Setlist History: Temple of the Dog

Temple of the Dog was a tribute to the fallen grunge singer, Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone. The supergroup was comprised of two members of that band, a pair of Soundgarden friends and one Eddie Vedder.

Music in the '90s, especially in Seattle, was overflowing with so much talent and soul that as great as Mother Love Bone was - and they were easily top-tier - Temple of the Dog was just as phenomenal.

Soundgarden's Chris Cornell was very close to Wood and recruited Matt Cameron, along with MLB's Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament. The latter two would soon form Pearl Jam with Mike McCready and Eddie Vedder, who were also part of Temple of the Dog.

In November and December of 1990 the gentlemen recorded the self-titled Temple of the Dog album, the only collection of songs they ever put to wax.

What also happened early in the recording process was on November 13, they played their only full show with all the members in the '90s. While it's true members of Temple of the Dog would perform a few songs here and there, and there was a tiny reunion tour of eight gigs in 2016, 33 years ago today was really the show.

So many things made Temple of the Dog unique but the most obvious was it was fronted by two of the most powerful voices of the era: Cornell and Vedder, who played off each other beautifully in the first song of the set, "Hunger Strike," which was the lead single from the project.

How does a duet sound better than that?

What's also interesting about that gig was... fine, kick off the show with what will be the hit. Risky choice, but when you have a full album of material and an all-star band of handsome dudes in flannels and long hair, no one is heading to the parking lot.

But who thought it was a good idea to put "Say Hello 2 Heaven" as the third song?

The only album Temple of the Dog ever put together. And it's lovely.

If ever there was a finale to an emotional show where you're saying bye to your pal who has ascended, it's this one.

Watch and hear how Miley Cyrus knocked it out of the park during the Chris Cornell tribute in 2019.

This is the type of song you play last because vocally, you're belting it out and hopefully leaving it all on the stage. But no, these boys slotted it in the #3 position, leaving themselves with a half dozen other rockers to dole out.

Wild.

What else is wild is there's video shot from the Off Ramp Cafe that November night so we can have a glimpse of what the scene looked like under that disco ball in Seattle.

Of the several times Cornell and Vedder sang a Temple of the Dog tune together, every instance was touching for certain reasons. Firstly the songs themselves are all odes in one way or another to Wood.

But now in retrospect when fans look back at the Grunge Era and think about the list of young singers who fronted bands in the '90s in that style, we no longer have Wood, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley (Alice in Chains), Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots), and Cornell.

So any time one can get a high quality recording of the two singers of Temple of the Dog, like we have here at one of the 2014 Bridge School Benefits hosted by Neil Young, we should cherish it. Especially since this was the last time the duo sang it together in public.

Pearl Jam has no problem performing covers.

Due to their love of "Keep on Rockin in the Free World," "Baba O'Riley," and "Crazy Mary," the top three artists they cover are Neil, The Who, and Victoria Williams, respectively.

But look who's bubbling under at 13 and 14: Mother Love Bone and Temple of the Dog.

The MLB tune "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns" from their debut EP is a number Pearl Jam performed as recently as September. Out of respect, Eddie doesn't futz with it too much.

According to our data, 73 artists have covered "Hunger Strike" over 600 times.

The most recent performance of it was by Candlebox, another Seattle group from the '90s who were obviously influenced by the formation of the supergroup and the fantastic tunes that came from those two months of recording.

They have just two dates scheduled on their 2023 calendar, both in Texas. In January they head to Australia. Get your tickets on their website.

Candlebox also does "Say Hello 2 Heaven"

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Last updated: 25 Feb 2024, 03:27 Etc/UTC