Guitar player (illustrative photo).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
What happens when you strip an ‘90s rock star of the electric guitar, the pounding drums, deep bass and dry ice? He turns a large concert hall into a living-room concert so intimate you can hear the notes breathed into life, manifesting in a sweet, raspy melody.
On Friday, May 6, American rock singer Chris Cornell performed at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv as part of his international tour. Considered one of the pioneers of the ‘90s grunge movement, Cornell served as the primary songwriter and guitarist for Soundgarden, and vocalist and songwriter for Audioslave, before embarking on a solo career.
This being Cornell’s third time in Israel, he was greeted by loyal fans anxious to hear him live. Opening with “Before We Disappear” from his newest album, Higher Truth, Cornell sang a variety of songs old and new, sometimes accompanied by guitar and cello player Bryan Gibson.
The two-hour show of just Cornell, his guitar and his pure voice was tastefully ordered. Cornell also sang tribute to Prince, and pulled from some of his musical inspirations, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles and an amalgam of Metallica’s “One” to the melody of U2’s “One.” Although 51, Cornell’s voice proved better than ever. His ability to preserve the spirit of ‘90s grunge and alternative rock while incorporating a modern soulful twist proves Cornell isn’t going anywhere.
Smartly dressed in dark jeans and fitted button-up jacket, it was clear Cornell is really establishing a serious career for himself. At the same time, there was a friendly and open mood, as Cornell took song requests from audience members and made light-hearted jokes throughout the night.
Although the ‘90s may be over, they are still very much alive in the voice of Chris Cornell, who proves you don’t need a full, dazzling band to pull off a great rock concert.