A night with Chris Cornell and Songbook

Chris Cornell is my favorite singer of all time. He’s above Eddie Vedder and all others and Friday night I got to spend 2.5 incredible hours listening to him make a guitar sing, cry, love, hate and bleed.

The show was held at the historic (isn’t everything in Pittsburgh historic by this point?) Carnegie Music Hall which is attached to the Carnegie Museum of Art & Natural History in Oakland.

Chris rocked out a set list and took requests from the audience for 2 hours before handing out a solid 30 minute encore. He covered songs stretching across his career from Temple of the Dog, his time with Soundgarden and Audioslave to his multiple solo collections. This wasn’t just a night for the greatest hits but for a man and his guitar to tell the stories behind the songs and why/how they came to be. He covered Led Zepplin and multiple Beetles songs before closing the night with a hair raising, goosebump inducing, tearjerker rendition of Blow Up the Outside World (my favorite song for those of you keeping track at home. Surprised its not Spoonman eh?).

Our view was fantastic also. 1st balcony section 4. No obstruction, just a straight up view of Chris.

In almost 20 years of being a Soundgarden fan this was my first chance to see him live and it was well worth the wait. I wont hold out another 20 years to do it again.

The show was everything I had hyped up in my head and I only wish there was someway to relive it again like I can with Pearl Jam (there are bootlegs of every show. Recording is welcomed!)

Here is the setlist I found online. Looks pretty accurate but take the net for what its worth.

1. Scar on the Sky
2. Ground Zero
3. Hope and Promise Fade
4. Can’t Change Me
5. Be Yourself
6. Wide Awake
7. Fell on Black Days
8. Call Me a Dog
9. Hunger Strike
10. You Know My Name
11. Billie Jean
12. Outshined
13. Sunshower
14. Getaway Car
15. State Trooper
16. When I’m Down
17. Seasons
18. Wooden Jesus
19. Burden in my Hand
20. Mind Riot
21. Like a Stone
22. Doesn’t Remind Me
23. A Day in the Life


24. Thank You
25. Black Hole Sun
26. The Keeper
27. Say Hello to Heaven
28. Imagine
29. Blow Up the Outside World

All in all it was a magical night but there were a few problems. Always is eh?

  1. No photography – This is an absolute bullshite rule and I don’t mean professional cameras, I’m talking about your cell phones. During the whole show we were constantly distracted by ushers flashing their lights in everyone’s faces telling them to stop taking photos or they’ll take your phone. Even if you were texting (why weren’t you watching the show?) you still got harassed. When we entered the venue the ticket taker asked to see our phones and if they took pictures we would have to hand them over. We chuckled and kept walking.
  2. Heat – The seats are small and very close together. With a sold out show it was next to impossible to get air and after almost 3 hours one of the ushers finally opened a door for us.
  3. Drunks – I don’t care what state of mind you’re in but if you yell Free Bird over and over you’re going to get beat down. Better yet you shout out after every song the same title for him to play and when he does play it you say “Oh, I meant something else.”
  4. Recording – if the artist isn’t going to record the show for later release then why can’t I have a pocket recorder on me? I’m not saying you need to walk in with a studio but I saw a guy with a small handheld in his shirt and you’d think he was strapped with a bomb.  I would love for a copy of last night’s show so I can relive it over and over again. This is where Pearl Jam and KISS do it right
  5. Merch – I really wanted a shirt but $30? Didn’t happen. Thought maybe I could get one online a little cheaper and I was wrong, merch from the show isn’t even online. I would have gladly paid for a hoodie or make someone else buy me the shirt for Christmas.
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