Last night (January 17), some of rock’s biggest names came together for a very special show paying tribute to the late Chris Cornell.
The Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple Of The Dog frontman died nearly two years ago, and I Am The Highway at LA’s The Forum restated how big a loss that was for the world. Together, his old bandmates welcomed a series of guest stars on stage to give some of Cornell’s best songs (and some of the night’s collaborators own material) another celebratory airing. These were some of the most special moments.
Soundgarden – ‘Black Hole Sun’
Before last night, the surviving members of Soundgarden hadn’t played together as Soundgarden since the night of the frontman’s death. Their set, then, was one full of emotion and gravitas, but also a celebration of their leader’s life and work. They bowed out with an epic and impassioned version of probably their best-known (and best) song, ‘Black Hole Sun’.
Foo Fighters – ‘Everlong’
This acoustic rendition of the group’s iconic hit could bring anyone to the brink of tears. It’s probably the most emotional version Grohl has ever or will ever perform, his voice cracking under the weight of the occasion on several points.
Miley Cyrus – ‘Two Drink Minimum’
Miley’s appearance to perform Cornell’s ‘Two Drink Minimum’ was a poignant one. That was, in part, because of the moment when the star sang, “It’s hard to say goodbye”, reflecting the feelings of everyone in The Forum.
Josh Homme – ‘Rusty Cage’
More usually associated with blaring loud riffs, QOTSA’s Josh Homme stripped things back to cover Soundgarden’s ‘Rusty Cage’. Injecting it with his usual swagger, he did Cornell proud with a commanding, compelling version.
Audioslave – ‘Show Me How To Live’
Cornell’s supergroup with Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford performed for the first time since the late icon’s death, with a host of famous faces taking over his duties. On ‘Show Me How To Live’, Dave Grohl and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo joined his old bandmates to give this bone-crushing tribute.
Metallica – ‘All Your Lies’
Metallica included two Soundgarden covers in their four-song set, opening with ‘All Your Lies’. James Hetfield and his gang gave it their hard rock treatment, pumping it full of fresh life.
Ryan Adams – ‘Fell On Black Days’
Alt-country star Ryan Adams also presented some of Cornell’s finest work with his own twist, namely taking the grunge ourt of 1994 Soundgarden track ‘Fell On Black Days’ and replacing it with strings and throbbing double bass.
Temple Of The Dog – ‘Say Hello 2 Heaven’
Cornell’s other supergroup Temple Of The Dog also reunited in his honour for their first performance since 2016. Numerous guest stars including Miguel, Brandi Carlile, and Fiona Apple appeared during their set but maybe best was Miley Cyrus’ second contribution to the night. In direct contrast to her quiet ‘Two Drink Minimum’, she belted out ‘Say Hello 2 Heaven’ in a performance that did Cornell proud.
Toni Cornell and Ziggy Marley – ‘Redemption Song’
Joined by Bob Marley’s son Ziggy, Cornell’s daughter Toni showed her father’s talent for music didn’t stop with him. Together, the pair gave a beautiful performance of Bob’s ‘Redemption Song’ that will send shivers down your spine.