Photo: Jake Chessum
Walking into Benaroya Hall on Sunday night was a little bit like walking into a small, dark smoky bar just like in the late ‘80’s or early 90’s. Wait. It as nothing like it AT ALL. I jokingly looked at one of the many people waiting for their cocktails asking, “Who are all these OLD people here at the Chris Cornell show”? The cheerful reaction to my sarcasm started making me feel at home. I sat at my seat waiting to see an amazing show, and when our very own Chris Cornell walked out to huge screams and people jumping to their feet, the familiar vibe was back. I was in Church. An uplifting, emotional, sad, soulful and ultimately connecting service with Chris at the pulpit.
Chris started off thanking Seattle for their years of support and then gave us what we were all waiting ; and OH, so much more…
We ate up the first several songs. A few from Audioslave, a lot from Soundgarden, Chris’s solo work, and a couple from various soundtracks. He gave us an inside view of his fanboy tendencies by telling us that “You Know My Name” from the James Bond film, “Casino Royale” was really about his excitement of having his name put on the same “list” as none other than Paul McCartney. “Sshh! Don’t tell anyone.”
Ben Shepherd joined him for two incredible tunes complete with big bear hugs and kind words spoken from the stage. Great memories. I was wondering what covers would be played when Chris ( and yes, WE call him that here in Seattle!) started chatting with the audience about how he was playing around mixing up a couple of tunes and I heard a couple of familiar notes from U2’s classic “One”. Wait. There is something different, yet familiar. Holy mackerel! Chris sang the lyrics to “One” by Metallica! You ingenious dog, you.
Continuing on with my Church metaphor, the second Chris went into “Man of Golden Words”, Julia and I wrapped our arms around each other as hard as we could, remembering Seattle’s own Andy Wood.
Then, as if we weren’t feeling emotional enough, Chris blessed us with three songs from Temple of the Dog.. Chris then invited Bhi Bhiman, his unassuming opening act, a clever singer-songwriter to join him to perform the epic “Hunger Strike”. Bhi’s parents are from Sri Lanka, he was born in Missouri and idolized Soundgarden as a teen. A dream come true for him, as well as for us, during Sunday Evening Church . He is a talented guitarist, songwriter and has a voice like buttah!
And how about the song written for Seattle?? Audioslave’s “Original Fire”! Listen to Chris tell another story of how one of his most badass songs came about…
He did a fantastic version of “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles and then he left the stage. What? Oh no. We know you, Chris–you will be back, and you didn’t disappoint. For five more encores, Chris kept us enthralled, happy and overflowing with faith, and even dedicated the final song to his longtime bandmates in Soundgarden.
We hope some of you were there, worshiping right along with us, but if not, hopefully these videos will help you see the light.
Peace Be With You. Amen.