Monday, November 12, 2007

Chris Cornell Rocks Northern Lights

There are only a handful or so of artists who can actually move me with their voice.

Freddie Mercury, Geoff Tate, Robert Plant, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Ann & Nancy Wilson, Delbert McClinton, Steven Tyler, Steve Perry, Layne Staley and Ian Astbury are some examples of those that can.

And Chris Cornell is another. Back when grunge and the whole Seattle sound began to change the course of rock music, I wasn't into it. It wasn't my thing. Nirvana didn't do it for me. In fact, I hated the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit", which is probably the song that can be looked back on and pointed to as the song that changed rock and roll. Pearl Jam was just OK to me.

But then I heard Alice in Chains (Layne Staley) and Soundgarden (Chris Cornell). And that was when I started to embrace the "Seattle sound". It made me start to appreciate Pearl Jam more. I still didn't like Nirvana. I don't really know why. To this day, I still hate "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

The other night, November 10,2007, Chris Cornell rolled into Clifton Park, NY to play a sold out show at a club called Northern Lights.

The opening band was an act by the name of Earl Greyhound, a 3 piece group out of NYC that absolutely rocked the place. They really should have had more than 30 minutes to play. A really good Zeppelinesque band. Check out their website at You can buy their latest album here.

Chris Cornell took the stage a little before 10:00 PM. The band started out with an instrumental intro and then Cornell came out to a huge ovation and launched into "Let Me Drown". At one point he mentioned that he thought it had been about 15 years since he played in Albany. He also remarked that he had never seen a club so packed. And it was. We were shoulder to shoulder and whenever somebody needed to (or wanted to) make their way through the crowd, it was havoc. He also commented that "Madison Square Garden doesn't get this me." And I believe it. The crowd was totally into it. And it was obvious that he was feeding off that energy. He covered material from all his projects...Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, and his solo material.

He played until 12:30 AM including the encore, which itself was about 35 minutes long. Not your typical come out and do one or two songs and say good night encore. It was a 35 minute jam/medley. In the middle of his set, he did a 6 or 7 song acoustic set which consisted of just Cornell and an acoustic guitar. That portion of the set ended with my favorite Audioslave song "Doesn't Remind Me" which started out acoustically but during that performance the band made its way back onstage and halfway through it became electric and that was how the rest of the show went.

I didn't keep notes myself, but I did a search for the setlist and this is what I seems to be fairly accurate:

Let Me Drown
Say Hello 2 Heaven
Rusty Cage
Billie Jean
Can't Change Me
Wide Awake
All Night Thing
I am the Highway
Scar on the Sky
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
Like A Stone
Doesn't Remind Me
Pushin' Forward Back
Ty Cobb
Out of Exile
Arms Around Your Love
Show Me How to Live
What You Are
Jesus Christ Pose
No Such Thing
Black Hole Sun
Be Yourself

You Know My Name
Slaves & Bulldozers/4th of July/Overfloater/Whole Lotta Love

That came from this site.

Note the date change on the picture. This one was taken during the encore which was after midnight.

It was an incredible show. Cornell's voice still moves me. The guy can sing like nobody's business...there's no doubt about it. Check out the videos from the show...the links are over there on the left. You can see some more still pictures from the show that I took by going to my MySpace page, clicking on View My: Pics and clicking on the folder titled Chris Cornell 11.10.07

Rock on.

1 comment:

Little Sara said...

i'd love to see him live. from what i hear he puts on an amazing show!
i just recently came across a band from the UK with a very similar sound to chris's music.
check out mexicolas -

hope you like!
Little Sara