Seattle was witness to a deeply soulful revival of beloved songs by short-lived supergroup Mad Season on Friday by Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Duff McKagan (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees), and Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam), among others.
The sold-out show celebrated Seattle’s 90s-rock heritage and saw Mad Season’s surviving members play songs from the group’s sole album, 1995’s Above. The band’s late members John Baker Saunders and Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley were paid tribute with appearances by Cornell, Cameron and an assortment of guest musicians from associated bands.
The set featured the Seattle Symphony, as well as new compositions from Mike McCready, with Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron playing drums. Kim Virant, and Walking Papers’ Jeff Angell were guest performers on select songs as well. In a not-entirely-surprising turn, a couple Temple of the Dog songs were played as well, when Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, and Cameron took the stage.
McCready had been working at length with Seattle Symphony and conductor Ludovic Merlot on bringing Mad Season’s music to the symphony’s popular Sonic Evolution series.
“I feel like this is the most important thing I’ve ever been involved with in terms of wanting it to be very special,” McCready said of the night’s performance.
The show also saw two world premieres: Yann Robin’s “Ashes” and Angelique Poteat’s “Beyond Much Difference,” the latter inspired by Pearl Jam.
The show closed with Alice In Chains drummer Sean Kinney joining for “All Alone,” which also featured a recording of Layne Staley’s voice.
Sonic Evolution Setlist:
Mike McCready and the Seattle Symphony:
1. Ashes (Inspired By Kurt Cobain)
2. Beyond Much Difference (Inspired By Pearl Jam)
3. Walking the Horizon
4. Long Gone Day
5. River of Deceit
6. I Don’t Know Anything
7. Wake Up (with Matt Cameron and Kim Virant)
8. Lifeless Dead (with Jeff Angell)
9. Call Me A Dog (with Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, and Jeff Ament)
10. Reach Down (with Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament)
11. All Alone (with Sean Kinney and Layne Staley vocal recording)