What Happened to You?

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Pearl Jam
{ Roskilde Festival }

Fri Aug 18 14:06:15 CDT 2000
Promoter: Leif Skov
Security: Good
Where: Roskilde, Denmark
When: 6/30/2000
Stage: outdoors

Kent was still onstage, and I was searching the area for a drunken friend of mine. Lucky for me I never got to drink very much, and was quite sober when approaching the Orange stage. I went up front to get a clear view of the band. Suddenly they were onstage. I jumped up to see, but it was impossible as I'm not very tall. They started playing, and the first thing I noticed was that the sound was WAY too low! I couldn't hear a thing but fans screaming along with the songs! I closed my eyes and concentrated hard on listening. Pearl Jam was in shape, but they didn't sound very energetic to me. The audience however had by now become totally unruly. A guy came up and punched me in the face! They played for about 50 minutes. I can remember them playing "Daughter", and that was it. I couldn't move, a girl told me she had been pushed against a fence, while one guy tried to get her up, and two mocked her down. She though she was gonna die. Would the show go on? Then Eddie Vedder started trying to get the crowd to move about three times (two/three steps), and I still couldn't see the seriousness of it all. We moved back, and Eddie got more and more desperate. "Look, you are my friends here... We're friends, I've never done this before! Please help me!" People were panicking way up front. One guy was freaking out and started hitting people in their faces. By now it was what I would call total, silent chaos. It seemed like Eddie went back stage, and when he came back he said something about them loving us etc, before suddenly yelling "Well, FUCK you, guys", fell down on an amp, and started crying. Leif Skov went onstage and was completely out of it. After about 20 minutes of pure hell, waiting we got the message: People had died. I ran upfront, TV was there with a smiling camera-crew, policemen were crying, I couldn't find any of my friends, we wondered if The Cure would perform, people had nervous breakdowns, and I was face down in the mud with a crying German. I went back to the camp, only to find my friends paralysed. We never got to know, but some were saying one of our neighbours died. They left the tent intact, chairs and all... But then again: We were all neighbours! Like the 34 year old German man cried to me "To me this was like for once a year I could live a dreamlife with music and friends, all having fun..." What a gig. I'm back home in Norway scared to death, and can't believe I've just attended the most legendary rock & roll performance EVER... Alive...

Christian Nęss





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