Chris Cornell / April 14, 2007 / Toronto (Phoenix Concert Theatre)
With the demise of Audioslave, Chris Cornell is once again going the solo route. The former Soundgarden lead singer has decided to simplify things on this current tour, opting for smaller venues as aWith the demise of Audioslave, Chris Cornell is once again going the solo route. The former Soundgarden lead singer has decided to simplify things on this current tour, opting for smaller venues as a precursor to the release of his upcoming "Carry On" album. But despite the intimate confines, Cornell's show isn't exactly a stripped down affair. It's a rock show at its core and at its finest, proving Cornell hasn't lost any fire.
Despite the rather early start time of 8 p.m. and with no opening act, Cornell and his tight four-piece supporting cast took no time warming themselves and the sold-out crowd up. The 17-song, 90-minute set kicked off with "Spoonman," as the singer, wearing a black t-shirt and jeans, bounced on the spot for portions of the meaty, grunge-era staple. Although his trademark strong pipes shined throughout, the audience gave Cornell a run for his money at times while threatening to drown him out. From there, the boogie-tinged "Original Fire" took hold as guitarists Yogi Lonich and Peter Thorn did their best at matching Tom Morello's work.
After thanking the crowd for coming out and grabbing their tickets early, Cornell gave fans a taste of the new material with "No Such Thing," initially a loud and menacing Velvet Revolver-ish track that went off on a slightly roots-y, acoustic tangent. But the singer was smart to sprinkle the new material alongside Audioslave, Soundgarden and even Temple Of The Dog cuts, particularly the latter's blues-tinged ballad "Say Hello to Heaven" which earned a loud ovation. Another early highlight was the slow, creeping "Fell on Black Days."
Although the demanding wails would wear on many singers, Cornell's voice showed little wear and tear. He did slow things down though with a brief acoustic portion that featured "Seasons" and "All Night Thing," the latter with Cornell alone on acoustic guitar. The song's Southern, soulful feel made one wish for Cornell and Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson to hook up for some future project. The pacing picked up again though for the looser and catchy "Doesn't Remind Me."
The homestretch featured the only two mistakes of the night. One was Cornell asking for the house lights to be turned on only for the stage lights to swirl over the crowd. "It's like we're landing a plane," Cornell quipped before introducing "Arms Around Your Love" as "All Night Thing," but then quickly realized his mistake. The show wrapped with a drastic revamping of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," which sounded like it came out of Nick Cave's or PJ Harvey's songbook.
Here is Chris Cornell's set list:
"No Such Thing"
"Say Hello to Heaven"
"Fell on Black Days"
"Like a Stone"
"All Night Thing"
"Can't Change Me"
"Doesn't Remind Me"
"Arms Around Your Love"
"What You Are"
"Black Hole Sun"