Tag: Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell @ Beacon Theater New York City 10/19/2015

Chris Cornell w/ Special Guest Hemming – October 19th 2015

Beacon Theater – New York City

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks

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       A question often floated in my direction is “Well you go to a lot of concerts, what’s the best show you’ve ever been to?” For a while now I’ve been saying the same thing: Chris Cornell Solo Acoustic Songbook tour that I saw at Town Hall a few years back. There, I saw one man with a guitar put on the best show I’ve seen in my short life. It was 1,500 people basically holding their breathe for two hours hanging on every lyric, every chord, every note . It was magic. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that when another show with Chris Cornell doing the solo acoustic thing was announced  I would find myself in the building, but the bigger question was: Can you top the un-top-able?

Hemming .. Cornell Beacon

Hemming opened the night and treated us to a handful of sweet sultry tunes that would make Ryan Adams wanna cover her entire record. No seriously, he probably will. Then Spin Magazine will hype it up for six weeks before panning it. It’s their style. Anyway about Hemming’s style, well, let’s say she had the whole building feeling feelings before her set was over and I for one was glad I showed up early enough to catch it. She’s from Philly, has a sweet sense of self and some bad ass tunes to go along with it. And Girls + Guitars = Happy Face Emoji.  Can’t find a link to where you can buy Hemming’s record, but like her on Facebook here and stay posted. Highly recommended

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Just a tad after 9 the man of Higher Truth, Chris Cornell hit the stage to a resounding ovation. Some folks here from last night, others like myself lucky enough that a second New York City gig was added to help combat a chilly Monday evening in October. Chris, excited as ever, said that he was gonna mix things up tonight for the peeps who are hitting both shows. First song of the night was Misery Chain as the backing music played as he sang, not reaching for the guitar just yet. Before We Disappear was up next and the Higher Truth track was resonating much more with me while sitting in the Beacon Theater than listening to the song at my house. Can’t Change Me (from 1999’s Euphoria Morning) was another strong effort before Cleaning my Gun, which Cornell claims to have written for Johnny Cash but “Johnny never got around to it.” Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart was another instant classic from Higher Truth.

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See, last time I had the opportunity to see this tour they were using audio from the live shows to record an album. That lead to security being extra tight with the photo and video policy. This tour comes on the heels of the Higher Truth release. So tonight, in the balcony I’m 3 rows from the last one and there’s not a event staffer for miles. Safe to say I hit record on some of my favorites.

Like Fell On Black Days for instance, which was the first huge hit of the night. Besides the people continuously making the entire row get up so they can continue getting drunk, it was nothing short of incredible.

Cornell 3 with kid

Chris Cornell’s daughter joined her father on stage to do a version of Redemption Song.

The definition of heart warming-or as the kids might say “Totes Adorbs”-moment right there. Chris wondered aloud afterward about how he was going to top it. Say Hello to Heaven was a good start to topping that.

River of Deceit finished topping that. Mad Season!!!!

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Our first taste of Audioslave music came with Doesn’t Remind me. Back to 99 with Sweet Euphoria before the place exploded for Blow Up The Outside World. The Beacon Theater has got to have some of the greatest sound I’ve experienced. Chris Cornell’s voice reached every corner, every crevice of this joint. Sounded like I was first row. What a fantastic place to catch a concert.  At the same time, we’ve got probably the greatest voice of the last 20 years out here proving why he is that (again) here at the majestic Beacon Theater It was like I was watching a perfect game being pitched. I didn’t want to jinx it  by asking the question to myself: “Is he doing this again?!?”

One came next. Not Metallica’s One and not U2’s One, but actually a hybrid of the two. It’s a rendition he’s been playing since the songbook tour and its extremely cool.

Then we harked back to the wild time known as the 90s and the Singles soundtrack for a glorious Seasons, which was followed by a haunting The Day I Tried to Live.

Rusty Cage followed. My second aborted video due to concert goers just never ever having enough alcohol. Fans tonight in the balcony were disappointing. A lot of whom didn’t arrive til after Hemming (although event info listed an 8PM show time and also noted “please be early”) often shuffled around causing entire rows to have to stand to let them out. Felt like me and a handful of folks in the row behind me were locked in and other folks well, other folks were just not.

Like A Stone Chris dedicated to his mother in law who he says was in attendance this evening. Hunger Strike right around the corner and a the Beatles A Day In The Life closed out our pre-encore Cornell precedings.

 

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There was a dude on cello kicking ass on a lot of songs tonight.

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Earlier in the evening, before one song was played Chris mentioned a fan that had been screaming “Like Suicide” all night last night and he promised to play it if he didn’t hear that same guy screaming it all night.

Well, specifically for that guy we got ourselves a Like Suicide tonight. The title track from the new record, Higher Truth was the show closer. 11:29 lights on.

100 concerts attended. Damn that’s a lot for a guy who doesn’t have six dollars in his bank account.

Chris Cornell at Benaroya Hall – Seattle, WA – 9/29/15

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Earlier this week, thenaturalstoner and I had what we would consider to be a perfect day in Seattle. We were in town to catch Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell at Benaroya Hall, a stop on his solo acoustic tour. After driving across the state of Washington that morning, we spent the afternoon in downtown Seattle doing all the typical tourist stuff like buying Hawks gear at the Seattle Seahawks Pro Shop, snapping photos in front of the Space Needle while making obscene gestures, taking in the sights of Puget Sound and studying the odd “art” along the waterfront. Like I said, typical tourist stuff.

At one point, we stopped off at a pub for a couple beers. No big deal, right? That’s what we thought until we spotted Grammy Award-winning rapper Macklemore sitting at a table behind us. Now, for some of you, this wouldn’t matter too much. But here at Concert Confessions, we have a little more respect for Mr. Thrift Shop ever since he released his latest single Downtown, which features vocals by Foxy Shazam frontman Eric Nally. Concert Confessions kind of digs Foxy Shazam, as evidence here, here and/or here.

After our afternoon downtown (and a fist bump between thenaturalstoner and Macklemore), we headed over to the show. It was such a nice evening out that we decided to walk instead of taking a cab. As we made our way to the venue, we stopped off in a small bar for a drink. Okay, if I’m being honest, it may have been a few drinks. Eventually, we made it to the show and we were ready for an unforgettable evening.

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Inside Benaroya Hall, Chris Cornell thrilled fans with a massive 30-song set list that lasted nearly three hours and included his work with Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog (plus solo material). Cornell is arguably one of the greatest frontmen in the business today, and his iconic voice sounded great in the sold-out 2,500-seat concert hall, which is also home to the Seattle Symphony. To add to the thrill of it all, we were sitting front row. I have to give credit where credit is due, thenaturstoner was on his game when he bought these tickets months ago. I couldn’t believe that here I was now, an arm’s length away from the legendary Chris Cornell.

One of the highlights included a guest appearance by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, who accompanied Cornell on Hunger Strike (Temple of the Dog) and River of Deceit (Mad Season). Other members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam were spotted throughout in the venue. McCready, however, was the only sit-in. Of course we would have loved for other guests, but McCready was a super treat for us all and those older covers sounded fantastic.

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Chris continued the night playing classics like Blow Up the Outside World, Fell On Black Days, Like A Stone and Black Hole Sun—although Benaroya Hall’s signature drink, the Black Whole Fun, left something to be desired. Cornell also dusted off some cool covers, including Bob Dylan’s Threw It All Away, Led Zeppelin’s Thank You, and a new favorite of mine, Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U.

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All in all, this was an absolutely solid show and most definitely worth the time and money spent to make it to Seattle. I would highly recommend catching this tour if you have a chance. Cornell treats his fans to a massive set filled with great songs, which evoke the memories of the 90s.  Not to mention, his voice is still there and sounding better than ever. Thank you Seattle for an awesome evening.

 

Video credit: Tammy P.

 

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An Evening w/ Soundgarden 01/23/13 Hammerstein Ballroom

Soundgarden – 01/23/2013

Hammerstein Ballroom – New York City

Words/Photos/Video – Jay Porks

Episode 82

Soundgarden 10

If this was my start to 2013, then boy is it going to be tons of musical fun. What goes on people, welcome yourselves to yet another Jay Porks Experience. Tonight it’s Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City to see Soundgarden, who are on the 2nd night of a back to back here at this dreadful venue located at 34th and 8th. It’s 15 degrees outside and I don’t have any money. No money means no cabs. No cabs mean spending 2 hours traveling and being frozen by the time I got to the venue. Luckily tonight, Cornell and Co. were here to help thaw out roughly 4,000 icy New Yorkers.

 

Let’s talk about the security outside of Hammerstein Ballroom for a second. At about 7:30 I was able to make my way inside without much of a line, the doors are at 7 and the show is at 8. The search at the door was insane. They’re making people take off their ski hats and everything. Searching every single person. My friend Pam is en route. They let me wait for her in the lobby so I’m watching this all go down. I get a call at 8:15 from Pam asking if the line I got on was around the block, because that’s where she is. I head outside to find a line has indeed, formed around the block. These guards are searching three people at a time. This place holds close to 4,000 people, and you guys can’t get a few more event staffers out there and get us in quicker? They’ve created a situation where half the crowd won’t be inside by the time this show starts. It’s 15 degrees out here. I’m not saying I know a better way, but there has got to be some sort of alternative to this. Can we do it like the TSA at the airport? I want to tell these people that I’m only going to be here for 2 hours or so, there’s no reason to bring every single illegal thing I own to this building. Not worth the struggle. This is one of the many reasons why I choose not to visit this venue if I don’t have to. What a scumshell this place is. This is not an issue I have at any other venue and they all do searches.

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So remember that “show is at 8” part? Well, we didn’t get to our seats til after 8:30. Another travesty, the seating in the mezzanine. The seats are in “first come, first serve” order. So no matter what number it says on your ticket, no matter if you got tickets 5 weeks ago or 5 minutes ago you have your pick of the litter from all the seats up top. So what did I pay $65 + fees for if my seat isn’t reserved, that’s my only question. And if you caused fans to get into the building a half hour late because of your rigorous search outside, then whats all that weed I smell everywhere?

We seated ourselves in the last two seats on the right side, in the last row. Literally the furthest place you can be in this place. But remember folks, last time I saw Soundgarden I was about a football field away from them at the Gorge in 2010. So being able to actually see the action on stage was a treat. Somewhere between 8:30 and 9 the lights dimmed and the band was set to hit the stage. Ladies and Gentleman, SOUNDGARDEN.

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When Soundgarden hit the stage and kicked things off with “Searching With My Good Eye Closed” they began a career spanning (I hate the term “career spanning”) set of old hits, old obscure tracks, and of course a nice dose of King Animal spun in there. We didn’t get into King Animal though, until “Non-State Actor” checked in as the 10th song of the evening. “Spoonman”was awesome in the two slot a the band ripped through “Gun”, “Rhinosaur” and “Flower” before I had to turn to Pam between songs and say “We’re seeing fucking Soundgarden!”. I was excited. I’m happy Twitter exists because I’m terrible with song names. Speaking of Twitter, last night I read tweets about an oversold Hammerstein Ballroom. I read that it was crowded on the floor. Tonight the floor looked packed out, and even though I was in the last row of the building, I did notice people standing behind me by the time we were into “Loud Love” and “Drawing Flies”.

It was during “Drawing Flies” I decided time to grab some quick drinks, and I stood on a line that had 4 people in front of me for the duration of that song as well as “Hunted Down”. I ordered a Coors Light and a Captain and Diet and received a Budweiser and some fruity looking beverage that was clearly not Captain and got charged 17 bucks (Pam got charged 17 bucks). I swear the only people who should be paid for working here tonight are the four on stage because everything else going on inside this venue is a train wreck.

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I didn’t even need to hear the lyrics as soon as I saw that backwards American flag on the video screen I knew we were into “Non-State Actor” by now,

so I figured they’d go back to back with new tracks and hit us with “Been Away Too Long” but not so fast-they slipped “My Wave” between them.

Worse Dreams” into “Blow Up The Outside World”-now we’re in a new one, old one portion of the set. It’s only the halfway point. Kim is adding a little extra funk in his riffs for this one, I hear his guitar trailing off in another direction from time to time in this one, and I like it. “Zero Chance” and “Eyelids Mouth” preceded “By Crooked Steps”-

another one of my favorites off the new record. Speaking of the record, Chris Cornell said at one point earlier (and I have this on video if it ever uploads): “the new record is called King Animal.. if you haven’t bought it by now, well I don’t care if you steal it or whatever” before jokily retracting the statement when he said “I think the president of our record company is here tonight”. “Outshined” was a little extra special tonight

heard everyone in my section screaming along to that one. That place was rocking all night long. Such an amazing live band these guys are. I’ve seen them do it outdoors now I’m seeing them do it indoors. The guy walking around my section who looked like Scott Ian from Anthrax was really getting into it with his girl during that one. I was waiting to have a good laugh when “Blood On The Valley Floor” came on.

The reason for that is because the other day while moving quickly to post a video of Soundgarden performing a song never heard live I mistakenly said that “Blood On The Valley Floor” was unreleased and wasn’t on King Animal. So here I am taping it and I can’t help but laugh at myself. Great track none the less. This King Animal record isn’t an album people should brush to the side while only being grateful that Soundgarden playing together again-this album is awesome. And I really thought I appreciated it when it came out. But seeing these songs brought to life live, Cornell‘s howling, the back drop of a powerful Matt Cameron on drums. Just cause he’s currently ¼ of the band I hate the most in my life he is also ¼ of Soundgarden and he’s tearing stuff up back there. One song another dude was drumming with him on the same kit. I also have that on video, again, barring it uploads anytime this month.

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Moment of truth time: Yes they did indeed play “Black Hole Sun“. It was a sweeter version of the song, the ever so slightly more mellow chorus much like I witnessed two years ago across the country. I hate when bands don’t play their biggest hit so I’m happy they played it. Although, had I known what would come or not come later, I would have traded it for Jesus Christ Pose and Pretty Noose(both of which absent tonight).

But like I always say: When you’ve got a bitchin’ camera doubling as binoculars, sitting in a seat rocking out to Soundgarden next to a cool chick who loves Seinfeld as much as you there’s really no way that can turn into a losing situation. “Rowing” was next up before they ducked off. People were exiting since Outshined so lots of people walking in front of my camera. I have no desire to go back out into that cold I’m sitting right here til they make me leave. Came out to a four song encore of “Head Down”, “Rusty Cage”, “The Day I Tried To Live

and “4th of July”-the middle two of the four being my highlights of that section. I was so into this show I wasn’t even keeping notes besides songs, I wasn’t writing down exact times and stuff.

After “4th of July” Chris left is guitar on the floor of the stage face down and feedback fed through the PA until it faded out into the house music. Somewhere between 11-11:30 they were done and we were on our way out.

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You know you’ve taken in something of epic proportions when there’s a handful of songs you wanted to hear that didn’t get played and you’re still walking down the block chatting it up about how amazing the show was. And that’s what Soundgarden brought to the table here tonight. 28 songs. Count it, 28. That’s like a Bruce Springsteen type number. And someone tell Billy Corgan that if what I just witnessed was nothing but a “cash grab” then Cornell and company can snatch my wallet anytime they please.

May have mixed up a few songs in the paragraphs above in terms of order, but the full set list is below the fancy pictures. Late..

Setlist:

Searching With My Good Eye Closed

Spoonman

Gun

Rhinosaur

Flower

Loud Love

Drawing Flies

Hunted Down

Live to Rise

Non-State Actor

My Wave

Been Away Too Long

Worse Dreams

Blow Up the Outside World

Zero Chance

Eyelid’s Mouth

Like Suicide

By Crooked Steps

Outshined

Blood on the Valley Floor

Fresh Tendrils

Mailman

Black Hole Sun

Rowing

—Encore—

Head Down

Rusty Cage

The Day I Tried to Live

4th of July

 

 

 

 

 

Soundgarden Debut New Song Live

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So Chris Cornell and the boys in Soundgarden are currently smashing up venues across the country, and will spend the next two night in New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. That’s not the news here. The news is that a new song was premiered in live at a show in  Pennsylvania over the weekend. You can watch the video of that below, it comes after “Blood On The Valley Floor” . For a full list of Soundgarden Tour Dates, click here.

Watch Chris Cornell Cover “A Day in the Life”

Watch Chris Cornell Cover “A Day in the Life”

 

Everyone should know that Sir Paul McCartney celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday; and it turned out to be a great opportunity for musicians to celebrate one of the most influential songwriters of our time. See below for video of Chris Cornell covering “A Day in the Life” at London Palladium.

Jay-Z Set To Curate Made In America Music Festival

Jay-Z Set To Curate Made In America Music Festival

Jay-Z has a lot of stuff. He has a basketball team, he has 99 Problems, an album with Kanye West and of course a baby with Beyonce. Now Jay-Z has a music festival.  This two day music event will take place in Philadelphia on September 1st and 2nd and will feature a diverse lineup spread across three stages. Some of the highlights include D’Angelo, Dirty Projectors and Pearl Jam. It will be known as the Made in America Music Festival and will take place at Benjamin Franklin’s Parkway in Fairmount Park. You can check out the entire lineup for yourself down below.

Tickets go on sale via Ticketmaster on May 23rd at 10 AM EST. To check out the official lineup when it’s announced,  head over to the festival’s official website,  MadeInAmerica.Com

Jay Z

Pearl Jam

Skrillex

Rick Ross

Passion Pit

D’Angelo

Santigold

Odd Future

Janelle Monáe

Dirty Projectors

Afrojack

Calvin Harris

Wale

Meek Mill

X

rince Royce

Rita Ora Savoy (DJ set)

The Knocks

Artist Update 07/31/12:

Drake

Chris Cornell

Run DMC

Jill Scott

Gary Clark Jr.

The Hives

Nicky Romero

DJ Shadow (DJ Set)

Otto Knows

Michael Woods

Burns

Hangout Festival Returns to Gulf Shores for 2012 with Stellar Lineup!

What: Hangout Music Festival 2012

Where: Gulf Shores, Alabama

When: May 18 – 20

Why:  Hangout 2011 featured a diverse lineup including Paul Simon, The Foo Fighters, Primus, The Black Keys, Girl Talk, Avett Brothers, Widespread Panic, and The Flaming Lips.

Well the folks planning the only festival featuring white sandy beaches and palm trees out there have done it again with a fantastic early 2012 lineup coming out in waves via Facebook this evening.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Dave Matthews Band •Jack White
String Cheese Incident (performing two sets)
Wilco •Skrillex •The Flaming Lips perform Dark Side of the Moon
Dispatch •Steve Winwood •CHRIS CORNELL •STS9
Gogol Bordello •Michael Franti & Spearhead •Mac Miller •Flogging Molly
Coheed & Cambria •Paul Oakenfold •G. Love and Special Sauce
Randy Newman •Dr. Dog •Young The Giant •Cage the Elephant •Dawes •Alabama Shakes
M. Ward •YelaWolf •Switchfoot •Julian Marley •Zeds Dead •Mavis Staples •Shpongle •Gary Clark JR •Rebelution Allen Stone •Big Freedia •The Devil Makes Three •Paper Diamond •Futurebirds •Hey Rosetta! •Sleeper Agent THE LUMINEERS •ARCHNEMESIS •Tribal Seeds •Rich Aucoin •Jamie Bergeron & the Kickin’ Cajuns

Added 03/12/12 – Kaskade, Umphrey’s McGee, Delta Spirit, Heartless Bastards, Greyboy Allstars & Givers

 

Tickets go on sale Friday, February 10th and start around $200 for 3 days. For complete details, visit http://www.hangoutmusicfest.com/

Chris Cornell Hits The Tonight Show

Chris Cornell on the Songbook tour this past year was fun time for a few of us here at Concert Confessions. Back on this writer’s birthday, Chris Cornell was set to make an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. For reasons not made public, (possibly concerning Presidential Psychopath’s Ron Paul’s guest spot on that same Dec 16th show), the date was moved back to Jan 5th.

So last night, America collectively sat and tuned in(me WITH Ice Cream) to Chris Cornell perform “The Keeper” (off the Machine Gun Preacher soundtrack). Sans guitar, and hair still in full blown Jesus mode equipped with odd hand gestures, Chris Cornell was able to make even a few minutes of the Tonight Show actually watchable last night

In case you missed it, below is a link to the video of the performance we were able to dig up, courtesy of the Audio Perv

<Chris Cornell- The Keeper (Tonight Show)

The Top 10 Jay Porks Experiences of 2011

As 2011 reaches a close, we take a look back at the year in concerts. In volume, I probably attend the least amount of total shows per year if you pool all of the contributors here at Concert Confessions. But never the less, by years end I will have reached 23 concerts, eclipsing last years total of 20. My only personal goal is to always get out to more shows then the year before. We did that in 2011, and here’s hoping we crack a bigger mark in 2012. Back to the reminiscing, here’s the Top Ten Jay Porks Exerperience’s of 2011

10)GWAR Music Hall of Williamsburg(2/20/11)

It was a cold night in February. I remember it like it was yesterday-it was the day before I was to get my Blackberry, and I remember the whole night being pissed about how if I would’ve gotten a new phone earlier that day I’d leave here tonight with better quality photos. Speaking of photos, the Reverend Justito was able to go through channels and gain me a photo pass for the first 3 songs of their set. It was at this time that I would stand about an arms distance from the late Cory Smoot/Flatimis Maximus while getting soaked in GWAR fluids, which would later add some difficulty to hailing a cab after the show-being that it looked like I was covered in blood. Awesome times [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXrJ0Kw6d_Y&w=480&h=360]

9)Slaughterhouse at SOB’s (5/25/11)

I know what your all thinking-How the hell does he throw Hip Hop into his Top Ten? Well, a week or so prior to Joe Budden replying to a Tweet of mine setting off a back and forth which gained me a collective middle finger from his fan base, he played with Slaughterhouse at SOB’s. This is the show that made me buy the tickets to see the man solo at Irving Plaza, and even though that was terrible, I can’t deny what Budden, Royce Da 5’9′, ‘Joell Ortiz’ and ‘Crooked I’ did to the stage at SOB’s that night. And that was setting it on fire. Also, one of the openers ‘Emilio Rojas’, I promise you will headline shows in 2012. He sounded like the future.

8)Chris Cornell @ Town Hall(4/13/11)

With a Soundgarden full on reunion tour not yet confirmed, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Mr. Chris Cornell on his Solo Acoustic Songbook Tour. The hair is back, and in full Jesus mode Cornell blessed us with hits from Soundgarden, Audioslave, his own solo catalog and mixed in a Beatles cover along with a, brace yourselves, acoustic cover of Ghostland Observatory’s “Sad Sad City”.

7)Dinosaur Jr w/ Henry Rollins, OFF and Fucked Up @ Terminal 5 (6/23/11)

Overlooking the balcony on the 3rd floor of Terminal 5 for an epic night of events. If it wasn’t enough that I was seeing Dinosaur Jr., we had Keith Morris in the building with his latest band. OFF!. In addition to that we had the critical acclaimed “Fucked Up”. And the frosting for the cake, Henry Freakin’ Rollins interviewed Dinosaur Jr on stage before their set, an interview I captured in it’s entirety and it up on YouTube. Also got most of their set, they had great lighting and my spot was of epic proportions. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n0mEa2r_hM&w=480&h=360]

6)Local H Mercury Lounge (4/21/11)

Local H is one of those bands that will probably always find there way on my year end best list if they come around to my neck of the woods, and that’s just what happened. Not only that, but they were booked for an “Early show” at the Mercury Lounge-which means doors at 7PM and show was to end promptly at 9:30. No problem for Scott Lucas and Brian St. Clair, who kicked out about 20 jams in the time they had on stage, including 2 songs from a forthcoming Local H record: “Cold Matter” and “Another February”(which I have video of below this paragraph). Covered ‘Joey’ by Concrete Blonde and “Wolf Like Me” courtesy of TV on the Radio. During Wolf Like Me, Scott came off stage with his guitar and played, like, into the camera was recording with and eventually was jamming out leaning against me as people snapped photos of him in the crowd. What Mercury Lounge is great for in not having security so I can tape, they suck at lights-and there is no conclusive proof of this on video. At least my buddy who I met into at the Lemonheads show says he remembers me from the crowd and remembers seeing that happen. Got an autograph from Mr. Lucas after the show and gave it to my friend Pam, who was defeated by New York City traffic trying to make it there. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sXiip0fN78&w=480&h=360]

5)Flaming Lips&Weezer Get Freaky On The Same Stage PNC (7/28/11)

So when I saw the show listed on Ticketmaster it was billed “Weezer/Flaming Lips” yet when my ticket arrived in the mail it said “Flaming Lips/Weezer”. I figured at the least I save myself time seeing some crap opener, as I like both these bands. As the show drew near, it was announced that the bands would both set their gear up on stage, and take turns playing songs back and forth. Now isn’t this interesting? And it turned out to be even way more fun then I imagined. With limited time, sort of, Weezer wasn’t able to squeeze into their set a bunch of songs I hate. Plus they kicked off the night both bands on stage playing Black Sabbath’s “Sweat Leaf” with Wayne Coyne and Rivers Cuomo floating the pit area in space bubbles. After 2 hours of back and forth hits from both bands, they shared the stage again to play “She Don’t Use Jelly” followed by “Undone(The Sweater Song)” before going off. Awesomeness. I was still giddy as I wrote the review on a plane flying off to Washington State-that’s a hint for things to come on this list. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d2iws3WKGc&w=480&h=360]

We have a tie for 3rd/4th place:

3)Meat Puppets (11/4/11) & in Teaneck, NJ (11/6/11)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cw28zvA_Xk&w=480&h=360]

The Meat Puppets returned to New York City for the first time in 2 years to play Le Poisson Rouge. They would play 2 nights later in Teaneck, NJ at Mexicali Live with me in attendance as well. It’s a tie because on both nights they would equally scorch the stage they played frying hearts and minds-yet it was two totally different experiences for me despite the set list not varying much. Night one in NYC I got backstage, and was able to hang with the boys before the show and even got to meet Sean Yseult (bass player who started a little band called White Zombie with dude named Rob), who was nothing less then a bad ass chick-I mean that in the awesome sense. But after all that it ended up I couldn’t get a good spot up front and had to extend my arm up full length when recording songs(the good news being I don’t have to hide my camera from anyone, being the Social Media Assistant for the band I am actually permitted and encouraged to do so).

Two nights later I meet up with Pam in Teaneck, NJ-a little hidden spot of Northern New Jersey I never even knew existed. My intentions on this night are to finally show off my favorite band still touring to one of my good friends- [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yeJftK_l5Q&w=480&h=360]
one of the few friends I have in real life who’s musical taste I respect. She’s never seen them, and this was to be my 9th time. Check this out, you know that band Black Box Revelation that’s been blowing up by the show? Yea, they opened up this one before they set off w/ Beady Eye on tour a week or so later. They were awesome. And my great spot for video during this Meat Puppets set as oppose to they Friday night set is not even comparable. I got everything I needed to get and more. About halfway during set Pam says to me “This drummer is amazing”. That drummer is Shandon Sahm (son of Doug Sahm, I’m gonna let you use Wikipedia for this one), and for the nights encore as it would have been Doug Sahm’s 70th Birthday day, we saw Curt Kirkwood relinquish his guitar to Shandon and took a seat at the drum kit. They then played “She’s About A Mover”, a Sir Douglas Quintet cover with Curt on drums and Shandon Sahm singing and playing guitar. Got Curt to autograph Pam’s ticket after the show. Freaking amazing weekend of the Meat Puppets, hence my tie for 3rd/4th place. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTZw1SJbg4g&w=480&h=360]

2)Ween Hammerstein Ballroom: Halloween 2011

For a second year in a row through circumstances beyond their control, Ween fall one spot short of the top spot on my best shows of 2011 list. It was Halloween, it was WEEN at Hammerstein Ballroom in the city. We tore the seated section 103 apart, stacking chairs creating a standing room frenzy. They did another “Evening w/ Ween” which includes no opening acts-and played for the better part of three hours dressed up for Halloween in skimpy sailor outfits. It was amazing, and even through picking up the pieces of my face on the way out the door-the number one spot had already been locked in. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn820V9WMhw&w=480&h=360]

1)Soundgarden, QOTSA, Mastodon,& the Meat Puppets @ The Gorge 7/30/11

Remember when I said I was writing the Flaming Lips/Weezer review on a plane heading to Washington State? Yea well, that was one insane weekend. With tour guides TheNaturalStoner and Mr. Sparkly taking care of me, we were off on Saturday July 30th of 2011 to the Gorge Amphitheater to see Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, and THE MEAT PUPPETS. This was before any Meat Puppets dates were locked for NYC so I had to make sure I caught them right? Plus opening for Soundgarden?!? A band I’ve been waiting to see for years and years. And sandwich in Queens of the Stone Age, which I missed out on a presale from their NYC show in March and how can we think this could get any better? Well, it got better as soon as we were at the top of the grassy hill looking down at the stage camped so behind it is the beautiful Columbia River and mountainside. 18,000 people get in this place, standing room exclusive. If it wasn’t enough that I got to see the Meat Puppets for the 7th time that night, I also got to see Soundgarden close out strong. And while Queens of the Stone Age kicked out songs I love, like “Go With The Flow” & “No One Knows” ,with the sun setting and beams of light bouncing off the river and silhouetting the people on the lawn.. man that 8-10 minutes right there may have been the greatest moment of my life(well, besides Jen Cartiglia). We had from what I counted 5 of us Concert Confessioners in attendance- Myself, TheNaturalStoner & Mr. Sparkly in one tent trying to get texts through to Phishbeard to meet up with us, while at the same time we tried to gain WiFi to find Jakob. The whole Washington experience blew me away, and the show being that epic wasn’t hurting matters either. Camped out afterward sleeping on a folding chair using a sleeping bag as a blanket starring up at the stars, which I can actually see in a state without the air pollution that New York City contains. Woke everyone around us camping up early due to my phone’s alarm clock still being on east coast time. The video I share below is not one that I shot, but shot by TheNaturalStoner. Since I was standing right next to him anyway, and his camera is way better then mine, here you go: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iou9tnsHt6w&w=640&h=360]

Honorable Mentions!!

I seriously wanted to put Charlie Sheen’s Violent Torpedo of Truth tour in here, but I didn’t want to take the crap from all the trolls out there who DIDN’T attend…But damn that was a pretty freaking epic night, awesome times with friends.. hence it’s honorable mention.

-Phish, Night 1 of their MSG New Years Eve run was pretty funky as well, had this list not been done before I attended the show on 12/28/11, it would have been up for nomination

Reverend Justito’s Top Ten Shows of 2011

Reverend Justito’s Top Ten Shows of 2011

 

#10 Rammstein 05/20/11 – The Forum – Inglewood, CA

Oh those crazy German’s. I truly assumed I would never catch these guys again after the Great White fiasco, but there I was on the floor of the sold out Forum watching the band’s first North American tour in nearly a decade. It was all you could want from a Rammstein show – pulverizing riffs, shock value galore and lots and lots of fire.

#9 Chris Cornell 05/04/11 – John Anson Ford Amphitheatre – Hollywood, CA

The only reason I went to Chris Cornell is so I wouldn’t have to sit home alone for another night. I really didn’t expect much and just assumed I was crossing another artist off the list (as you can see in the review, I had actually seen Cornell live and forgot all about it). As much fun as it was to get videos taped at a show where armed guards stood looking to shoot anyone with a phone or a camera, as it turns out the music was really amazing. Cornell’s voice sounded strong, he performed stripped down versions of songs that span his entire career and hell if the Rock and Roll career does not work out, the man is funny enough to be a stand-up comedian.

#8 Voodoo Music Experience 10/29/11 – City Park – New Orleans, LA

Truth be told, this wasn’t so much about the music as much as it was about the Experience. Traveling alone through the streets of New Orleans 2000 miles from home with a once in a lifetime chance to check out one of American’s premiere music festivals. Don’t get me wrong, Mastodon, Social D and Girl Talk all killed it up on stage. However, it was meeting a kid fifteen years younger than me from my home town. It was checking out a beautiful park in a beautiful city and taking in a culture very different from Los Angeles. It was the sweet Street Car driver who pointed out all the great spots to eat far from Bourbon Street. Just like the name said, it truly was an experience.

 

#7 Joseph Arthur 04/14/11 – Venice Sound Stage – Venice, CA

There is something truly special about Joseph Arthur in Venice in April. Even if I tried to explain it, it simply wouldn’t make sense. So when this last minute gig was announced the same weekend as Coachella, I got my ass down to Venice faster than you can say Milk truck. Having seen the man at three of his four shows at the Bootleg Theater earlier in the year, I didn’t know what to expect out in Venice. With less than two dozen people showing up to the last minute gig, it was more like Arthur was playing in your living room then your typical concert. Perhaps it was the dog running around the venue, perhaps it was the fact he was cool enough to play “Morning Cup” for me, whatever it was this performance brought out some of the best feelings I have ever felt.

#6 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds 11/18/11 – Royce Hall – Los Angeles, CA

When Oasis split, I found myself bummed I never made an effort to catch a proper show. I figured I may as well make the effort to catch the side projects till the day the Gallagher’s get back together. While we won’t mention the worst show we saw in 2011, Noel’s performance at UCLA’s Royce Hall was nothing short of exquisite. In between playing nearly the entire debut album, the man busted out some of Oasis’ biggest hits including “Wonderwall” and “Supersonic.” Oh and for the record it was not I who asked him to take off his shirt, but it was me who did request he play some Kasabian.

#5 Amon Amarth 04/24/11 – House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

So let me get this right, I get to leave Easter dinner early to watch Amon Amarth perform two sets of music? Oh and of those two sets of music, one of them is the bands’ latest release Surtur Rising from front to back? With no support, the mighty men from Scandinavia played almost three hours of music to a blood hungry crowd of sweaty men young and old. Much like an Easter Sunday service, the crowd sang along to every word worshiping the band and their every command. My only regret was the fact I was unable to experience it all over again when the group hit Anaheim in August.

#4 TV on the Radio 09/25/11 – Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, CA

When 2011 started, I just assumed TV on the Radio was some over-blown hipster bullshit from Brooklyn. While that is totally correct, that didn’t stop me from falling in love with the group. As I mentioned in the original review, I didn’t even want to go to this show, but the lady had already purchased me a ticket. Then the group became unavoidable. Phish was covering Golden Age and someone I really respect kept posting Will Do to their Facebook wall. By the time I walked into the Bowl, I had not only owned TVOTR on vinyl, but was pumped for the gig. Grouped with other up and coming acts including Warpaint and Arctic Monkey’s – TVOTR’s headline set was a fierce hour of post punk/post hardcore/post indie yet totally original melodies and madness. Your new favorite band of 2005 is my new favorite band of 2011.

 

#3 Prince 04/23/11 – The Forum – Inglewood, CA

I am not a huge Prince fan. Don’t get me wrong the man has some great songs but it’s not something I listen too very often. Yet with 21 shows with most tickets priced at $25 there was no way in hell I was going to miss one of the greatest performers of the last 100 years in my back yard. As much fun as my birthday was with The Purple One in May, when it comes to music this show was one of the greatest I have ever seen no matter what the year is. He played the hits, he got funky with Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham, he performed encores nearly twenty minutes after the house lights came up. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. If you live in Southern California and missed this run – shame on you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaKHR6oe52Q

#2 Ween 01/26/11 – Fox Theatre – Oakland, CA

It was late 2010 when my pal James and I made plans to have a mini Ween California tour. I would fly to the Bay Area to get brown in Oaktown and he would come back with me to see the brothers Boognish in Los Angeles. From sneaking onto the floor to the sweet mini acoustic set there are just too many high water marks to mention. So instead we will just give a shout out to the hood rat who threatened to kill me on BART after I informed her I was not a drunk, but a drug addict.

 

#1 Phish 08/05/11 – Gorge Amphitheater – George, WA

As I said last year, as long as I see Phish I will always know what my top show of any given year is. This year I was not only fortunate enough to catch the band four times (so really, the top four shows of 2011 were all Phish), I finally got to see the boys live at The Gorge. It has been a dream of mine to do such a thing since the summer of 1997 and what a magical weekend it was. I could write a novel about the inside jokes of the weekend. From Eel attacks to me learning to open a bottle of beer with a lighter, it truly was one of the best weekends of my life. Oh and the music? All I have to say is Rock and Roll>Meatstick>Boogie On Reggae Woman.

 

Soundgarden 07/09/11: Jones Beach – Wantagh, NY

Soundgarden (w/ Coheed and Cambria) 07/09/11

Jones Beach – Wantagh, NY

Words/Photos by Melorocker

The big sound of SOUNDGARDEN is back. I was a witness to one amazing performance from this “grunge” relic from the 90’s. Singer Chris Cornell delivered like a metal god that he is…or a grunge god. Not only did he match note for note what appears on the records, (Badmotorfinger and Superunknown) he exceeded on some of those notes and took us to new vocal heights. Did it matter that this was the 6th show of the tour, time will only tell?

The band was awesome as well. I have seen drum giants like Joey Jordison and Neil Peart and realized how Matt Cameron using a very economical looking drum set carried a big beat that helped the songs aquire their thunderous pounding. Guitar player Kim Thayil might not be a sexy name like an Eddie Van Halen but he sure knows how to make his guitar give that bite that makes us smile. Overall the stage was kept to a minimum – 2 backdrops and moderate lightning. It was all about the performance of the band rather than some fancy hydraulics machinery. This evening the support act was Coheed & Cambria.

Click here for the complete list of dates.

…and now for the amazing story…I was in front row for all of the show and had a blast. I walked away with a Chris Penne drum stick, a Claudio Sanchez guitar pick, a Chris Cornell guitar pick and I got to touch Claudio’s double neck white Gibson SG guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWWxoEJo-9Y&feature=channel_video_title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Cornell 05/04/11: John Anson Ford Amphitheatre – Hollywood, CA

Chris Cornell 05/04/11

John Anson Ford Amphiteatre – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

For this particular review, before we talk about the music, it is important to discuss the venue. Typically booked for plays and movies, the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre is a truly beautiful venue tucked away in the Hollywood Hills. The beauty ends with the setup as the venue as well as the promoters should truly be ashamed of themselves. Our group had a disabled individual with us. With the understanding that the venue only had seven disabled parking spaces, we did out best to get their early. Upon getting there, the uninformed and heartless parking attendants informed us that disabled parking was full. We had to fight to drive up the hill and drop off our guest. When we got up there, we discovered there were indeed disabled access parking spots. When we questioned one of the venues staff, they informed us that it was reserved for the mother of the promoter. I have to be honest, I didn’t realize Goldenvoice had a mother but one must assume it is not the first time nor the last time that Goldenvoice has put themselves before the fans. In calling the toll-free ADA hotline I was informed that it is unlawful for a business to hold disabled parking and that the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre did indeed break the law. To rub salt into the wounds, while I went to park the car, I had to fight security to re-join my party at the top of the hill. As insulting as it was to arrive early and be denied the final disabled access spot, the venue has no means of getting a disabled individual back to the general parking area after the show. The fact is that Goldenvoice and the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre FAILED to take care of their guests on this particular night and they should be truly ashamed of themselves. In the event this review falls into the hands of either Goldenvoice or the management team of the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, I welcome you to leave us a comment explaining what you plan to do in the future to make sure this does not happen again.

I should also point out that I had not one but two fights with security to join back up with my group. During my second fight with security, I was asked if I had any cameras, drugs or dangerous weapons. I lied and informed him that I had none of the items on the list. You can imagine my delight of walking into the venue and seeing the “No Camera/No Warning Shot Will Be Fired” signs posted all over the place. Still furious over how poorly my crew had been treated, I took a page out of the Rage Against The Machine playbook. Your Anger Is A Gift, and you fuckin’ know I was not about to let a bunch of brainless power-tripping minimum wage event staff prevent me from brining you coverage of Mr. Cornell’s Acoustic Songbook tour. With that out of the way, onto the review:

To be honest, I only went to see Chris Cornell because God Frank offered me a free last minute ticket. I figured why not cross the once great singer off the live bucket list. That statement should tell you my feelings on Chris Cornell, especially considering that about ½ way through his sold out night in Hollywood it occurred to me that I had actually walked out on Cornell at the Ventura County Fairgrounds four years earlier. It was either Henry Rollins or Abraham Lincoln who once declared that Cornell’s vocals could peel paint off walls. I miss that Chris Cornell and really have not cared about anything he has done since Superunknown. Despite my reservations on Cornell, I went into the show with an open mind knowing that this had to be better then the sad hack that I saw in Ventura.

The evening started out with a brief opening set from William Elliot Whitmore. Hailing from Lee County, Iowa, the Americana musician won over the crowd with a mix of banjo, acoustic guitars and smokey bluesy vocals. Songs like “Johnny Law” worked perfectly as multiple members of security walked up and down the aisles of the tiny amphitheatre making sure no one in the crowd were able to use a camera, drugs or dangerous weapons. Whitmore also has a sense of humor, joking about how his Compact Discs were available for sale at the merch booth in between songs. For the countless times I have suffered through an opener where the collective crowd couldn’t wait for them to get off the stage, on this particular night the crowd erupted in thunderous applause when Whitmore realized he could perform not one, but two more songs. While I didn’t run out to the merch booth for a Compact Disc, I truly did enjoy Whitmore’s opening set and hope to catch him out on the road sometime in the future.

With the spring sun having sunk into the hills behind us, Cornell took the stage at 8:50pm sharp. Armed with six guitars, a record player and an old rotary phone Cornell opened his Songbook with a mellow cover of Bob Marley’s swan song “Redemption Song.” With plenty of clever banter (including admitting the fact that the phone didn’t work and would be useless in an emergency) Cornell packed the early portion of his show with a mix of hits from both Audioslave and his solo career. The drunk and mostly attentive crowd (we were blessed to have the loud Affliction T-shirt wearing meat heads behind us) sat still taking in radio favorites like “Be Yourself” and “Can’t Change Me.”

Not knowing recent solo material such as “Ground Zero” and “Two Drink Minimum” I found myself struggling to focus on the music early on. I was more interested in the stars above, the over-zealous security and keeping fans updated via our Facebook and Twitter pages. Then Cornell began discussing Emily Dickinson and my attention was back on the stage. My wife’s favorite Chris Cornell song is “Sunshower” from the Great Expectations original motion picture soundtrack. With my wife currently ½ a world away I knew it was time to risk ejection from the venue in order to share the moment with her when she gets home.

One thing I want to point out was Cornell’s tales of the previous night in San Francisco. While I could beat into the ground the fact that no one was allowed to consume drugs within the venue without risk of being beat up by security, I will instead just share with you why Marijuana is a magical medicine. Cornell shared how it has been years since he consumed cannabis, but how there was so much smoke the night before at the Warfield, he no doubt had a contact high. I knew he was not lying about this contact high, as Cornell performed at the Fillmore, not the Warfield. Once again San Francisco, you have made me proud and I am very proud to have grown up as a resident of the greatest city on the face of the Earth.

The first Soundgarden song to appear was “Fell On Black Days” and while the crowd was receptive all night it was clear that I was not alone in wanting to hear the material of one of the greatest bands to call Seattle home. Keeping the momentum up, Cornell followed “Black Days” with Audioslave favorites “Doesn’t Remind Me” and “I Am The Highway.” Yet it is where many lost interest that I became hyper-focused. Walking over to his record player and laying down some vinyl, Cornell spoke not only of playing DJ as a young child, but about a song he recorded with the late Natasha Shneider. “When I’m Down” is a beautiful piano-driven song from his Euphoria Morning release that on this starry night left goose bumps on the few in the crowd blessed enough to be aware of a talented individual who was taken from us far too soon.

With my wife’s favorite song a few chapters back, the one song I truly wanted to see found its way into the set. It was early freshman year when the Compact Disc for the Singles original motion picture soundtrack found its way into my hands. You can imagine my excitement when Cornell performed his solo track “Seasons” from the soundtrack. While the film (which Cornell also appears in) has not withheld the test of time the music sure does and I can die a little happier having seen him perform it live and in person.

The final part of Cornell’s set ended up as a giant camp fire sing along. Starting with the Temple of the Dog classic “Say Hello To Heaven” Cornell drew power from the crowd’s participation. It became so loud that Cornell was drowned out during the Audioslave favorite “Like A Stone.” Just as he began his set with a cover, Cornell closed his set with the Beatles gem “A Day In The Life.” While we all had a chuckle over the PA cutting out mid-way through, for the first time all night Cornell really showed off more as a guitarist versus a vocalist. The fact he managed to pull off the symphonic masterpiece on only six strings was nothing short of impressive.

With plenty of time left before the 11pm curfew, Cornell performed a three song encore that kicked off with more vinyl and a performance of the title track from his Timberland produced effort Scream. While that never managed to fully captivate the crowd, you know folks felt they got their moneys worth when he busted out “Black Hole Sun.” Once again the capacity crowd drowned out Cornell as he performed the biggest hit of his career. Perhaps homage to what’s been going on in the world since Sunday night, Cornell closed the show with a raw and powerful take on John Lennon’s “Imagine.” While it may have felt more like a prison inside of the venue, Cornell and his acoustic guitar united the crowd and released us back into the real world in high spirits. Walking into the show expecting nothing, Cornell restored my faith in a man that I lost faith in a long time ago. I wonder if it’s too late to re-arrange my summer travel plans and catch him perform with Soundgarden at the Gorge.

Soundgarden Announces Remaining Summer Tour Dates

Soundgarden, one of Seattles great all time bands, has announced the remainder of their 2011 Summer Tour. 

Spanning from July 2 through July 30, Soundgarden will hit up parts of Canada, the East Coast, Chicago and some West coast spots (Sorry to those of you in the South!). 

Guests opening random shows of the tour include Coheed and Cambria, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, The Mars Volta and the Meat Puppets.  These will be shows NOT to be missed!

 

Full tour itinerary (Please note, I believe there is a typo on the Vancouver date on the Soundgarden website- likely to be July 29):

Date City Venue PreSale Times
July 2 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheater On Sale Now
July 3 London, ON John Labatt Centre Mon, May 9, 10:00 am PDT
July 5 Ottawa, ON Ottawa Blues Fest On Sale Now
July 6 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena Mon, May 9, 11:00 am PDT
July 8 Newark, NJ Prudential Center Mon, May 9, 9:00 am PDT
July 9 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre Mon, May 9, 7:00 am PDT
July 10 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center for the Performing Arts Mon, May 9, 12:00 pm PDT
July 12 Fairfax, VA Patriot Center Tues, May 10, 9:00 am PDT
July 13 Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing On Sale Now
July 14 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Spa & Resort Event Center Tues, May 10, 10:00 am PDT
July 16 Chicago, IL UIC Pavilion Tues, May 10, 11:00 am PDT
July 18 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater On Sale Now
July 21 San Francisco, CA Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Tues, May 10, 1:00 pm PDT
July 22 Inglewood, CA The Forum On Sale Now
July 23 Las Vegas, NV The Joint Tues, May 10, 2:00 pm PDT
July 19 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena Tues, May 10, 3:00 pm PDT
July 30 George, WA The Gorge Amphitheater Tues, May 10, 4:00 pm PDT

 

SPECIAL GUESTS:
Coheed and Cambria: all shows 7/2-10 (Toronto, London, Ottawa, Uncasville, Newark, Wantagh, Mansfield)
The Mars Volta: all shows 7/12-23 (Fairfax, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Chicago, Morrison, San Francisco, Inglewood, Las Vegas)
Queens of The Stone Age, Meat Puppets: 7/29 (Vancouver)
Queens of The Stone Age, Mastodon, Meat Puppets: 7/30 (George, WA)

Soundgarden Announces Summer Tour

On the heels of a smoking solo performance by Chris Cornell in New York City last night, Soundgarden, one of Seattles finest bands, will be on tour this summer for the first time in ages!  Soundgardenworld.com announced the long awaited news just a few minutes ago.

 

Details are still being worked out, but the tour will run from July 2 to July 30.  Four initial dates have been posted:

Date City Venue Pre-sale Times
July 2 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre Mon 4/18 10 am PDT
July 13 Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing Mon 4/18 11:30 am PDT
July 18 Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre Mon 4/18 1:00 pm PDT
July 22 Los Angeles, CA The Forum Mon 4/18 2:30 pm PDT

Chris Cornell @ Town Hall NYC 4/13/11

Well I may never get a chance to see Soundgarden, but this sure as hell is a start! What goes on in those heads of yours people? Well whatever it is put it on pause because tonight 43rd edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series takes us to Town Hall in the heart of NYC (West 43rd off Broadway) to witness a night of the ‘Acoustic Songbook Tour’ that Chris Cornell is currently on. There was a show here at this same venue last night too, we got lucky that this 2nd show got added because tickets sold out quickly.. I checked today on Stub Hub to see how much tickets were going for and the lowest cost I saw was like 180 bucks or something like that- my tickets were 35 plus the 9 dollars in fees. I got the balcony seats figuring Pam and I wouldn’t need to be headbanging in the pit for a show like this- plus there’s no way this place is bigger than Radio City Music Hall- so we should expect better pics( and hopefully video) from tonights proceedings as we did when we were #Winning on Sunday night.. I caught the 4:50 train to the ferry and the night officially got underway..

Got to Town Hall about 7pm, this massive brick building. Am I coming to vote for something, Town Hall? But actually when you walk in the place is pretty elegant- velvet ropes and all that stuff. Old style 1940’s movie theater seating..

I met up with Pam and headed inside just in time to catch the last two songs of William Elliot Whitmore (whoever that is) was the opener on as we walked in….he got through by 8:30… Walked by all those signs in the hallways that said “no video/audio recording”, device stuffed in my pocket behind an issue of the Village Voice and we were set-no pat downs or body scans.

Before Cornell came on Event staffers rolled in literally blowing whistles grabbing all our attention to shout out the following instructions: “NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!!! NO AUDIO OR VIDEO RECORDING AND THAT INCLUDES YOUR CELL PHONE! YOU WILL BE EJECTED IF YOU ARE CAUGHT DOING SO!”

Okay then, if we’re gonna be such Nazis about it I’ll hold off on the video-just don’t anally rape me like the tone of your voice suggests your going to do. I screamed out “Then how’d I see all that video of last nights show on YouTube?!” to no response.

So about 9:15 our man of the night Chris Cornell hits the stage as the place goes wild. The stage is set up with six guitars lined against an amp- four of them acoustic and two electric. Electric guitars? Acoustic songbook? Turns out they were just a decorative element to the stage setting.

From his first greetings to the crowd you could hear how awesome the sound is gonna be in this place. He asks if anyone was here from last night, then says he’s gonna change things up a little bit tonight. Not sure if that’s good or bad right now-because the set list I saw from last nights show was pretty epic. .. first song he jumps into is “Dark Globe ”, covering the late great Syd Barrett-the sound in this venue is something to be mentioned again, the strums of the acoustic felt like I was on stage with the guy-now my friends we’ve got ourselves a ballgame! Before playing a song called “Ground Zero” he mentions how it’s about Hurricane Katrina, anyone else find that sort of odd?. But what I love about a show like this is the little stories that get told inbetween songs, like the origins of the song and such. For example before he jumped into “I Promise It’s Not Goodbye” he explained how he has a fan who used to write him letters and emails and stuff and he had a daughter with brain cancer. He says “One day he sent me a poem written from the perspective of his daughter-probably wanted notes on it or something but I read it and had to put music to it right away” then went on to play the song. Little knowledge nuggets you pick up at shows, gotta love it. So the building is kinda quiet (or quieter than most crowds I’ve been in) listening to Chris speak and sing his songs… Well, most of us were quiet. A row in front of me, two seats to the right there was this cool chick who we were chatting with before the show started and she warned us that the song request she’d be screaming out all night is “Jesus Christ Pose”.. Now just imagine an intimate quiet setting, everyone relaxing and then at every opportunity you hear a loud blistering fan scream “JESUS CHRIST POSE!!”. I mean it was hilarious-this is a section I can roll with… I bet there were a minority of people in the building who found that annoying, but I actually thought it was quite humorous.. Rather that then “Freebird” right? I thought so.

So this show is chugging along, I’m loving being in a seat for all this-the whole atmosphere makes me feel like an adult seeing a play on Broadway-the only difference being that this DOESN’T suck. A song I could get on board with, “Can’t Change Me” was followed by “You Know My Name”. Awesome already as we now begin to dig into the Audioslave catalog with “Wide Awake”. There were a lot of songs tonight I couldn’t name off the top of my head-so I worked with the “write down lyrics and google it later” motto. Didn’t really need it for “Call Me A Dog” though, that one sort of spelled itself out. And being a ‘Temple of the Dog’ song made it all make sense. I got myself lost in “Sunshower” while I was live tweeting pics and little comments all night long, but then my attention was grabbed by the sounds of that familiar riff and a roar from the crowd, as our first ‘Soundgarden’ of the night “Fell on Black Day” fell upon us. It’s weird because I want to be screaming singing along to it but it’s only Chris and his guitar up there so there’s not a lot of “noise” too drown me out you know. I’d be heard, and if I was someone who had singing talents I wouldn’t be here writing about it if you catch my drift. And are you freakin’ kidding me we’re jumping into “Blow Up The Outside World” next?! Little back to back ‘Soundgarden’ action-I can dig it. Chris you had me at hello!

Back to the ‘Audioslave’ with “I am the Highway” before he puts his guitar down and turns to a phonograph set up to his right. He says “I’m going to perform this as it was meant to be done” as he pulls out the vinyl and starts to play the track which is the piano part to “When I’m Down” while not playing guitar to anything to it.. pretty cool.. I start to smell pot and see a dubey being passed along the row in front of me.. I mean, if you take flash photography we’ll kill you but do all the drugs you want I guess. The only crime there was me not getting in on that as . “Sweet Euphoria” and “Heaven’s Dead” followed. Damn, I wish every night was like this-good music plus being comfortable make the night life as a “rock journalist” a lot less taxing. Back into Temple of the Dog mode with “Say Hello to Heaven” (one of Pam’s highlights of the evening) followed by “Seasons”… Then, I didn’t realize we we’re into the Led Zeppelin cover of “Thank You” until a few lines in..

Then, and you got me on this one, he plays “Sad Sad City” by a band called ‘Ghostland Observatory’.. he explains something to the effect of: “I wanted to translate this song from the electric stuff they use to guitar”. After that, he says “Okay everyone now lets stretch a little bit-stand up”.. so like half the place stands, I guess that wasn’t good enough as he jokingly says “okay now I’m telling you to stand up-everybody stretch it out”.. so we did-everyone in the building on their feet as we ran through two more from the Audioslave songbook- “Be Yourself” and “Doesn’t Remind Me” before he said thank you and went off at about 10:50….People are screaming “One more song!” chants.. people who’ve been to as many shows as I have-you know there’s an encore coming. And if there isn’t one you’d know before they turned the lights on. You get a feel for the shows after a while.

So of course, back out comes Mr. Cornell for a few more songs. All of a sudden the girl in the row in front of me like jumps out of her seat almost into the ceiling with exuberance as Cornell starts the riff for “Jesus Christ Pose”-but then stops abruptly while saying something that I couldn’t hear over the screaming crowd. That was some effed up shit for that chick screaming out “Jesus Christ Pose” all night(which people seated downstairs said they heard loud and clear all night) to be teased like that. Maybe he did it just to mess with her-wouldn’t that be cruel and awesome at the same time? Interesting moment to say the least before we broke into “Black Hole Sun”-started thinking of the memorable music video. Then the token Beatles cover “A Day in the Life” followed by some solo Lennon action with “Imagine” before playing another ‘Audioslave’-“Like a Stone”… While listening to it in its raw acoustic form, I turned to Pam and said “You know I really love this song” and she agreed as we got back to listening to it being the final song of the evening, with Cornell getting a stand ovation and heading off at about 11:15PM..

Incredible evening all around. I mean, besides the show being unique and highly entertaining-the commute(via Public Transportation) to this venue from my house is about as easy as it gets for me AND the rain tapered off and I didn’t feel a drop. Smooth as the red velvet seats at Town Hall, a place I will hopefully be visiting again.

Well, that’s it for me as it’s reaching 5AM and I’m due for a nap before work at 12.. Thanks you all for participating if you made it this far down, and I leave you with tonight’s set list in more readable form below, plus a reminder that I’ll meet all of you back here on Tuesday the 19th as we’ll head out to Terminal 5 to see PJ Harvey! Thanks again people- LATE!

Set List:

-Dark Globe(Syd Barrett)
-Ground Zero
-I promise it’s not goodbye
-Can’t change me
-You know my name
-Wide Awake (Audioslave)
-Call me a dog (Temple of the Dog)
-Sunshower
-Fell on black days (Soundgarden)
-Blow up the Outside World (Soundgarden)
-I am the Highway (Audioslave)
-When I’m Down (sings along to phonograph)
-Sweet Euphoria
“heavens dead”
-Say Hello to Heaven (Temple of the Dog)
-Seasons
-Thank You (Led Zeppelin)
– Sad Sad City (Ghostland Observatory)
::At this point we were instructed to stand and stretch
-Be Yourself(Audioslave)
-Doesn’t Remind Me (Audioslave)
Encore
-Black Hole Sun(Soundgarden)
-A Day in the Life (Beatles)
-Imagine (John Lennon)
-Like a Stone (Audioslave)

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