Saturday Night: Chris Cornell At The House Of Blues

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Photos by Marc Brubaker
Chris Cornell
Warehouse Live
April 2, 2011

Check out our slideshow of Chris Cornell performing solo at House of Blues.

We can only assume that this current cross-country solo acoustic jaunt by Chris Cornell is a warm-up for a full assault by his recently reunited Soundgarden in the coming months. Or so we dearly hope.

Either way, for two hours on Saturday at the House Of Blues, Cornell took us all up into his attic of musical memories, playing songs from every stop along the way of his career so far, including a few left-field covers, while acting as an all too gracious host, considering the talking inside HOB.

(At this point complaining about Houstonians talking at concerts is like dancing about architecture, writing about music, or washing your car in Houston.)

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Opening with the charity single, "I Promise It's Not Goodbye", Cornell took us through a sort of This Is Your Life of his own design, satisfying everyone who has climbed aboard his art and the work of his grunge contemporaries the past 25 years. That means stuff from Temple Of The Dog, Soundgarden, the spotty solo stuff, and even short-lived super-group '00s Audioslave.

For as dark, brooding, and weird that Cornell's collective has been the past 27 years (yes 27 years) it's refreshing to find him to be goofy as a solo artist, surrounded by amps and guitars onstage, with nothing else between him and the crowd but his voice and a story to tell.

Last we saw him in Houston, he was touring behind 2009's Timbaland-produced Scream, which sounded exactly like a Chris Cornell album produced by Timbaland. He didn't seem comfortable with any of that material, but he sure as hell jumped out of his skin to play over 30 songs from his Soundgarden hitch and on.

Cornell at his base is a showman who knows what to give his public, and luckily he's been party to some of the best rock music the past few decades that he can deliver a decent show. The voice, that high hellish holler, is very much still intact. Some people pop their skulls out of place to reach the heights he does on a verse.

Two hours gave Cornell time to bat around with his canon, and dish out rarities that few know the background of. "Cleaning My Gun" was written for Johnny Cash but was discarded by the renegade legend because it was out of his register, but Cornell has resurrected it for himself. He did his own solo cut "When I'm Down" accompanied by the instrumental track spinning on a turntable three feet away from his stool.

Location Info

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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4 comments
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Creg
Creg

he's right, though. HOB is a rough place to see a show. the crowd was terrible, the security terrible. craig was really being too kind, in fact. i went to the show the night before in austin at the paramount, and it was filled with drunken pukes. but HOB was ten times worse. HOB sucks worse every time i go there. they over sell that place until its uncomfortable and crowded and mean.

let me put it this way, in austin Cornell did a 15 minute version of the Beatles "Ticket To Ride". it was really cool. in houston, Cornell did "Billie Jean", and it was unintentionally funny.

Jalindberg1
Jalindberg1

Warm up???? Re: Scream, Chris wrote the songs for that album and took the tour all over the world, so why he wouldn't feel comfortable with his own music escapes me. At CC's level of talent and fame I would think he's past having to play music he's not comfortable with. And for those who can't seem to keep their voices down, why go to this kind of venue if you're not really interested in hearing what he's singing or saying. Go to the big shows and stop ruining it for others. In one of the videos he looked like he couldn't even hear himself. How rude, especially to Chris.

No Fun Allowed
No Fun Allowed

Attention everyone: Craig demands you "behave" and not talk at a concert. Be on your best behavior, he's got a review to write, afterall. As you were.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

And say your prayers before dinner, tip your bartenders, and make sure to look both ways before you cross the street.

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