Friday, May 19, 2017

Temple of the Dog at MSG, 11/07/16

Now, the third and final Chris Cornell related show that I reviewed here on "The Charbor Chronicles," just this past November.

I had been a huge fan of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, and loved Temple of the Dog, like everybody else did, back in the early 1990's. I have a bootleg copy of a Temple of the Dog concert from back in late 1990, but it felt like the chance to actually see this band take the stage was remote, and would likely never happen.

Well, fortunately, I was wrong. It did happen, and luckily, I made a point of going to see it. I was going to bring a friend, but the more I thought about it, the more important it seemed to bring my son, who also is a huge fan of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Even though the friend could have paid me for his ticket (and they were not cheap!), it seemed somehow more important to bring my son. 

In the light of the recent tragic event of Cornell's death by suicide, I am very glad that I did, because this was a very important Cornell memory that we got to share together. When I told my son yesterday about Cornell's death, he stated simply that we had seen him just in time! That broke my heart, but also made me appreciative of actually having gone to this show.

So, without further ado, here is the review of that show, which I originally published on November 7th itself, officially just getting it in on the same evening of the concert (the time that I publish these posts is, for some reason, Pacific Time, so I had a couple of hours to work with). Here it is:

Finally, it happened!

As a fan of both Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, I had long been waiting for the opportunity to finally see Temple of the Dog, and finally, it happened last night! 

Oh, I have a video of them in concert from all the way back in November of 1990, shortly after Pearl Jam formed. And I had also seen videos of makeshift reunions for Temple of the Dog. But when it was announced earlier this year that Temple of the Dog would have a full-fledged reunion tour? Well, I was definitely intent on being there.

And sure enough, I was, except that it was not nearly as easy as I had hoped or wanted. The tickets went for sale right around the time that my son and I were going out west, and I was both too busy and too pressed for money to actually acquire them then, when it would likely have been easiest, and have made the most sense.

When we returned, I looked on Ebay, Stubhub, and other sites (Ticketmaster had long before sold out), but for a while, people were charging ridiculous sums of money. Finally, I found one guy who had been selling for fairly reasonable prices, and when the pair that I had actually offered something for did not sell, he went way down, more or less at face value. That was when I grabbed the opportunity, and decided to go ahead with it.

My son has come to love the music of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and anything to do with Chris Cornell in general. When we went out West both in 2015 and earlier this year, in 2016, we listened to Soundgarden and Chris Cornell quite a bit, and my son was very, very excited to see them in person! I was excited for him, and excited of course in my own right, too. This was Temple of the Dog, after all!

After picking him up, we left suburban New Jersey and entered New York City, crawling along the  predictably heavy Lincoln Tunnel traffic. We paid $15 for that privilege. Then, we crawled along in thick traffic to a public parking space relatively near Madison Square Garden, and for three hours or so of parking, paid $39 for that privilege. I'm out $54, and we have not even done anything yet! Now, normally, I would have taken the PATH train, which is actually my preferred way of going into the city. However this time, I had to work right after the concert, and was going to be late, and my coworkers were not too cool with it, despite advanced notice. So, driving seemed to be the quicker option, and I kind of had to do it. Annoying, for sure.

We walked out into the chilly November evening, through the streets of Manhattan, and made our way to "the world's most famous arena." I stopped briefly to take a picture of him in front of the arena from across the street, and made sure to take a picture of the Temple of the Dog advertisement when it came on the screen. Then, we went inside.

We arrived early, and I fought the temptation to wait on the long line to visit the souvenir stand, wanting to remain financially disciplined. Already, this night had cost plenty enough, and right now, I want to remain on budget. Still, seeing those Temple of the Dog posters, that was hard. But we went to our seats and caught the first act, Fantastic Negrito. The guy was very outgoing and, at first, I was not sure that this was thrilling. However, the music was good, and I especially liked their version of "In the Pines," which was famously covered by Nirvana. There were a couple of obnoxious guys yelling and disrespecting them initially, seated right behind us. They kept screaming, "Who the F- are you?" Apparently, that is what passed for witticisms for them. At some point, I took off my jacket and took a good, long look at them with a less than thrilled expression. Fortunately, they disappeared at some point during the set, and surprisingly, they never returned. No great loss from our perspective.

The wait between sets was unusually long. Not surprisingly, the talk among some of our neighbors turned to politics. This being Temple of the Dog, with members of Pearl Jam famously being quite expressive of their viewpoints, and on top of it, this was on the eve of Election Day. One guy was particularly vocal, and he was mentioning how annoying he found it that Eddie Vedder spoke out on political issues during concerts, and how he wished the band would just shut up and play the music. The other two guys that this guy was talking to agreed, and they expressed their dislike of Vedder's politics, although joked about how most Pearl Jam fans actually usually cheered Vedder on (and I've been known to do that at PJ concerts, as well). The loudest guy did mention that there was one issue (but apparently, only one) that he could get behind, and that was AIDS research. Not surprisingly, they began to talk politics. Somewhat surprisingly, they all seemed a bit disgusted by Donald Trump, and took some of his outrageous statements as funny jokes.

An Irish couple came right before the show started, and we talked a little. They said that they had come here all this way just to see this concert. I expressed some surprise, and thought maybe they had come to see the big rugby game, where the Irish team ended a drought that had actually lasted longer than the Cubs World Series drought that had just ended days before. Ireland beat New Zealand's rugby team, the All-Blacks, in a stunning result. The guy seemed very happy and eager to talk about it, but that was when the lights dimmed.

The concert was starting!

This was my son's first time at Madison Square Garden. Thought it would be cool to get this pic up there, as well!

Temple of the Dog Setlist at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY - November 7, 2016:

Man of Golden Words (Mother Love Bone song) (piano instrumental)

Say Hello 2 Heaven

Wooden Jesus

Call Me a Dog

Your Saviour

Stardog Champion (Mother Love Bone cover)

Stargazer (Mother Love Bone cover)

Seasons (Chris Cornell song)

Jump Into the Fire (Harry Nilsson cover)

Four Walled World

I'm a Mover (Free cover)

Pushin Forward Back

Hunger Strike

Quicksand (David Bowie cover)

Heartshine (Mother Love Bone cover)

River of Deceit (Mad Season cover) Play Video Holy Roller (Mother Love Bone cover)

Reach Down

Encore: Man of Golden Words (Mother Love Bone cover) (Cornell solo acoustic) (with Pink Floyd Comfortably Numb tag )

Times of Trouble

Achilles Last Stand (Led Zeppelin cover)

Missing (Chris Cornell song)

Fascination Street (The Cure cover)

War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)

Encore 2: All Night Thing

Setlist taken from

My apologies about the relatively poor quality of the pictures, which seemed to come out unusually grainy, as well as the distance that the pictures appear to be from. We hardly had the best seats in the house, or anything, being behind the stage, although we saw everything considerably better than these pictures would suggest. Also, my battery was dying, so I could only take little clips of video at a time, which I know is annoying, but it was the best that I could do under the circumstances. Still, this provides a bit of an idea of what the concert was like:

No comments:

Post a Comment