Live Review: Chris Cornell — Songbook Acoustic Tour, Glasgow 15th June 2012

By Celeste Carrigan

It was a strange sight to see Glasgow’s O2 Academy fully seated but was the perfect way to hear and enjoy the powerful voice of Chris Cornell, on his Songbook Acoustic Tour.

Although it is a large venue, the whole show felt intimate. A very relaxed vibe that is a far cry from his most recent performance at Download Festival with Soundgarden.

It was just Cornell and his guitars on stage; this is all he needed with such a legendary voice from the world of rock.

Be it  a fan of his solo career, Soundgarden, Audioslave or even Temple of the Dog, you wouldn’t have been disappointed with the tunes from his current album, Songbook, and his back catalogue.

It was a much stripped back affair, from the opening strum on his guitar, the audience was entranced – with only a few drunken heckle – as he played 2007’s Scar on the Sky

Singing songs from his solo career such as Can’t Change Me, where his lyrics registered with the audience just as powerfully as his vocals.

The audience was fixated , allowing them to really appreciate his masterful song writing. Every lyric and emotion could not only just be heard, but felt.

Cornell revisited as far back as his first album  and even earlier to the Temple of the Dog songs like, Call me a Dog and Hunger Strike. It was here we really got hear his astonishing vocal range.

Putting his own stamp on Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, he conveyed pure emotion, which gave a great atmosphere.

Cornell transported the O2 Academy to a smokey jazz club with the tone of his voice.

This continued as he took his whole performance to a new level. He eventually put down his guitar, and pulled out a vinyl of the original recording of the late Natasha Schneider’s jazz piano accompaniment for When I’m Down.

The needle movement and crackle could be well and truly heard from the tired and old record player it played on.

For many who had come to the show it was the encore they had been waiting for. Once again in the night the crowd was treated to covers, a tribute to The Beatles.

In true Cornell style, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away  and Imagine where sung with passion.

A sure crowd pleaser was Soundgarden’s iconic song Black Hole SunThe whole show was a powerful and emotional affair, not only for Cornell but his fans too.

All of us got to experience the true nature and power behind his unique voice.


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