Temple of the Dog shocked fans when they announced their 2016 North American reunion tour a couple of weeks ago. While the tour is being hyped as a ‘reunion’ tour, it will be the Temple of the Dog’s first ever tour, with the band only having sporadically played in the last 25 years, with the majority of their performances being short sets at Pearl Jam shows.
Temple of the Dog’s album clocks in at just under an hour, so the band will have to perform cover songs to fill out the rest of their set. The impetus for the band forming and recording their debut album was to pay tribute to Andrew Wood, so a set honoring their other friends and contemporaries would be only fitting. Below is a list of songs Alternative Nation would like to see Temple of the Dog play.
Mother Love Bone – “Stardog Champion”
Temple of the Dog has already performed “Stardog Champion,” so it seems like a shoe in to be a staple on the setlist.
Mother Love Bone – “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns”
Pearl Jam have frequently covered “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns,” and it would be great to hear Chris Cornell’s vocal take.
Mother Love Bone – “Man Of Golden Words”
“Man of Golden Words” is a Mother Love Bone track that Chris Cornell has performed on his Songbook tours, so it would be another track that would fit into a Mother Love Bone/Andy Wood suite of songs in the set.
Mad Season – “River of Deceit”
Chris Cornell joined Mike McCready for Mad Season’s Sonic Evolution performance last year, which also featured a Temple of the Dog reunion. Since Mad Season did not go on tour with Cornell, it would be a treat for fans to get to hear “River of Deceit” as part of Temple of the Dog’s setlist. Cornell’s take on the song (and other Mad Season songs) definitely did Layne Staley justice, and performing “River of Deceit” would also be a great moment for Temple of the Dog to honor another one of their fallen friends.
Pearl Jam – “4/20/02”
April 20, 2002 is the day that Layne Staley’s body was discovered weeks following his death, and Eddie Vedder immediately wrote “4/20/02” to reflect on the passing of another one of Grunge’s iconic voices. The song is very simple in nature, clearly not intended to make a Pearl Jam album or be used commercially, it was a hidden track on Lost Dogs. A Temple of the Dog concert honoring the musicians lost in the Seattle scene would seem to be the perfect time to pull out the song.
David Bowie – “Heroes”
While David Bowie was not a contemporary of 90’s alternative rock bands, his rebellious and genre-bending style had a huge influence on several alternative rock artists. “Heroes” is a somber song with moments of triumph, and it would be incredible to hear Temple of the Dog’s take on the track, especially with David Bowie’s death in January.
Jeff Buckley – “Grace”
Jeff Buckley was a close friend of Chris Cornell, with Cornell frequently paying tribute to him as his Songbook concerts. A tribute to Buckley nearly 20 years after his tragic death would be a great way to remind fans of Buckley’s immense talent that was taken away before he could even complete his second full length record.
Nirvana – “All Apologies”
Nirvana and Kurt Cobain helped popularize the Grunge movement that Soundgarden and Pearl Jam have become the elder statesmen of in recent years. “All Apologies” is one of Kurt Cobain’s greatest compositions, with Cobain juxtaposing his sarcastic lines with lyrical sincerity. If Temple of the Dog were to cover a Nirvana song, this would be the perfect choice tonally, and who wouldn’t want to hear Chris Cornell wail on the ‘married, buried’ refrain?
Pearl Jam – “Footsteps”
“Footsteps” is one of Pearl Jam’s (then known as Mookie Blaylock) earliest songs, and Chris Cornell has already covered it.
Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here”
“Wish You Were Here” is one of the great rock tribute songs, and it would be a perfect cover to incorporate into the set.
Soundgarden – “Like Suicide”
“Like Suicide” is one of Soundgarden’s more emotional songs, and arguably the highlight of Superunknown.