november 18: love, reign o'er me
Okay, I shouldn't complain. We had two wonderful, beautiful nights, I got to wear my new Stones party clothes and be comfortable, if a little chilly. And we were fairly optimistic, at least I was; leaving Teresa's house at around 4:30pm on my way to yet ANOTHER stones list pre-party, it was only lightly sprinkling: "get it out of the way NOW," she said, and I hoped fervently it was true.
Went to the party, saw my friends, ate some dinner, and got on the road as soon as I could. Found my seat in JUST enough time, too. My friends seem to be nowhere in sight; either that or they're hiding out under the overhang. I guess I don't blame them. I am happy for every extra layer I have on tonight (Keith Richards t-shirt; PJ thermal; No Code sweatshirt; wool shirt bought to wait in line for the Voters For Choice show in 95 [which I didn't get tickets for, but I was prepared for it all the same!], raincoat. Baseball hat. Cell phone in a plastic bag.)
i don't know how i'll take notes. my only consolation, i say to myself, is i'd bet serious money we'll hear something from "Quadrophenia" tonight. a little "Love, Reign O'er Me" perhaps?? (Okay, so a grrl can dream, can't she???)
the drumming music is on and we can see stagehands cleaning off the stage. the cameras are flashing on and off and i can see a familiar profile sweeping the stage -- i glance once and know it's eddie -- just something i'd expect him to do. =) I mean, I only gave it a cursory glance and i just KNEW. This is sick, I'm thinking. (Sick that I knew, not that Eddie was doing it. Cool that Eddie was doing it.)
so they hit the stage during this monsoon, all wearing matching rain suits. "We came prepared," sez Mr. Ed. Mike hits one chord and I know what it is: "I Got Shit". And suddenly the rain doesn't matter, my friends not being there yet doesn't matter, my other friends down on the floor near the small stage doesn't matter: it's PJ and i'm warm down to my toes and singing along as loud as I can.
This lasts until "dissident" and even then I'm still singing and bopping along; I can't help myself. [And since it's the last night, can I PLEASE bitch about this song? What is it about "Dissident"??? I mean, I'm sure any random PJ fan on the street could name you a handful of PJ songs they'd like to hear more than this tune, and yet we got it ALL THREE NIGHTS *and* at the Catalyst. So if someone has some insight to share with me, please do.]
The crowd's cheers between songs gets louder and louder. I can't tell if it's me or if they were like this the other nights but the boys are up there playing their fucking hearts out and the crowd knows it. during "evenflow" ed is trying to catch raindrops in his mouth and when he gets to the "understands the weather of the winters on its way" line he kinda grins wryly. the shots on the video screen were fantastic tonight and i found myself watching despite myself; amazing shots of the stage outwards, raindrops glittering like diamonds in the stage lights, against the black of the audience. Just awesome.
After "jeremy", ed confirms my thought, identical to the other three nights, that this song has been reborn for them. I don't know what or where it's coming from, and from the sound of it, neither does he. "brain of j" really got me moving, stone was wailing away, ed doing this weird swim dance. he had shed the rainsuit early on, tossing it into the audience since "someone out there probably needs this more than me".
the arena song, "corduroy" and there are ed and jeff, who's also shed his rainsuit by now, doing the "lean". i'm adoring it. unfortunately, the people behind me aren't, and ask me to sit down. i move down to the last row of the next section instead. bite me. (They weren't going to stand up for the Stones either! I don't get it!)
"do the evolution" once again transfixes me, i am just in love with that song, and "alive" really got the crowd going. the cheers got louder and louder and louder. eddie had stripped down to his tshirt by the end, completely soaked to the skin i'm sure -- i was soaked and i had on layers and layers and layers (as detailed above!) and raingear.
i stood there quietly during "black", soaking it all in (heh), knowing this was my last moment with the band for a while. and ed comes to the front of the stage, fairly screaming "we belong together". and all I could think was, man, i LOVE this band.
Went up under the overhang to call Jean and found myself the perfect little spot; screamed really really loudly and wetly and got the setlist down; my notebook is TOAST, the pages are all stuck together, I'm not even sure I'm getting the damn thing right. Halfway through the show I was tempted to just call her and play the rest of it to her, so I'd know we'd get some of it correct. But I didn't do too badly, and went out and did my shopping, and came back and ensconced myself for night three and final of Rolling Stones at the Oakland Coliseum....
And of course the rain stopped before they went on. "I knew we had a deal!" exclaimed Keef later, pointing skyward. Andy said the next day that he didn't think that the rain *stopped* for the Stones, he thinks that it started for PJ. I don't know if I quite agree, but it was certainly trial by fire for them this week, why not add rain to the deal?
[one more night...]
Copyright © 1997 Caryn Rose