November 07, 2016
An old pipe dream came true Friday for fans who long ago accepted that they’d never see this Soundgarden/Pearl Jam supergroup in the flesh. But there they were on the Tower stage, Temple of the Dog, making their live debut 25 years after their lone album release.
Chris Cornell, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready and Matt Cameron tore the roof off the place during their first of two sold-out shows. The set drew from that 1990 self-titled album, of course, as well as the inspiration for the album — the late Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone — as well as a diverse line-up of covers.
Opening with a swath of backlighting to “Say Hello 2 Heaven,” Cornell took to the microphone with force and began the 23-song barrage. Nestled in there, not too early and not at the conclusion, was one of the band’s best-known single, “Hunger Strike.” Cathartic and still of the moment, it was one of many shining moments.
Among the selection was a diverse line-up of influences, including Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Syd Barrett, The Cure and, to end the first encore, Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.” The grouping was tight, with Pearl Jam’s contingent rocking the Temple of the Dog songs like they have never been rocked before. One can only hope this small tour is not a one-off.
Fantastic Negrito opened with an electrifying and topical set of blues punk. The crowd easily warmed to the band led by Xavier Dphrepaulezz and his matter-of-fact one moment and in-your-face the next approach to music.