An amazing lineup of artists gathered last night at L.A.’s Forum to honor the late Chris Cornell, including Metallica, Foo Fighters, Josh Homme, Ryan Adams, the Melvins, Miley Cyrus, Ziggy Marley, and the surviving members of Audioslave, Temple of the Dog and Soundgarden.
“We all know how music can change us, but Chris did something more extraordinary – he changed music and paved the way for so many from Seattle to across the globe,” Cornell’s widow Vicky told the crowd. “And that legacy, and his influence, will live for generations to come. I am so proud that, along with his legacy, his philanthropic work continues to grow and flourish. Chris would be so very proud. Simply put, to me, and because of all of you, Chris lives on, a music immortal whose passion for helping others is more alive today than ever.”
Cornell died on May 18th, 2017, just hours after Soundgarden played a show at the Fox Theater in Detroit. The previous year, he celebrated the 25th anniversary of Temple of the Dog by going on a brief tour with the Seattle supergroup across North America. They had played a couple of times in 1990 shortly after cutting their sole album. In the years after that, Cornell would come out at a Pearl Jam show and play a few Temple of The Dog songs – most notably at their PJ 20 celebration in 2011 – but until 2016 they’d never actually done anything resembling a tour.
Temple of the Dog played just eight shows in 2016, kicking off November 4th at the Tower Theater near Philadelphia and wrapping up November 21st at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. They only had the ten songs from their one album, so filling out a whole set required them to add covers into the mix like Led Zeppelin’s “Achilles Last Stand,” the Cure’s “Fascination Street” and Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.” They also played tunes by Mother Love Bone, Mad Season and Chris Cornell’s solo career.
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Every show wrapped up with “All Night Thing.” Check out this fan-shot video of it from the last night of the tour in Seattle. “One more song and then, who knows, maybe we’ll play this again,” Cornell told the audience before it began. “Then we’ll go on a massive world tour! But we’re not going to. But you never know.”
When the song wrapped, Cornell thanked the audience, waved goodbye and walked off the stage. It seemed quite possible at that point that Temple of the Dog might indeed play shows every few years and maybe even make a new album, but instead it wound up being the last time he ever played with them.