We tragically lost Chris Cornell on Wednesday night (5/17). He had just played a show with Soundgarden at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. The Detroit Free Press’ Ashley Zlatopolsky, who was at the show, said Cornell seemed off the whole night:
At the time, I chalked it up to being late in the tour, thinking that his voice might be shot. Maybe he was exhausted. After all, Cornell, who is known for his four-octave vocal range and having one of the most versatile voices in rock ’n’ roll, spends the majority of his time screaming into the mic — naturally, that will take a toll.
But then things took a dark turn before the song began. “You can burn crosses on your lawn, I don’t give a (profanity). You can burn your house down,” he said. “Who cares? I don’t. As long as you don’t catch someone else’s house on fire.”
But Cornell spoke fondly of Detroit, over and over. It was the one element of the show he seemed truly excited about. He talked about Detroit Rock City, how the audience was unparalleled. How the band loved playing here. He acknowledged the crowd up in the balcony, asking them to stand. He also asked the crowd in front of the stage to cheer for those people.
One line, which at the time seemed innocuous, sticks: “I feel bad for the next city,” Cornell said over the mic. The quote came just after mentioning that nothing could ever top Detroit. Now, it has a much deeper, heartbreaking meaning.
Soundgarden’s show finished with “Slaves & Bulldozers” including a refrain from from Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying.” Pictures and video from the show, and the setlist, are below.
Tributes have been flooding in on social media from Cornell’s contemporaries and and fellow artists and you can read those here.
SETLIST: Soundgarden @ Fox Theatre, Detroit 5/17/2017
Searching With My Good Eye Closed
Black Hole Sun
By Crooked Steps
The Day I Tried to Live
Been Away Too Long
Fell on Black Days
A Thousand Days Before
Burden in My Hand
Blow Up the Outside World
Jesus Christ Pose
Slaves & Bulldozers (with “In My Time of Dying” refrain)