Chris Cornell Strips Down for Radio 104.5’s Movember Gala at XFINITY Live!

Photography by Brittany Salerno

Compelling, gritty and stripped down, Chris Cornell delivers a short and sweet, career-tracing performance in support of Radio 104.5’s Movember Gala. Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist, Bryan Gibson, and an array of beautifully crafted acoustics, Cornell played in front of a cozy 500-person crowd at Victory Beer Hall, tucked inside XFINITY Live!. His set list featured his new leading track, “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” off of his fourth solo album Higher Truth produced by Brendan O’Brien, among other staple points within his musical career.

An organic and acoustically flawless “Black Hole Sun” was performed, emulating the true power of live music. No matter how many times this Soundgarden track has been heard, experiencing it live felt like a piece of my musical biology at last clicked into place. Perhaps I’m biased, having been raised on 90’s alternative and the suspicion that the Seattle grunge movement could have very well been supplemented into my baby formula, I can’t help but be sentimental and romanticize this performance. Cornell’s humble stage presence adds a subtle parallel to the grit and riveting nature of his vocals, which pleasantly haunt anyone who is tuned in.

A shallow riff leads in slowly as a collective, “awh”, echoed through the audience, followed by the fan-favorite cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” There’s a particular moodiness that is signature to Cornell’s vocals, soft and fleeting as if drifting you into a deep sleep, yet balanced out by these vibrant bursts of frequency that seem to possess the power to awaken your very bones. At the tail end of his set, Cornell (at last!) removes his dark tinted shades, which remain on for the majority of his performances to combat the lighting in most venues, he mutters, “Here’s one more song for you guys, one of the greatest songs ever written…” and leads into a gripping cover of John Lennon’s, “Imagine.”

Beautifully rendered in Cornell’s own special way, he adds a silver lining to this intimate performance; essentially commemorating the charitable acts in support of Movember, which raises funding as well as awareness towards men’s health.

Check out some images from this one-of-a-kind performance below!

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1 Comment

  1. Lauren Silvestri

    December 23, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Wow I really wish I got to see this performance.

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