Though I may not be old enough to recall the inception of dare I say “grunge” rock which manifested in the heart of Seattle’s 90’s music scene… doesn’t mean I wasn’t greatly impacted by its influence. It seems we all were impacted in some way or another. The overwhelming amount of heartfelt stories and memories associated with Chris and Soundgarden has proven this.
There are very few moments in my life where I can recall the exact feeling and emotion of an event, where I can close my eyes and recapture that point in time just by hearing a song. One of those moments for me was at the Benaroya Hall just two years ago. I went with my boyfriend to see the one-off Mad Season tribute which included a whole array of legendary Seattleites collaborating to pay tribute to the 1994 group which consisted of Layne Staley (AIC), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) and Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees.) One of those legends who took on the role of vocals was Chris Cornell. I remember sitting rather close to the front and realizing I was witnessing something incredibly special, something I would most likely never see again. His voice was so haunting and his presence so striking.. and yet he had a subtlety to him, slightly reserved hidden behind a pair of sunglasses and a head of curly locks.
The show was just marvelous with guests/friends taking the stage for different songs, Kim Virant (Lazy Susan), Jeff Angell (Walking Papers), Duff McKagan (GNR) to name a few.. and then for the ultimate surprise Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam appeared on the stage with Matt Cameron and Chris Cornell. This was it! I was witnessing the first Temple of the Dog reunion. You could feel the magic that night, no words could put it so eloquently enough the feeling Chris gave the crowd as his vocals soared during the acapella section of “Reach Down.” I will never forget this moment, or how lucky I was to be in that place at that exact time.
Thank you, Chris. You will always be the reason for some of my most memorable shows, I am forever grateful.
Below is a video from that night filmed by the one and only Iron Mike Savoia…