Two weeks from today, Pearl Jam opens its world tour with an intimate gig at the Astoria in London. I contemplated trying to score tickets, then flying over to England for the night; then, realizing how utterly insane that would be, I satisfied myself with the knowledge that I’ll be seeing them not once, but twice ten minutes from my house two-and-a-half weeks later. I was also confident that the band would return to my neck of the woods later this summer–but judging from the latest batch of tour dates, they’re actually going to be moving further away. Among them: a pair of two-night stands with (aurgh!) Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (one of which is in St. Paul, of all places). Also on the bill is an “evening with” gig at the Gorge in George, WA; right now, it’s almost tempting to get a pair of fan club tickets for the show and let the details take care of themselves.
But there’s another side to all this: the fact that I’m not approaching this Pearl Jam tour with the same monomaniacal frenzy as the 2005 Canadian tour leads me to believe I’m moving beyond the point where I need to see them multiple times in order to justify my continuing fandom. Whether this is a sign of old age, of maturation or of shifting priorities I do not know. What I do know is that, had this been 2003, the thought of only seeing Pearl Jam twice on a single tour would have been unfathomable. Now, not only is it fathomable, it seems entirely likely–and I’m perfectly happy about it. I can’t believe I’m turning out like this.