TEMPLE OF THE DOG — the Seattle supergroup featuring SOUNDGARDEN‘s Chris Cornell, PEARL JAM‘s Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Mike McCready, and drummer Matt Cameron (who plays drums with both SOUNDGARDEN and PEARL JAM) — kicked off a sold-out run of live dates Friday night (November 4) at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.
Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.
TEMPLE OF THE DOG came together from the ashes of MOTHER LOVE BONE following the death from a drug overdose of its frontman Andrew Wood, Cornell‘s close friend and roommate. Cornell wrote future TEMPLE OF THE DOG songs “Say Hello 2 Heaven” and “Reach Down” to help process his grief, “but the songs didn’t have any destination,” he said. “I was compelled to write them and there they were — written in a vacuum as a tribute to Andy. My thought was that maybe I could record these songs with the remaining members of MOTHER LOVE BONE and that maybe we could release them as a tribute.”
TEMPLE OF THE DOG‘s setlist for the Upper Darby concert included several MOTHER LOVE BONE songs, as well as Cornell‘s first-ever solo single, “Seasons”, from the 1992 “Singles” soundtrack. There were several other covers, including BLACK SABBATH‘s “War Pigs”, LED ZEPPELIN‘s “Achilles Last Stand”, David Bowie‘s “Quicksand”, THE CURE’s “Fascination Street”, Harry Nilsson‘s “Jump Into The Fire”, FREE‘s “I’m a Mover” and original PINK FLOYD frontman Syd Barrett‘s “Baby Lemonade”.
The group will also perform shows throughout November in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, marking the first time the band has toured since forming in 1990. All dates sold out immediately. This is the first time the band has toured since they released their storied and groundbreaking self-titled album over 25 years ago.
Setlist for Upper Darby concert:
01. Say Hello 2 Heaven
02. Wooden Jesus
03. Call Me A Dog
04. Your Savior
05. Stardog Champion (MOTHER LOVE BONE)
06. Stargazer (MOTHER LOVE BONE)
07. Seasons (Chris Cornell solo song)
08. Jump Into the Fire (Harry Nilsson)
09. Four Walled World
10. I’m a Mover (FREE)
11. Pushin Forward Back
12. Hunger Strike
13. Quicksand (David Bowie)
14. Heartshine (MOTHER LOVE BONE) / Holy Roller (MOTHER LOVE BONE)
15. Reach Down
16. Man Of Golden Words (MOTHER LOVE BONE) / Comfortably Numb (PINK FLOYD)
17. Times Of Trouble
18. Achilles Last Stand (LED ZEPPELIN)
19. Baby Lemonade (Syd Barrett)
20. Fascination Street (THE CURE)
21. War Pigs (BLACK SABBATH)
22. All Night Thing
MOTHER LOVE BONE‘s Gossard and Ament began playing with McCready, and they brought in SOUNDGARDEN‘s Cameron to drum on demos. Because this was a collaboration, and a tribute, there was no commercial expectation for the TEMPLE OF THE DOG album. It would be, Gossard would later observe, “the easiest and most beautiful record that we’ve ever been involved with.” Added Cornell: “TEMPLE was about making an album simply for the joy of doing it. We weren’t concerned what anyone outside of our group of friends would think of it. It was the first and maybe only stress-free album that we all made.”
Gossard, Ament, and McCready were also simultaneously forming a new band, which more than six months later would be known as PEARL JAM. A singer from San Diego named Eddie Vedder, who was vying to lead the project, came into the studio to sing background vocals on three of the TEMPLE songs. When Cornell thought another song, “Hunger Strike”, needed a duet, Vedder was enlisted. “Hunger Strike” became a hit single, peaking at No. 4 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
TEMPLE OF THE DOG performed live only a handful of times, most notably in Seattle, in November and December of 1990. Those shows have become some of the most legendary Seattle concerts of all time. Their 2016 shows mark the first time the band has ever toured. (Cornell joined PEARL JAM in 2014 at the Bridge School show and for two nights at PJ20 in Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, and the TEMPLE lineup played “Reach Down” and “Call Me A Dog” at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall in January 2015.)