Chris Cornell | Olympia Theatre, 13th June
Words: Killian Barry
Wednesday 13th June - Olympia Theatre
It's not often that a veritable alt rock icon rolls in to town. The rapturous reception greeting Chris Cornell's mid-week appearance at a sold-out Olympia Theatre is testament to an enduring performer still plying his trade with all the endeavour that first made his name in the early 1990s. Tonight, a sparse stage hosts few props beyond a stool, an amply-sized rug and a non-functioning red telephone (apparently in tribute to the phone's former owner, a certain Jeff Buckley). Such simplicity focuses attention on Cornell's one-man show, all stripped-back and acoustic for the Dublin leg of his Storybook tour.
On this night, the former Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave frontman drew a broad selection from his extensive back catalogue. A civilised greatest hits set it may have been, yet the homely feel did little to dilute the potency of Cornell's material. From the opening strum of 2007's solo composition 'Scar on the Sky', an adoring audience was entranced. Early highlights included a trio of Temple of the Dog classics ('Wooden Jesus', 'All Night Thing', 'Hunger Strike'), while particular appreciation was reserved for versions of tried and tested Audioslave and Soundgarden cuts (among them 'Like a Stone', 'Doesn't Remind Me', an absorbing 'Blow Up the Outside World', the timeless 'Black Hole Sun'). Finding time to deliver plenty of solo material, Cornell also gave an earnest airing to the likes of 'Sweet Euphoria' and a surprisingly gratifying 'When I'm Down' (Cornell dispensing with guitar in favour of a piano track on vinyl), closing proceedings with a nod to his own heroes, Lennon and McCartney ('A Day in the Life' and a no-frills rendition of 'Imagine').
Chris Cornell's sincerity is evident throughout, as song after song serves to showcase his still impressive vocal range and strength. His conviction, as it turns out, is more than matched by that of his grateful devotees, who lap up a two hour set while ushers do their utmost to enforce a Sistine Chapel-esque no-photo policy. Thanks to his amiable stage presence, Cornell finds himself engaged in repartee numerous times. He alludes to bamboo mic stands and globe-trotting über-fans before improvising a mid-set ditty in his token style on the theme of discounted tickets. In fact, the grunge legend probably regretted indulging the audience in their overzealousness, which at times threatened to derail the show's momentum.
That the performance was a seated affair reflected the reverential tone of the evening, and arguably pointed to the all-grown-up demographic of Cornell's loyal followers, for whom this show amounted to an evening of hero-worship. Though some material may not have aged as gracefully as the man himself, and even if nostalgia for a full band/Soundgarden show remains, Cornell's crowd-pleasing set was never going to disappoint the majority of those in attendance. A play-it-safe performance for the converted, Cornell was among friends and those aficionados went home very happy indeed.
Photo credit: Francesco Costaldo
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Friday 15th June 2012 | Music
You're great Chris.Posted 18:36 | Wed 20th Jun 2012
Log in to leave a comment
The opinions expressed here are those of the viewer and do not reflect those of Entertainment.ie. Entertainment.ie accepts no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for their accuracy of content. Please contact us to report abusive content