Chris Cornell: Live Last Night
Chris Cornell has always been a popular pick for lead singer of a supergroup -- hello, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave! -- and with good reason. The former Soundgarden frontman, now in mid-40s, has an ideal rock-and-roll voice: He comes from the Robert Plant school of vocalists, more banshee wailing than guttural bellowing, and possesses a set of pipes that ensures his voice is the focal point of whatever he's singing, no matter what other musical mayhem may unfold.
But maybe he gets lured into the supergroups as part of a secret plot to keep him busy so he doesn't try to make a solo album. That was one theory that came to mind as he trudged through a series of serious headscratchers from the recent "Scream." He recently told J. Freedom that the album's electro-rock sound was "two years ahead of its time" -- but it sounded more like eight years behind the times at a sold-out 9:30 club last night.
Songs such as "Part of Me" and "Time" sounded so much like Linkin Park throwaways that you half expected an Asian dude to come out from backstage and start rapping midway through each song.
(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)
But the capacity crowd dutifully put up with the new songs -- about a dozen people even seemed to be enjoying them -- in order to hear Cornell sing some of the biggest hits from his career.
The swampy, drop-D metal of pre-breakout hits "Outshined" and "Rusty Cage" was still murky and sinister in all the right ways. On the other side of the spectrum was "Spoonman" -- nothing in the performance made it any clearer why that song was such a hit in the mid-'90s. (Especially unnecessary was the drum solo by someone who was not the actual Spoonman nor had anything to do with the original writing/recording of the song.)
Other than taking the stage 45 minutes past the advertised start time, Cornell had no diva moments, which is always a worry with a still-famous, but clearly past his peak performer. Even the inevitable acoustic set didn't seem self-indulgent; people were thrilled to hear a solo take of Soundgarden hit "Fell on Black Days."
Cornell seemed genuinely moved by the audience's enthusiasm, exchanging countless fist bumps and singing set-closer "Black Hole Sun" down among the masses. Perhaps the greatest gift was giving the assembled a rare chance to sing Eddie Vedder's part in the Temple of the Dog anthem "Hunger Strike," which is on the shortlist for the title of most earnest, unironic, truly great, truly awful song of all time.
By David Malitz |
April 6, 2009; 2:18 PM ET
Live Last Night
Previous: Cleve Francis on Race, Country Music and the Chart-Topping Achievements of Darius Rucker | Next: Bob Dylan's Last Thoughts on Barack Obama; POTUS iPod Gift May Have Violated Copyright Law
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: mjrfuzz | April 6, 2009 3:46 PM
Posted by: PostRockDavid | April 6, 2009 5:14 PM
Posted by: warriorwoman25 | April 10, 2009 9:23 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.