The one and only Temple of the Dog album was made 25 years ago and because they never toured for the album they thought it would be cool to do a 5 city/7 date “tour.” 7 dates!!! Well one of them was L.A. so this was one of those rare moments that you would look back on and either say “I was there” or “I wish I would have gone.” I thought I would end up in the latter category when I tried to buy tickets only to find they were “sold out”…even though I was online right when the presale started. Bob to the rescue. I’m not sure whose balls he tickled to get tickets but he got 2 and I was the lucky recipient of ticket #2. The show was on a Monday but I guess you can’t have everything go your way.
After making the drive from San Diego, checking into our hotel and walking a short distance from a local bar we were once again at the Forum (see Epicenter 3/14/15). We immediately hit up the atrocious drink line and of course right as we were near the front of the line we started hearing the piano intro of “Man of Golden Words,” the Mother Love Bone song that the name “Temple of the Dog” was lifted from. Just as we escaped the drink line and began to find our way to our seats we were bathed in the familiar sounds of the arpeggio riff that opens “Say Hello 2 Heaven.” After that we were treated to all other 9 songs from the eponymous album along with 15 cover songs, 5 of which were Mother Love Bone songs. The stage setup was simple and stark without so much as a backdrop. It was clear that the band wanted to focus on the music and pay tribute to their friend Andrew Wood. They succeeded in spades and ended up paying tribute to what were surely some of the band members’ favorite artists as well. It is not often that I get to see a band from my teenage years for the first time 25 years later. This was worth the wait.
SETLIST: Say Hello 2 Heaven, Wooden Jesus, Call Me a Dog, Your Saviour, Stardog Champion (Mother Love Bone), Stargazer (Mother Love Bone), Seasons (Chris Cornell), Jump Into the Fire (Harry Nilsson), Four Walled World, I’m a Mover (Free), Pushin Forward Back, Hunger Strike, Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)-(Jimi Hendrix), Heartshine (Mother Love Bone), River of Deceit (Mad Season), Holy Roller (Mother Love Bone), Reach Down, Man of Golden Words (Mother Love Bone), Baby Lemonade (Syd Barrett), Times of Trouble, Achilles Last Stand (Led Zeppelin), Holy Holy (David Bowie), Fascination Street (The Cure), War Pigs (Black Sabbath), All Night Thing