Last June, on a whim, I jotted down five superficial life goals. Number two on that list, right after "Celebrate Maple Leafs Stanley Cup victory" was "Watch Pearl Jam concert from backstage and meet Ed".
The last time Pearl Jam came through Toronto, everything seemed to line up perfectly to fulfill my number two superficial goal. They played the ACC on September 19 and thanks to a wicked hook-up with a member of the crew, I was there with an after show pass in hand. What happened at the end of that show is now legendary. Eddie Vedder and the gang were joined on stage by U2's Bono for a rousing version of Neil Young's anthem, "Rockin' In The Free World". Here they are, rocking out with the house lights on. It was a truly great moment, and only "Yellow Ledbetter" separated me from an opportunity to translate my after show pass into a meet and greet with Mr. Vedder.
Sophie had a choice to make and so did Ed. Bono trumped Boon and the two retired into the Toronto night to share war stories and scotch. Less than eight months have passed and guess who's strolling through Toronto for a couple of sold-out shows at the ACC this week? Pearl Jam is back and I still have a bud on the crew. This time, Bono is nowhere in sight.