.
This was the final show of the tour and after a good couple of years on the road these seasoned pros showed no sign of fatigue or lack of passion.
Pearl Jam live in Christchurch 09 definitely goes down in RSR history as an awesome team field trip and an unforgettable experience for the whole crew.
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Pearl Jam puts on one heck of a show, don’t they? I remember my first Pearl Jam concert to the “T”! I bet that was really cool having that many people singing Happy Birthday together.