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Chris Cornell in Boston

By Debby Rao, Boston Contributor
Sunday, April 22, 2007 @ 9:31 AM


At The Avalon

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A young Boston College crowd was captivated as former Soundgarden, Audioslave singer Chris Cornell performed to a sold out crowd at Avalon in Boston. As he performed a vast array of hits from extensive career, Cornell managed to take his fans into the future solo career delivering a brilliant performance of four new songs that will appear on his upcoming solo release, Carry On, slated for a June 5th release.

Fans lined Lansdowne Street in the Fenway Park area early to see Cornell. For once, the buzz on the street in Boston was not about the Boston Red Sox, who were out of town in Toronto.

Cornell and his band, which featured Chris on vocals, Yogi Lonich (Wallflowers, Buckherry) on guitar, Peter Thorn on guitar, Jason Sutter on drums, and Corey McCormick on bass, delivered a riveting two hour set of hit songs. The set featured many sing-a-longs, captivating, emotionally brilliant vocals, and timeless, well-crafted lyrics spanning the Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of The Dog era.

Opening with "Spoonman", Cornell's band proved to be tight, and knew how to carefully orchestrate all of the softer, melodic melodies to perfect perfection without overbearing the Cornell’s vocals.

Chris led the audience into a sing-a-long with "Hunger Strike". “Well we have two bars on each side of the stage. By the end of the night, you all will be singing anyway. So why not get started now?" Cornell said, jokingly.

One of my new favorite songs has to be the first single off of Chris's new solo album, ”No Such Thing". This is my new favorite heartbreak song. The melody is very catchy, and I think everyone at some point in their life will identify with the “love gone wrong” lyrics. Chris sang the song with conviction and strength. I was sold at the opening chord.

Cornell said the performance would feature a mixture of old songs and new songs the audience would be hearing for the first time. I find the strategy of playing his solo songs live before the album goes on sale to be interesting. It really gives the band time to develop the songs in a concert setting while building anticipation in fans who will, hopefully, want to go out and buy the new album when it becomes available.

The performance was impressive while presented in a stripped-down mode. The only props used in the performance were the background of lighted stars that sparkled on the black backdrop. Chris's vocals were hauntingly beautiful. As the singer songwriter painted a canvas with his heartfelt melody and lyrics. One of the most moving moments of the set occurred, when Chris took center stage with just his acoustic guitar. Chris and his band performed the moving acoustic song, ”Seasons", and then Chris performed a three song acoustic set. Just to show how all the different genres of music played a major role in tonight's performance, Chris performed the reggae tune, "Redemption Song" in honor of Bob Marley. A fan gave Chris a Bob Marley T-shirt before the acoustic set. The song had a catchy melody, and also payed tribute to the men and women who are fighting for freedom.

Chris also performed another new song entitled, ”Safe and Sound”. He dedicated this song to the fallen heroes of Virginia Tech. Chris said, ”I have always wanted to write this song. When I was young, and playing at a park I witnessed this type of violence."

Another highlight was the song, ”You Know My Name", which was recorded for the latest James Bond movie, ”Casino Royale". It has a catchy feel, and haunting melody.

The hits just kept coming as the band played, ”Doesn’t Remind Me," and ”Rusty Cage."

The audience just wouldn't let Chris go, as he saved the best for last, with one of his most powerful hits, ”Black Hole Sun".

When news broke back in February that Chris Cornell had left Audioslave due to musical differences, many wondered what the future would hold for the talented songwriter. After tonight's performance, there is no doubt in my mind that Chris seemed happier than ever with his career decision. His unique, powerful vocals raged with emotion and passion. As Chris sang with much conviction and proved that tonight in Boston, there was no where else we wanted to be more tonight than onstage singing the songs that emerged out of an era when the songwriting emphasis was put on real life situations and people. The connection between performer and audience was ever so real.

Be sure to check out Chris Cornell on tour this Spring and Cornell’s solo album, Carry On, when it is released on June 5th.

Setlist:

  • Spoonman
  • Original Fire
  • Hunger Strike
  • No Such Thing
  • Say Hello To Heaven
  • Arms Around Your Love (Outshined)
  • Seasons
  • Redemption Song
  • Safe and Sound
  • Can't Change Me
  • Doesn't Remind Me
  • You Know My Name
  • Rusty Cage
  • Jesus Christ Pose
  • Black Hole Sun



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