“Sometimes Chris Cornell would sing a note that didn’t exist…it was the way he sang it like it ripped a portal to another dimension. You know that wasn’t just some studio magic,” stated Jack Black Wednesday night at The Forum in Los Angeles.
Friends and family of Chris Cornell organized a show for fans, the ‘I Am the Highway: Tribute to Chris Cornell’ show, paying tribute to Cornell’s legacy in music. The five hour, sold-out show included massive performances from musicians influenced by Cornell’s legacy, including leading performances from members of Audioslave, Soundgarden, and Temple of the Dog, bands in which he led as their frontman during the span of his thirty-plus year career.
Cornell’s legacy began in the rock scene of Seattle, Washington in which he was a part of his most notable and longest running group, Soundgarden. Remaining members of the group commenced the night by sharing words in their bandmate’s honor.
“Chris is here with us tonight. He has the best seat in the house” said Matt Cameron, former drummer of the band.
Paving the way during the grunge era of music in the ’90s, Cornell brought his belting vocals and songwriting ability to groups like Soundgarden and to mega-hits of his founding group Temple of the Dog, making each song he performed a distinct and emotive experience.
Although Cornell’s famously belted vocals were missing during the night, his hits were performed by friends and musicians he impacted, including Dave Grohl who performed alongside Audioslave singing songs like, “Show Me How to Live” and “Everlong.” Miley Cyrus gave an unforgettable performance of “Say Hello 2 Heaven” with members of Temple of the Dog. Additionally, Adam Levine gave an impressive rendition of “Seasons,” performing alongside Cornell’s friend and former bandmate, Stone Gossard. Remaining members of Temple of the Dog also performed their massive hit “Hunger Strike” (a personal favorite) with vocals by Fiona Apple.
The standout performance came from Toni Cornell, daughter of Chris Cornell, who gave an echoing performance to the crowd, honoring her father alongside Ziggy Marley, both performing his dad’s hit, “Redemption Song.”
The night not only honored Cornell’s musical legacy but also his philanthropic work. He and his wife, Vicky Cornell, have supported foundations such as Live Earth, Global Angels, and Save the Music Foundation. They also created the Vicky and Chris Cornell foundation in 2012 to help vulnerable children. In honor or his work, proceeds from the sold-out show will benefit the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation (EBMRF).
To end the night, Soundgarden gave a mesmerizing outro to the silent crowd as a final honor to their beloved bandmate and frontman. His legacy will continue to be honored by family, friends, bandmates and other musicians who have been influenced by his musical abilities and his humanitarian work. Fellow fans will continue paying thanks to Cornell, remembering his distinct vocals and songwriting abilities which will forever live on in the world of music.