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Ovens Auditorium, Nov. 6, 2007

LIVE Review: Chris Cornell

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The Deal: Former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman showcases hits during two-hour, 15-minute set.

The Good: I never got to see Audioslave live and the only time I saw Cornell before was during a Soundgarden appearance at Lollapalooza about 15 years ago. So, the fact his set at Ovens played like a "Best Of" was great for someone who didn't get to see his previous efforts in person. Cornell may be getting up in years – he's 43 – but his vocals sounded as powerful as ever. He showed that he still had the chops to tear through "Outshined" and "Ty Cobb" from his Soundgarden years, the emotion of Temple of the Dog's "Hungerstrike" and "Pushin' Forward Back" and the presence to get everyone's attention for a seven-song acoustic set. Cornell paced around the stage as his backing band – one helluva lineup of solid musicians with big shoes to fill – showed their mettle while also finding time to have fun by throwing guitar picks at each other (all night). Listening to his cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" on the CD did no justice to the version he cranked out live to open the acoustic set. His end to the show was a conglomerate of Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold," Soundgarden's "Fourth of July," The Doors' "The End" and the best cover of "Whole Lotta Love" I've ever heard. (Full setlist at qcvibes.com)

The Bad: No "Jesus Christ Pose."

The Verdict: Still one of the best rock vocalists. Ever.

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