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Chris Cornell and Timbaland @ The Showbox: The text message review

November 3rd, 2008 by travis hay

I wasn’t at Sunday’s Chris Cornell/Timbaland concert last night at the Showbox at the Market.

Yes, I enjoy watching a train wreck as much as the next guy, but I wasn’t about to spend $35 ( yup, that was the ticket price) watching Cornell destroy his grunge god status by singing pop songs he wrote during some rock star midlife crisis.

Truthfully, I fell off the Cornell fanwagon after the second Audioslave record. And while I already have prematurely declared his album “Scream” (produced by Timbaland and released Tuesday) a train wreck, I do hope the record does well because it would be horrible if Chris Cornell became the laughing stock of rock.

Like I said, I wasn’t at the show, but my photographer friend Steven Friederich (who is a pretty big CC fan) was there and he texted my live updates throughout the show.

Here’s what he had to say:

9:36 Half this audience have NO IDEA how to react to Timbaland. I swear he’s rapping and these white folks are staring at him dumbfounded.

9:23 This is NOT the audience to expect a singalong to Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” from!

11:16 Cornell is lipsyncing to some of these songs. I swear to God.

11:26 At this point Timbaland has sung more grunge than Cornell. Timbaland did a verse from “Black Hole Sun” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

12:10 Played whole “Scream” album. First and last songs were solid As, there were a couple of Bs and lots of Cs and Fs. Two encores: “Hunger Strike” and a very long “Reach Down”

12:12 Call him “Cookie Cutter Chris.” He’s now overengineered, overproduced and would even get kicked off American Idol.

So there you have it folks. Apparently Chris Cornell doesn’t perform his old Soundgarden, Audioslave or solo material anymore and he’s turned into a singer that would get kicked off “American Idol.” Yikes!

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14 Responses to “Chris Cornell and Timbaland @ The Showbox: The text message review”

  1. justme Says:

    “So there you have it folks. Apparently Chris Cornell doesn’t perform his old Soundgarden, Audioslave or solo material anymore and he’s turned into a singer that would get kicked off “American Idol.” Yikes!”

    For the record, there were only a few shows billed as Scream-only shows. Chris isn’t neglecting his roots. For example, the setlist from Santa Cruz on 10/29 included Gun (a request from the audience), No Attention, Blackhole Sun, and even part of Overfloater – acoustic. I’d love to know how he might have lip-synched that one. ;) There were also songs from Audioslave, TOTD, Euphoria Morning and Carry On in the 2+ hour set.

    As for your friend’s American Idol comment, isn’t that a compliment? I’d imagine that most of the great rock singers wouldn’t be what the producers of American Idol are looking for!

    I’d swear that people think that he’s the first musician who ever tried anything different. Did Neil Young’s fans go this berserk over Arc? Stones fans over disco-esque Miss You? Beatles fans over Sgt. Pepper’s? Afterall, that was quite a departure from I Wanna’ Hold Your Hand. You don’t have to like Scream, but the man deserves credit for expanding his musical horizons. If he only did Superunknown over and over again, he’d be raked over the coals as being stagnant.

  2. Stecker Says:

    I think the problem here is that this is the same guy who wrote “Slaves and Bulldozers” and “Searching With My Good Eye Closed,” yet for some reason has decided to reach out to the “One Tree Hill” crowd hoping for a career resurgence. That’s all fine and good if he wants to try something new, but the old-school fans can’t help but feel betrayed when this man who was gifted with amazing vocal abilities stops using them for good and instead uses them for evil. And that’s what this pop crap is: Evil.

  3. Jo Carone Says:

    I second that justme. I saw him in Portland 2 nights ago. He played something like 25 songs. He did stuff from Soundgarden, Audioslave, TOTD and his solo stuff. He did 4 Scream songs. He did not lip sync one tune. He kicked a major ass and his voice was right on. I guess it is one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ deals. Chris cannot please everyone. It seems to me like right now he is pleasing himself (no pun intended), and that is the way it should be. I do not think Chris could suck, even if he tried. Again, no pun intended.

  4. warriorwoman Says:

    How can you expect to be taken seriously when you write a blog critiquing a concert that you didn’t even attend. You’re blogging on hearsay and calling it absolute?

    Also, you state erroneously, as pointed out by justme, that Cornell is no longer performing some of his golden oldies? Darlin’ ya need to get your facts straight before you make such bold faced statements as you have. Otherwise, you get people like me who tell you that you really don’t know what you’re talking about!

    I suggest taking the time to really listen to the songs from Scream that are available. They’re different, true. But deep down, the essence of Cornell is still there. I hope I have the opportunity to experience Scream, the Album performed live.

  5. Steven Says:

    But he DIDN’T perform ANY of those amazing songs (except two Temple songs at the encore). It was $35 tickets for a bunch of CRAP.

  6. warriorwoman Says:

    “So there you have it folks. Apparently Chris Cornell doesn’t perform his old Soundgarden, Audioslave or solo material anymore and he’s turned into a singer that would get kicked off “American Idol.” Yikes!”

    Chris does perform all of his “golden oldies” during his solo tours. This tour being blogged about was a special tour showcasing his new album “Scream” in its entirety. That’s why I made mention that the blogger didn’t know their facts. If a little research had been done, the blogger would’ve found out that Chris is running two separate tours right now.

    I would highly recommend plunking down the change for one of Chris’ full-blown solo tours. He performs 2 1/2 to 3 hours of music – past and present. One of those shows may be more to your liking!!! And his vocals are spot on during these shows!!!!

  7. justme Says:

    Steven Says:
    “But he DIDN’T perform ANY of those amazing songs (except two Temple songs at the encore). It was $35 tickets for a bunch of CRAP.”

    But Steven, this was billed as an album launch. It was to be expected that he’d play only Scream songs at this one and at all of the album launch shows. If someone didn’t want to hear the new music, they didn’t have to pay $35.

    Stecker Says:
    “but the old-school fans can’t help but feel betrayed when this man who was gifted with amazing vocal abilities stops using them for good and instead uses them for evil.”

    Um, please speak for yourself. I AM an old-school fan and I enjoyed the Scream show that I saw. It rocked much more than I expected and Chris’ vocals are stunning. Sure, it has aspects of urban music but the Cornell stamp is all through the new music. It’s a *blend* of two types of music. To my ears and old-school sensibilities it’s not a sell-out and certainly not pure urban pop.

  8. Steven Says:

    When I received the tour announcements, it said nothing that he would ONLY be playing this album. It said he would be playing songs that *included* his new album. I bought pre-sale tickets on this puppy with this understanding. And, more to the point, even if I had known in advance the whole album would be only new stuff, I still wouldn’t have been satisfied. The new stuff is over engineered and over produced and that’s really my opinion. You like it. Great. I would give a souple songs solid As, some Bs, but the most Fs. You have your opinion, I’ll have mine. But I will say this — there were WAY fewer people at the end of the show than there were at the beginning and that was because people were walking out. That’s not a good sign.

  9. Gabby Says:

    I loved Timbaland’s first album, and I LOVE Chris (I have very eclectic taste). I will admit, I was a little skeptical hearing they would work together, and some of the singles weren’t as good as I expected. However, hearing the album in its entirety, in order, was AMAZING. The songs flowed together, and I liked it all. While I am a little put-off by the pandering to the One Tree Hill crowd, you can’t knock a man for trying to get a newer, younger fan base. The concert was AMAZING, and I was in the third row of people–trust me, there was NO lipsynching whatsoever.

    Now, everything I’ve read says the album comes out today, but amazon, itunes, and stores do not have it out. Anyone know what the deal is?

  10. Meow Mix Says:

    I pretty much agree with everything Stecker & Steven said, dammit I missed the Portland show and I live an hour away. I drove to Seattle to catch it there.

    It was bad.

    I had never heard of the “TimbAland” before, nice guy but I can’t stand the music.

    I (kinda) forgive Chris ’cause he looked so good in those jeans *^_^*, but seriously, next time I drive 5 hours north, I expect him to take his shirt off. Oh and maybe play some good music too, minus the “pop-rocks”. He’s just such a god when he screams. *^_^*

    Oh, and just a note to anyone who was at the Seattle show, if you were one of those “dancers” who was grinding your boobs against my back, take note: IT WAS NOT A DANCE CLUB, next time I will tell you with my fist. ^_^

  11. Liz Says:

    Chris is and will always be “the One”! I’m happy to see he is interested in opening his mind and growing new ideas unlike too many “old people” who can’t bend enough to allow for change.
    Go Chris- we love you!!!!

  12. AC Says:

    You’re a tool. Write about a show that you actually SAW. There were 5 Scream shows, the rest were his normal tour and he played SO many songs from all the bands he’s been in. His voice is better than ever, he looks like he’s still in his 20’s and I applaud him for taking a risk and doing something different. I was at his San Diego show and the crowd was FREAKING over the new stuff. Definitely some hesitation at first, but shit, he was playing a show with all NEW stuff nobody had heard and they ate him up. And btw, he NEVER lip synchs..that is absolutely ridiculous to even insinuate. I grew up in Seattle, saw SG before they were big and followed him ever since. He is the epitome of rock n’ roll and shouldn’t be condemned for branching out.

  13. bad credit personal loans Says:

    He is a nice guy and i love his music!

  14. musikahan Says:

    youve got a nice blog here buddy, bookmark it already. ^_^

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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.