Chris Cornell at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium, 10/30/13

Categories: Last Night
CornellBhi.jpg
Photo By Kyle Matteson

Another Temple track followed, with Chris clearly in the zone at this point, as "All Night Thing" sounded resonant and divine in the intimate room. He then brought out opener Bhi Bhiman to sing with him as he kept the Temple vibes flowing, as the pair sang a duet on "Hunger Strike" that had the crowd singing right along. A request for Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" was satisfied exquisitely, before Cornell brought out his guitar tech to play with him on "Never Far Away." The main set then ended with a pair of Audioslave songs, "Doesn't Remind Me" and "Be Yourself," which both sounded wonderful when reduced to simple acoustic arrangements.

After a brief encore break, the standing ovation eventually coaxed Cornell back out for a few more songs. He started with a bleak new song called "Misery Chain," which was written for an album of songs inspired by the movie 12 Years a Slave, curated by John Legend. It was a rather melancholy way to start the encore, but things picked up with a rousing version of Soundgarden's "Zero Chance." Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" started a string of stellar covers which dominated the encore, including "Dear Prudence," with Cornell crafting some haunting effects to accompany his deft guitar work.

The stage was again darkened for a mercurial version of "Black Hole Sun," with Cornell's piercing vocals ringing out vibrantly throughout the room. After thanking the crowd affectionately, Cornell ended the night with a hopeful cover of John Lennon's "Imagine," which brought the lengthy show to a graceful finish, but not before Cornell could play DJ one last time. Chris dropped the needle on another vinyl record, which played him off stage to a well-earned standing ovation.

CornellBike.jpg
Photo By Kyle Matteson

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias:
I first saw Soundgarden live in 1992 (with Swervedriver and Monster Magnet!), and have been a massive fan of Cornell and the rest of the band ever since. Though there were moments -- specifically the John Varvatos ads and ill-fated collaboration with Timbaland -- that I doubted Chris just a bit.

The Crowd: Filled to the rafters with aging grunge fans out to get their drink on on a Wednesday night.

Overheard in the Crowd: "Redemption Song!" request from the guy seated right next to me, which Cornell actually played for him. His odd request for "Better Man"(?!) later in the night was wisely ignored, however.

Random Notebook Dump: Opener Bhi Bhiman put on an entertaining and engaging 35-minute set that showed off his clever lyrics ("What you talking about business trips for, you work at the mall") and dexterous guitar work. His stirring original numbers like "Eye on You," "Crime of Passion," and "Guttersnipe" certainly garnered him some new fans in the full-house, while his dynamic cover of Dire Straits' "Walk of Life" had us all whistling and singing right along with him.

Random Notebook Dump II: On a spartan stage filled with only guitars and a turntable, there was an ominous red bat-phone placed on a table near Chris, which he thankfully never had to use to call in reinforcements during the performance. But we were all left wondering exactly what the phone was there for.

Setlist:

Scar on the Sky

Two Drink Minimum

Silence the Voices

Dandelion

Getaway Car

Original Fire

Sunshower

Sweet Euphoria

Halfway There

Fell on Black Days

Seasons

The Day I Tried To Live

Like a Stone

When I'm Down

Can't Change Me

Wooden Jesus

Footsteps (Pearl Jam)

All Night Thing

Hunger Strike

Redemption Song (Bob Marley)

Never Far Away

Doesn't Remind Me

Be Yourself

--Encore--

Misery Chain

Zero Chance

Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)

Dear Prudence (The Beatles)

Black Hole Sun

Imagine (John Lennon)



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