Chris Cornell in Toronto

Almost lost amidst the dual fever dreams of the Blue Jays’ playoff run and an utterly chaotic trip to the Middle East (oh hi from Dubai!), a Chris Cornell concert at Massey Hall, where Sam and I had most recently watched Matt Berninger throw wine into the audience and crawl around the floor like a dog. Anyway. This was my third time seeing Cornell’s Songbook tour, all of which have been magical. It was Sam’s first time seeing Cornell in any of his many iterations. Here’s what he played:


  • Before We Disappear
  • Can’t Change Me
  • Moonchild
  • The Times, They Are A-Changin’ [Bob Dylan] (reworked by Cornell as “The Times, They Are A-Changin’ Back”)
  • As Hope & Promise Fade
  • Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart
  • Fell on Black Days
  • Thank You [Led Zeppelin] (a highlight, although the version on the Songbook album remains definitive)
  • River of Deceit [Mad Season] (the highlight for me. Honestly, one of the very best things I’ve ever seen at a concert; also, while I know it’s not a Cornell lyric, the line “now I can grow a beautiful shell for all to see” is one of my favourite things that’s ever been written.)
  • Hunger Strike [Temple of the Dog] (helluva follow-up, although…I mean, I’ve seen Temple of the Dog do this, twice, so nothing compares, y’know?)
  • Doesn’t Remind Me
  • Blow Up the Outside World (not crazy about this version)
  • Let Your Eyes Wander
  • Call Me a Dog [Temple of the Dog]
  • To Love Somebody [The Bee Gees]
  • When I’m Down
  • Worried Moon
  • Rusty Cage (played in the style of the Johnny Cash cover!)
  • I Am the Highway
  • Black Hole Sun
  • Nothing Compares 2 U [Prince] (…which has turned into a kind of viral hit; it’s stunning)
  • Ave Maria [Schubert]
  • Wooden Jesus [Temple of the Dog]


  • Josephine
  • I Threw It All Away [Bob Dylan] (!)
  • Higher Truth

The opener, Hemming, was great too. Check her out.


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