Sometimes I miss the world before the internet. Mainly the music world. In the early 90s, bands like Pearl Jam kept an aura of mystery about what they did behind the scenes. After their first album Ten exploded into mainstream popularity, everyone wondered what their second album would sound like. Everyone I knew was expecting Ten part 2. They did not deliver on that expectation.
In 1993, I was sixteen. I was also a huge Pearl Jam fan. Back then, when a band was coming out with a new album, rarely did you know what it was going to sound like, or look like before the release date. Pre internet, it was always an exciting surprise to buy a new album. Music felt like a gift from the artist. It was something that the listener could really immerse themselves in. Bands really had a forum to create a true listening experience for the fan. Listening to albums front to back seems to be a lost art these days. And that is a little bit sad. But not in my world. I still do it.
I bought my vinyl copy of Vs on release day, October 19th, 1993 at Spin More Records in Kent Ohio. They had a midnight sale of the album, which is another thing I miss. People were lined up all the way down the street and around the corner from the store front. This happened all over the country. This is album was a juggernaut at the time, and became the fastest selling album in history, moving over 950,000 copies in the first week alone. Pearl Jam came to The Cleveland Convocation Center (now The Wolstein Center) on this tour the next spring on my birthday. I was there and it was fucking intense. Back then, Pearl Jam was the biggest rock band in the world, and the fans were rapid savages. The mosh pit engulfed the entire floor of the arena. Eddie Vedder made the mistake of jumping into the crowd for the encore, and was nearly ripped apart. Once security managed to pull him out of the mosh pit, emerged onto the stage, almost completely naked, aside from his torn boxers. Clothes gone. Devoured by early 90s rock fans. I miss that intensity for the love of music among the masses.