I went and saw Pearl Jam at Alpine Valley the other weekend as a part of their 20th anniversary weekend tour extravaganza event. I’ve always liked Pearl Jam and so I was excited that their only set of US shows was a half an hour away from my house. Of course, since the shows were the first weekend of September, the weather decided to stop cooperating and it returned to its previous state of awfulness; rainy and cold. That didn’t stop my friend and I from tailgating, it just caused us to tailgate out of the trunk of the car.
It was there in the parking lot of Alpine Valley while munching on gluten-free pasta and sipping on white wine that it occurred to me: I’ve actually liked something, the same thing, continually, for 20 years. I can’t believe I’ve actually liked something for that amount of time. Not only have I liked the same band for 20 years, but I actually still like the same kind of music as I did when I was 8. I certainly don’t like the same clothes or TV shows that I did at age 8, but music tastes are pretty similar (gave or take a few bands).
Then I thought to myself, I can’t believe Pearl Jam’s been around for 20 years. Where did all of that time go? I mean, I still think of Pearl Jam as that cool band who like wore flannel and sang rockin’ tunes that I could like relate to and were sometimes like political. How has it been 20 years already? Twenty years? I guess the ’90s weren’t just a few years ago and I’m really not a “recent college grad” anymore. It crazy because sometimes I still feel like that girl clad in overalls and a flannel shirt listening to Pearl Jam on the radio hoping that I won’t fall asleep in the middle of my homework with all the lights on. I don’t feel so far from those days.
On the other hand, we were sitting in the parking lot sipping white wine and eating a variety cured meats from an Italian specialty shop and salads prepared from the leftover of a shared farm basket. That’s a far cry from my college days when I probably would have taken food from the dining hall for the tailgate and warm cans of beer that didn’t fit in the tiny dorm refrigerator. Though I mostly feel as youthful as I always have, it’s nice to be able to bring cured meats to the table instead of having to scrap together enough laundry coins to buy a six-pack.