I already reviewed Pearl Jam in my Outside Lands post below, but I saw them again on Tuesday night, and something special happened that I just have to write about. I've mentioned before that I came of musical age in the early 90s, and not surprisingly Pearl Jam was a big deal, but at that same time I was obsessed with a video by another band, Temple of the Dog.
Temple of the Dog was a tribute band comprised of Chris Cornell (vocals, guitar) and Matt Cameron (drums) of Soundgarden, and everyone who would become Pearl Jam, save original drummer Dave Krusen. That Wikipedia link explains it in detail, but essentially Cornell wrote a few songs in tribute to his friend Andrew Wood, the lead singer of Mother Love Bone who had died of a drug overdose, and he contacted Wood's former bandmates Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard about recording them. They only recorded the one album, but it produced one very popular song and video, "Hunger Strike." It's the only song on the album that Eddie Vedder sings lead vocals on, going back and forth with Cornell, and it's basically awesome. MTV ran it constantly, even a couple years later, and it's inextricably linked to my memories of those years. Considering that the band is a mashup of the band that made the first tape I ever listened to constantly (Pearl Jam's Ten) and the band responsible for the first CD I ever really loved (Soundgarden's Superunknown), it seems appropriate.
Well, the reason I'm going on about this is that during the second encore at the show, Vedder started talking about how one person's presence at a show can make it special, and then he introduced Cornell! I started jumping up and down, saying "Hunger Strike, Hunger Strike, Hunger Strike" over and over again, as if there would be any other reason for Cornell to be there. And sure enough, they played it, and it sounded incredible. Temple of the Dog never played many shows, Pearl Jam has only occasionally played the song, and Cornell has only ever performed it with them once before, so this was a very rare and special highlight, in particular for someone like me who loves the song so much.
The set as a whole was a little more mellow than I would have liked, but they played a lot of different songs than when I saw them in San Francisco, and they played great as always. Oh, and to top it all off, Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains came out and played the guitar solo at the end of "Alive," making the Seattle reunion feel to the night even stronger. I'm beginning to think this is the type of band you need to see on every night of their visit to really get the whole experience. Maybe next time around I'll do that, but for now I'm left with the memory of one of my favorite concert moments.
Set List: Sometimes / Breakerfall / Interstellar Overdrive (Pink Floyd cover) / Corduroy / Save You / Eldery Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town / Got Some / Unthought Known / Faithfull / Even Flow / Unemployable / Daughter / Johnny Guitar / Given To Fly / Off He Goes / Comatose / The Fixer / Do The Evolution
1st Encore: Just Breathe / The End / Lukin / Red Mosquito (with Ben Harper) / Jazz Odyssey / Rearviewmirror
2nd Encore: Once / Footsteps / Hunger Strike (with Chris Cornell) / Alive (with Jerry Cantrell)