The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Chris Cornell - Review
December 8th 2015

Chris Cornell

On tour for his solo acoustic shows in Australia, legendary singer Chris Cornell has one of the most recognisable voices in modern rock. With his work with such bands as Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple Of The Dog and primarily for this tour, his solo material, we witnessed a back catalogue that is as diverse as it is brilliant. Here is the low down at the first of 2 shows in Perth.



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After having just seen Chris with his band Soundgarden earlier this year at Soundwave Festival, it was great to see him in the more intimate setting of the Perth Concert Hall which has a fantastic sound and is built for this type of show, an all acoustic set. Jumping into his entire back catalogue all night but with a strong focus on his solo material, in particular his latest album "Higher Truth" which was released in September, it is amazing to see just what this man has accomplished in his career so far. Opening with "Before We Disappear" from his new solo album, the first thing that you notice is that the voice is what stands out immediately, that trademark sound that is pitch perfect with a hint of gutteral emotion and tinges of a slight wear and tear. It's the two together of a touch of imperfection and a contradictory perfect voice that has made his vocals the centrepoint of any song he takes part in. A modified rendition of the Bob Dylan classic "The Times They Are A Changin'" was the first cover of the night and the changes suited the times of today where, as Chris points out, has become about greed, politics and other general selfish behaviours.

"Fell On Black Days" was the first of many Soundgarden classics to enter the set and while disappointingly at Soundwave Festival, many of these tracks were modified as far as vocal melodies were concerned, tonight was a different story as he sang the songs as they were originally intended. It was for that reason for the most part that made the performances that much better and it impacted the overall show making it ironically, better than Soundgarden themselves despite this being an all acoustic show. With the help of Bryan Gibson on cello which added some bass and atmoshphere to the show, the acoustic renditions were simply brilliant. Many cover songs made the set including "Thank You" from Led Zeppelin, "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love And Understanding" and a cracking version of Billie Jean from Michael Jackson which really gave the original a run for it's money. Many Audioslave tracks also got onboard including "I Am The Highway" and "Doesn't Remind Me" but to be perfectly honest, I always stuck with Soundgarden when it came to Chris Cornell and a lot of the hits made it including one of my favorite songs "Black Hole Sun".

It was good to see Temple Of The Dog material also making an appearance for the fans as it's something that gets overlooked a lot when it comes to Cornell's back catalogue but the primary focus is and was always going to be his solo material. Matching it up against the legendary tracks from his earlier work would be the wrong way to go about it but let's just say it fits perfectly in this setting alongside some of the best songs ever written. As was in the begininng, Cornell ended the night with another track from "Higher Truth", the title track as part of a fairly long encore and that was that. A brilliant night it was and his voice is still as powerful and recognisable as it was back when I first heard it on "Bad Motorfinger" all those years ago.

Review by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie
Photos by The Buffman