Live: Chris Cornell Takes Requests at Webster Hall


Chris Cornell
Webster Hall
Tuesday, April 7

We get the “that bitch ain’t a part of me” song out of the way immediately, and thank goodness. The opprobrium heaped on Cornell’s extraordinarily bizarre full-album Timbaland joint, Scream, is not undeserved, but after a few of the wan alt-rock ballads with which Chris has generally made his bones post-Soundgarden, another dance-rock oddity don’t sound so bad.

But that’s neither here nor there, as Chris spends the better part of our two-hour-plus affair baiting us with sweet, sweet Soundgarden jamz.

Thus after a brief opening gambit (remember his Bond theme?), shazam, suddenly we’re on to “Burden in My Hand,” “Pretty Noose,” and fuckin’ Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike.” !!!!! Fuckin’ yeahhhhhhh. Chris is as lithe and vaguely sleazy as always, and he can still scream real good; his generic backing band has the “pop” but not so much the “metal” down in plumbing their boss’ past, and I don’t recall the drum solo in the original “Spoonman,” but overall this is an acceptable oldies show with freakish blasts of ill-advised but oddly fascinating new shit. Plus he takes requests: He luxuriates in Superunknown ballad “Like Suicide” to assuage a gentleman in the front row who apparently spent the whole show brandishing a sign reading “Like Suicide,” which is weird, but hey. At least he wasn’t referring to the new album.

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