At San Diego’s Balboa Theatre on Saturday, Chris Cornell told the audience, “No matter what happens, I play for a really long time.” He wasn’t lying; by the end of the evening, the Soundgarden and former Audioslave frontman had performed a 32-song solo set that lasted almost three hours.
Each of Cornell’s songs was enthusiastically received by the audience. In fact, the crowd cheered not only at the end of every song, but after almost every line. Cornell enjoyed the crowd, saying, “You’re rowdy, this is what I was hoping for.” Throughout the show, he also played a number of crowd-pleasing covers, including a cover of Tom Waits’ “House Where Nobody Lives,” as well as Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson songs. The bluesy-voiced singer even took requests from the crowd, among them “Freebird,” and “Roads We Choose.”
Other highlights of Cornell’s set were “Cleaning My Gun,” from his new solo album and “Hunger Strike,” from his Temple of the Dog collaboration with members of Pearl Jam. Cornell ended the first set with the late-era Soundgarden track “Blow Up The Outside World,” before returning for a seven-song encore which ended with the Beatles/Lennon songs “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” “Imagine,” and “A Day in The Life.”
Former Shudder to Think lead singer Craig Wedren kicked off the evening with a short set that included “Love My Way” by The Psychedelic Furs, and his own song, “Fall In.”
Photos – Chris Cornell and Craig Wedren, Balboa Theatre – December 17, 2011