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[PJ in Dallas]

"all right, the party just started"
Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX | 5 July 1998
combined review by KJ, Stef, Donna, David, Doris and Bruce

The stage is all very open and seems to be right in the middle of things giving the feeling of going to a boxing match. The energy of which is comparable. On stage props include Mr. Pickles (Charlie McCarthy dummy), the gold bat wings and many stuffed crows. The simple white sheet backdrop is hung low so that the fans in the seats behind the stage can see the band. There is a row of stuffed crows lining the backdrop, bringing to mind the pictures inside the cover of Yield. Is someone in the band possibly into the mysticism of ravens or crows?? The sound system was very echoey and I'm standing on the barricade right in front of the speakers so at times it was hard to make out what was being said. But here's the blow by blow:

The band come out at 8:40pm. Everyone in the crowd is on their feet, the arena erupts in cheers and Ed says something to the crowd that I cannot make out. They get right down to business...

The lights are low, ethereal orange glow, no significant spotlights. The song is good but not the best version I've had to pleasure of experiencing, mainly because of the sound system. The song seems distant instead of intimate as it often is. Ed turns to acknowledge the crowd that has seats behind the stage. They roar, happy for the recognition, and I see hundreds of shirtless guys trying to get Ed's attention. Serious testosterone up there, glad we're down in the fan club seats, fifth row dead center and second row side stage near Stoney! (Although I easily managed to slip into the first row early on.) Awesome seats!! Thank you Ten Club and thank you to our friends Bruce and Doris who made this night possible for those of us who traveled to get here.

[Sometimes] [Mike & Ed]

Last Exit:
Fiery. I love this song live and it seems to be becoming a staple on this tour. I often sang it to myself when I was making the arrangements to come on this little 5 city adventure. 3 months, maybe longer; 3 weeks, not much longer; etc. Now I'm here. "Let my spirit PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSS"

Waste no time ... slam into ...

Brain of J:
Ed's voice sounds raw, raspy. But strong, forceful. He's already dripping with sweat, as it is a sauna outside and only mildly better inside, I'd imagine this to be especially true under those lights.

Hail Hail:
This song is equally intense live. The band members playing off each other and the audience, dynamic verve, intensity almost beyond human capacity. Some shirtless guy runs onto the stage and everyone around me at first thought it was a stage diver. We expected security to drag him off at any minute. Then in seconds we realize that it's Dennis Rodman!! Rodman comes out wearing only a pair of blue basketball shorts with white detail and a straw golf hat. No shoes, no shirt (no service?!?!) He bows and tips his hat to Ed, who looks surprised. Dennis' hair is black and yellow tonight. No Red??? Kisses and hugs and assorted mayhem ensues! The hat is exchanged between Rodman and various members of the band, especially Ed. Everyone in the band is laughing at Rodman and our little group of fans had the feeling that the band members were more amused than annoyed at Dennis' antics. But I could see how a PJ fan could be annoyed by this break in the music. Ed sings to Dennis "sometimes realize, I can only be as good as you let me" and "are you woman enough to be my man (!)" and "I refer to those who are tall, yeah." Rodman spills wine all over the stage in front of Ed. Ed shakes his head in mock disgust.

Ed says, "All right, the party just started." The crowd roars. Dennis stands next to Ed and looks at him like he's waiting for Ed to do something. Ed asks Dennis "You just gonna stand up here all night?" Dennis looks at the crowd as they roar approval and he nods his head. Ed laughs. "All right, we're gonna sing this one for you [baby]."

Given to Fly:
Ed takes off the button down shirt. He's dripping with sweat. I'm loving this song, Dennis is loving this song, the whole arena is loving this song. This song soars. I especially love the little dancing bit that Ed's been doing to this song during the interludes. Is Dennis giving him dancing lessons? "He's FLYING! WHOOOAAAA - OHHHHH" This song lifts my heart. Somewhere along the way Rodman left the stage. I was too immersed to notice his departure.

In Hiding:
Matt is ruling the drums again. I can't see him but I can definitely hear him and feel his presence. This song always seems so intrinsic to me, given the rumors of it's origin. I always feel as if Ed is revealing a bit of himself with this song, like therapy. Stoney has the awesome solo.

EV: "All right, thank you old star [something I can't make out]"

The perplexed audience of Ten Club members surrounding me seems stumped but excited as the next one begins. Ripping guitars from all three guitarists' the drums are pounding. Jeff is pumping on the bass ... Is it a new song?? A cover? The anticipation mounts. Then quickly all is revealed. It's Intersellar Overdrive that leads into ...

Shrieking version, dynamism. Rodman comes back out. He is placed on a stool behind Jeff for the safety of all ;o) and he seems happy as a Worm in sh!t to be there. Ed looks briefly at Dennis as he sings "this behavior's not unique." During the song Dennis comes up to Ed's mic and asks the audience if they're having a good time, cajoling them into giving up the love for the band. The crowd screams. Dennis is clearly having a good time. As are we. Mikey makes the guitar practically bleed for the outtro. Drums getting a work out. Dennis is singing in Ed's mic. He knocks over the bottle of wine that's on the floor.

Stone walks over to Ed's mic and says something like: "All right who wants Dennis to be out here the whole night, every single fuckin' song? (the crowd roars) And who wants him to get the fuck off the stage?" (the crowd roars with equal vigor). Ed says something and Dennis isn't moving from his side. Dennis says: "Hey ya know what Dallas?" (crowd yells "What") DR: "Ya know what? I *LOVE* this son of a * gun!" The crowd agrees. Dennis then tells how he loves the whole band "Jeff, Stoney, Mike McCready ... give em some love people!" The crowd is going ape sh!t. Ed looks at Rodman with amusement and says "Now I, uh ... I'm just guessing but, you've been drinking for about three days straight haven't you?" Dennis nods slowly, the crowd screams. Ed says: "We invited you down to the show, we told you, ya know after the show we'd break out that nice bottle of wine we've been saving for like two years right?" (some stuff I can't make out) "Now he's making a mess on the whole fucking stage. (to Dennis) whattaya wanna hear?" Dennis says: "All right people.. only way they're gonna play it is if you're giving 'em some F'ing LOOOOOVVVEEE!" The crowd screams. They start diddling with the guitars, lots of silly grins and giggling going on up on stage. They belt out:

I'm so enthralled I had forgotten to write this down on the set list notepad. Mike gives a fervent solo. They all thrash into it with a vengeance! Then they plow right into ...

Great driving song btw, and it just gets better and better every time I experience it live. Energy, power, not enough adjectives. Everybody's playing their hearts out. Matt is torturing his drum kit.

The mirror ball comes down but the spot lights aren't put on it until the middle of the song. I miss the eclipse effect of a full stage backdrop but the affect on this indoor arena is fun as well. During Mike's interlude solo, Ed sits on Rodman's lap and they pretend to cuddle romantically. LMFAO.

My heart always races along with this song -- like an out of control mini van full of Jammers racing down the highway towards their next PJ show! LOL =*) (Love to the {{{Tree Dwellers!}}}) Ed, Jeff and Stone do a lot of this one facing the fans in the seats behind the stage. They are cheered enthusiastically. Mike is in his own world facing front, eyes closed, head tilted up towards the ceiling. The waa waa pedals whine. I've said this before but the drums and bass are the broken lines on the highway, leading me towards the song's destination, the climax. The wailing wall of noise that is this music I love. "I gather speed; finally the shades are raised."

Ed says: "All right. Jeff wrote this little song, it's called 'Pilate'".

It seems a little slower tonight than I've heard recently. Not a favorite of mine off the last album but still a good song. Great vehicle for Matt, who rules the drum kit. Nice for Ed too, as he has to go up and down the scales a bit vocally, stretch his instrument.

Stone plows into the opening riff, signature Stoney grimace on his face. Ed belts out the words with malice. As the song approaches it's heights, Mike runs around the stage like a tiger needing out of his cage. [sharing the wine] Now Stone seems in his own world, eyes closed, face strains as he wails his solo on the guitar. Rodman and Ed start playing around again. Ed gets up on Dennis' shoulders and Dennis jumps up and down while Ed *tries* to sing "Yeah uh huh" when he isn't laughing that is! We all look on with amusement and FEAR! "OH GEEZ, What if he drops him!!!" Rodman gets the mic a couple of times. Ed is feeling up Dennis' naked chest and occasionally looks worried that he'll fall as Dennis jumps up and down. It's quite a height after all!! Eventually Ed flips upside-down while Dennis is still holding his legs! Then he flips onto the floor. VB sigh of relief from me!

Ed, with a naughty grin, says: "Thank you, Good Night!" No Ed, we ain't buying it! Stone comes up to the mic and says "All right, this next song is about -- this next song is about playing records, which is something we all like to do. I just know it has to be ...

Spin The Black Circle:
Man, Ed's screaming the lyrics! Everyone around me screams the song, especially the "Spin spin" part. Rodman sings backup, badly, on the "you're so warm" part and the sound guy turns off his mic, LOL. They plow through this song like their lives depended on it.

When it's over Dennis retires back to his stool behind Jeff. Jeff picks up the stand up bass and has to chase Rodman off the stool and stage so that he can play. (Reading lips it looked like "get the fuck outta here ... I need that.") LOL, Dennis looks like a scolded puppy and leaves, placing his hat on a laughing Jeff.

Off He Goes:
Mike's eyes are closed again. Wicked fine solos! I've recently thought this song might be about Rodman but he's no where in sight. Nice rendition but the echo takes away the intimacy again. "There he goes in his perfectly unkempt clothes. (spoken) There he goes!" (heavy sigh) No one sings the word "bullshit" as sweetly as EV.

The cymbals announce this song as if they could say "1 - 2 - 3." The crowd is happy, dancing, pogo-ing. No moshing as the crowd in front of the stage is all fan club and security forewarned everyone that moshing would not be tolerated. We're not here for that anyway. We're here for the rapturous solos coming out of Mike and Stone's guitars. We're here for the crash of cymbals and typhoon that is Jeff's bass. We*re here for that cathartic wailing vocal. We're here to party!!!

Daughter / Monkey Gone to Heaven:
Extended Jam at the end. A Pixies song. The lights go low and Ed speaks into the mic, something I can't make out -- then he sings out to something in the rafters that we cannot see. The crowd claps rhythmically along with his ramblings "and the devil is six and the devil is six and the devil is six and God is seven, this monkey's gone to heaven." I love this tag, I hope they do it more often.

Stoney's turn. "All Right. It's not every day I sing, you should feel pretty happy."

Rockin' fun version. Ed had been playing tambourine and he throws it into the crowd behind the stage when the song ends. Stone screwed up the ending. Ed pats him on the back like "That's okay, buddy." LOL! Love ya, Stoney*

Ed says "All right y'all ... uh ... I guess it's been a while so uh ... it was great seeing y'all again. For some reason we tend to bump into a lot of people from Texas on uh ... in our travels, and some of them are the coolest guys. Well some of the coolest guys I've ever met, and girls ... others are some of the biggest idiots I ever met in the world too ... but that could be said for anywhere I'm sure I think it's basically human race, day to day, the way we're brought up things are changing it's evolution baby ...

Do The Evolution:
Always a crowd pleaser. And a band pleaser too. It really looks as if they have fun with this one. Not much dancing from Ed tonight but he holds the note and snarls through his teeth "it's evolution babeeeeeeeeeeee" Mike's solos tear the pedals and his fingers fly across the strings. They end abruptly and the set is over.

A short break and I can see Ed and Rodman in the back signing autographs.

My friends in the center seats are holding up signs for Breath, U and Satan's Bed. Jeff and Ed had nodded to them in acknowledgment several times during the night and Ed looks right at them and says: "All right, this is a rare B side ... I don't think any one of you ever heard." My friends go ape sh!t again, but ...

Funny Ed! ;oP Though he's been strong all night Ed is having trouble with the hooting part and some of the high notes. He holds his throat and asks of the audience "Help Me," holding his microphone to the crowd. I personally wonder if he's really struggling or is he just not into it? The audience responds loudly but cannot match the man himself, even with throat problems his voice resonates. Lately the band seems bored when they play this song. To be honest, though it's a great song I could do without it. Especially tonight when Ed struggles through it. More tea, less cigarettes Ed. We want your voice to last a few more decades! The audience sings the wailing part at the end.

Mikey's solo scratches your eyes out. As the music swells up to it's crescendo a strobe relays the fury and energy that so characterizes this band. It's a dizzying moment. Ed does have some problem with his geetar halfway through the song and the whole last verse is left out completely.

Ed says "All right, I dedicate this one ... for a very special [man] in my life ... he knows who he is."

Betterman / Save it For Later:
Stone sits out the beginning of the song. While Ed sings the opening verse he sits on an amp just watching Ed, arms folded. As the song speeds up they all converge again for a rousing climax through an extended version of the tag song. Awesome. Mike twirls in his spot, doesn't he get dizzy?? =) Ed screaming "don't let me down ... don't let me down ... " It all comes to a crashing halt and Ed makes a Pete Townsend meets Air Jordan scissor leap.

Stone thanks the Murder City Devils who had been watching the encore from the side of the stage and now they come out and share the stage with PJ. Ed thanks them and praises them.

Ed says some stuff I can't make out and then "where they came from and where they're going ... I wonder what's so exciting about singing (some other stuff I couldn't make out) but ya know, I have it figured out what I thought it was for me ... it's almost like I wondered if dreams were contagious." He thanks them some more for their sharing the stage the past week. Their lead singer responds in kind and announces that they are going to do a song by the Dead Boys and then they tear into:

Sonic Reducer:
I love this song and I haven't heard it live in a while. Ed and the MCD singer trade off on vocals. Mike is jumping all over the stage. The MCD singer doesn't know all the words and Ed prompts him to go on. Ed goes to the far left side of the stage and the MCD singer goes to the far right and they do a dueling banjos of punk vocals. [Sonic Reducer]

EV: "Sonic Reducer"
MCD: "Ain't no loser"

As the combined bands wail on, Ed runs off stage to find Rodman. He and Rodman apparently do something that I couldn't see but that amused the heck out of the fans in the seats behind the stage. The two bands continue ripping out beautiful noise. Rodman drags Ed all over the edges of the stage, prompting the crowd to scream and applaud and worship Ed as much as he (Dennis) obviously does, Dennis is pointing to Ed and clapping, making "I'm not worthy" gestures, taking Ed's hand and making Ed bow and wave to the crowd. Poor Ed looked uncomfortable with the adoration, he smiles shyly and rolls his eyes (they were less than 3 feet in front of me and my #$@%ing camera had just run out of film!!!) Rodman so obviously adores Ed and he was just generally acknowledging that love publicly. I thought it was kind of sweet actually. The song finally comes to a crashing finish and everyone goes insane.

Ed: "Hey, thank you, you guys take care of yourself. Have a nice life. good night!"
Clothes make the man (men), for those who like to know this stuff:
Jeff: Black Tee shirt, gray (?) shorts, small straw hat was off and on in the beginning but mostly off all night.
Stone: Navy Tee, Blue twill pants. (and hair is getting longer!)
Mike: white shirt and jeans (torn at the knees)
Ed: Black cargo pants, puke brown button down shirt over brown tee.
Matt: Blue tank top with white stripes. Couldn't see anything else.

Photos by Matt Pfeffer; scanning by Doug Keegan