The Soundgarden frontman proves he is still one of the best in the business during this intimate two-and-a-half hour acoustic solo gig.
Chris Cornell entertained the masses in Scotland with material from Soundgarden and his solo work spanning over the past four decades, including his impressive latest album, Higher Truth.
The stage was set with a couple of racks of guitars, a stool, microphone, and table, along with another table with a record player, and percussion and technological gadgetry, a keyboard, second stool, and sound monitors. That is all that’s required for tonight’s acoustic gig. Oh, and his trusty sidekick, Brian!
Chris walks onto the stage casually dressed in denim with a blue and black checked shirt, accompanied by tonight’s keyboard, mandolin, and cello player, Brian, dressed all in black. The backdrop was simple but effectively atmospheric. The focal point being a detailed heart that illuminated a certain way depending on the lighting. Other symbols and words could be seen dotted around the backdrop. The whole setting with clever lighting gave an intimate feel in the large all seated theatre packed with almost 2500 people.
Brian initially supports Chris with keyboards as the nights proceedings begin with “Before We Disappear” from his latest album and “Can’t Change Me” from his debut solo album, Euphoria Morning.
Chris played a few songs from other artists but, oh my word, what beautiful covers he pulled out of the bag tonight! The first was a respectful, emotional cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares To U.” A lot of the crowd sat in awe of this, with several mobile phones seen capturing the moment.
The new material was strong, and suited the intimate folksy atmosphere of the gig. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart stood out amongst the Soundgarden classics and fan favourites, mixed in with a few obscure offerings, and was one of many highlights of the night. Chris, on his own, gets the crowd going with a rousing cover of Bob Dylan’s “Times They Are A Changing.” Chris changed a few of the lyrics to signify, as he puts it, “this cynical day and age where even Donald Trump gets a shot at being president!”
Chris got the crowd cheering and frantic with a string of classic band tracks by Audioslave and Soundgarden with “Like A Stone” and “Fell On Black Days” respectfully, the latter getting an almighty roar as he held a perfect vocal note for a considerable period of time, with Brian on cello creating the most amazing haunting atmosphere.
Soundgarden’s “Blow Up the Outside World” was another highlight with Chris using distortion and looping techniques with his guitar. He changed guitars towards the end with the other looping on repeat, mixing in some sweet reverb vocals. The effects all brought together were simply stunning.
Chris was getting into a speech about the Queen, how she must have a hard job meeting people and seems to live forever. He must have been surprised by the reaction of the Glasgow crowd as talking about the Queen to the Glasgow crowd elicited shock and point blank stares. Chris cut it short to go into the song he wrote for the James Bond film Casino Royale, “You Know My Name.”
The audience stomped and clapped through the energetic Soundgarden classics, “Rusty Cage,” the Temple of the Dog song, “Hunger Strike,” and the fan favourite, “Black Hole Sun,” also proving popular with the Glasgow crowd. With Brian on cello for the latter, it gave a whole new perspective to the original song, with a dark and eerie feel.
The night was reaching that high point you never want to come down from, yet the energy and flow of the set reinforced the close intimacy between performer and audience. It was captivating. Chris ended the main set with another superb cover; “A Day In the Life” by The Beatles.
Chris and Brian return for the encore and perform a slowed down acoustic version of “Scream,” with additional backing percussion. One more cover, or should that be two covers in one, as U2’s “One” is played with the lyrics from Metallica’s song of the same name. It worked well.
The title track from Higher Truth ends the set, which Chris dedicates to the families affected by the terrorist attacks and the people of Paris and Brussels. It was a great way to end the night and again, the material from that album was strong and worked well in the set.
Chris Cornell showed after three decades, he still has one of the best voices in rock. With a huge back catologue of songs from Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, and his solo material, Chris’s setlist had something to please everyone. Well done, sir!
1. Before We Disappear
2. Can’t Change Me
3 As Hope and Promises Fade
4. Nothing Compares To U (Prince Cover)
5. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart
6. Times They Are A Changin (Bob Dylan Cover)
8. Like A Stone (Audioslave)
9. Fell On Black Days (Soundgarden)
10. Doesn’t Remind Me (Audioslave)
11. Call Me A Dog (Temple of the Dog)
12. Blow Up The Outside World (Soundgarden)
13. Let Your Eyes Wander
14. You Know My Name
15. I Am The Highway (Audioslave)
16. Misery Chain
17. River of Deceit (Mad Season)
18. Rusty Cage (Soundgarden)
19. Wide Awake (Audioslave)
20. Hunger Strike Temple of the Dog)
21. Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden)
22. Wooden Jesus (Soundgarden)
23. A Day In The Life (Beatles Cover)
25. Be Yourself (Audioslave)
26. One (Cover of U2’s music mixed with Metallica’s lyrics of the song with the same name)
28. Higher Truth