Adventures At A Jamily Gathering Essay

1092 words - 5 pages

Adventures at a Jamily Gathering

“This is a little ridiculous,” my brother sneers, shivering. It’s three o’clock in the afternoon, 30 degrees and dropping; we’re about 40 people from the entrance gate, and the concert doesn’t start until 7:30 pm. At this point, I’d have to agree with him. This concert is the last to be held this year at the Alpine Valley Amphitheater, and rightfully so—by the time Pearl Jam takes the stage, the temperature’s dropped to 15 degrees, and the band walk out doused heavily with stocking caps and scarves, and Eddie Vedder, the band’s frontman, welcomes the audience to “The Ice Bowl.” The crowd erupts in a roar that is part “Damn straight!” and part, “Yeah, ...view middle of the document...

Usually, I passed these credibility tests with flying colors; I think I may have even made a few people nervous. This resulted in the initiation of phase two in which the fan asserts the superiority of his/her fandom over that of any other living being.

In each group of people I spoke to, the competitive nature of Jamily members was best expressed by one person who had evidently proven him/herself to be the band’s #1 fan. This person shared stories of personal connection with the band member (I got everything from look-at-my-PJ-tattoo to I’m-doing-a-psychological-study-on-Eddie’s-mental-state to the King of all claims: I-met-Eddie), berated the inferior musical tastes of his or her less dedicated friends, voiced their desire to hear the most obscure songs at the concert, and used the most gushy language to describe their anticipation of the event. The #1 fans were, in general, the fans most likely to physically maim others in order to attain better seats at the show, motivated by a deep-seeded belief that their right to be close to the band’s members was ordained by some authoritative, mystical entity. Generally, the #1 fans tended to be male and in their late teens, and despite all efforts on my part, #1 fans didn’t much like me until after I said I might publish the story, at which point they asked that their full names be included in the piece. For example, #1 fan Jason[1], hailing from a small midwestern town, asked that his support for Pearl Jam’s ticketing policy be voiced in my article. We hear you, Jason.

Jamily members, be they official or not, are most often earmarked by their blind support of any Pearl Jam endeavor; the fans at Alpine were no exception. Although only one of the people I talked to cited the band’s activism as a motivation for her fanhood, almost everyone I talked to was quick to jump to the band’s defense if they perceived an attack. The fans were especially sensitive...

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