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.
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.
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.
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.