Every year, Neil Young holds a benefit concert for the Bridge School. It’s a mostly acoustic show where many of Neil’s friends and colleagues show up to raise funds for this wonderful school for disabled children. This year’s concert featured a sort of reunion between Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell (of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden fame, just in case you were unaware).
These guys recorded as a one-shot group called Temple of the Dog, which was a tribute band Cornell formed in honor of his friend, the late singer Andrew Wood. The band consisted of Cornell, the surviving members of Wood’s group Mother Love Bone, and a then-unknown Eddie Vedder; he would join with the rest of Mother Love Bone and form Pearl Jam.
“Hunger Strike” is probably the best song from their single album. It’s certainly the one I love the most. It is such a compelling, emotional song. Although it is not about grieving per se, the grief is obvious. This is a song of mourning, epic and anthemic. But it’s been twenty-five years since it was originally written and recorded (okay, twenty-four. . . near enough). The palpable grief in the recorded version has turned into wistful melancholia. This performance is a memory and a celebration. Just wonderful work.