Members of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, and Audioslave, as well as Foo Fighters, Ryan Adams, Metallica, Josh Homme, Fiona Apple, and Brandi Carlile were all on hand to pay tribute to Chris Cornell as part of an all-star tribute concert held in Los Angeles last night. Organized by Cornell’s wife, Vicky, I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell featured 42 distinct performances and a multitude of surprises guests, making for an unforgettable evening spanning nearly five hours in length.
I Am The Highway began with The Melvins, who performed a six-song set that ended with a cover of Soundgarden’s ‘Spoonman’. A little later, Foo Fighters took the stage to cover Soundgarden’s ‘No Attention’, along with Devo’s ‘Girl U Want’ and Cheech and Chong’s ‘Earache My Eye’. Dave Grohl then stuck around to perform a solo rendition of Foo Fighters’ ‘Everlong.’
Audioslave, minus bassist Tim Commerford, played five songs with five different singers: ‘Cochise’ (with Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell); ‘Be Yourself’ (with Juliette Lewis); ‘Set It Off’ (with Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath); ‘Like A Stone’ (with Brandi Carlile); and ‘Show Me How to Live’ (with Dave Grohl). Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo were among the bassists who filled in for Commerford.
Metallica rocked four songs, including covers of Soundgarden’s ‘All Your Lies’ and ‘Head Injury’ plus their own ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and ‘Master of Puppets’. Their set was preceded by Jack Black and James Hetfield performing a brief but playful impromptu rendition of ‘One’.
Ryan Adams sang two songs, Soundgarden’s ‘Fell on Black Days’ and Cornell’s ‘Dead Wishes’, while a number of artists performed one song each throughout the night: Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme (‘Rusty Cage’); Miley Cyrus (‘As Hope and Promise Fade’); Rita Wilson (‘The Promise’); Alain Johannes (‘Disappearing One’); Chris Stapleton (‘The Keeper’); and Adam Levine (‘Seasons’), who was accompanied by Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard.
Cornell’s 14-year-old daughter, Toni, provided one of the night’s tear-jerking moments when she sang Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’ with assistance from Ziggy Marley.
Temple of the Dog’s Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament provided the penultimate set of the evening. Over the course of seven songs, they were joined by a host of guest singers, including Alice in Chains’ William DuVall, Fiona Apple, Miguel, Miley Cyrus, and Brandi Carlile.
To close out I Am The Highway, Soundgarden trio Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, and Matt Cameron shared the stage together for the first time since Cornell’s passing. Taylor Momsen sang lead on three songs, including ‘Rusty Cage’, ‘Drawing Flies’, and ‘Loud Love’. Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins fronted the band for ‘I Awake’ and ‘The Day I Tried to Live’ alongside Melvins’ Buzz Osbourne. For the final performance of the evening, Soundgarden performed ‘Black Hole Sun’ with Brandie Carlile and Peter Frampton.
Jimmy Kimmel served as the master of ceremonies, and many of Cornell’s friends appeared on stage over the course of the evening, including Brad Pitt and Josh Brolin. See the full list of performers and setlist here.
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