10 Reasons Why the Chris Cornell Tribute Show May Be 2019’s Concert of the Year
Tonight (Jan. 16), some of the biggest names in music will take the stage at The Forum in Los Angeles to celebrate the life, music and incredible voice Chris Cornell shared with all of us fans over the years. In the past week, the bill for the event has continued to grow, making this a "can't miss" show. Here we give you 10 reasons why the I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell benefit just might be the concert event of 2019.
If you're holding an event like this, why not get the biggest draw you can find? Metallica are arguably metal's biggest act, especially when you consider their draw across all generations of music fans. This was a great place to start when putting on this event, and the mind races with the possibilities of which Cornell songs they might cover.
"It’s unfortunate it’s under the dark cloud of his passing. But as a fan, hopefully it’ll bring another step and maybe some resolve or start having some public conversation about depression and what this disease does to people and how it affects so many more people amongst us than what we really think. And how we’re probably always much closer to people that are struggling with this on a day-to-day basis than we truly understand," said Lars Ulrich to Forbes.
9. Foo Fighters
If you've got metal's biggest act, why not get hard rock's largest draw, as well. Foo Fighters have a broad appeal and have taken part in plenty of events over the years where they've shown their ability to play "house band," working through any number of covers. Dave Grohl's Nirvana past and association with the Seattle scene also makes this a great get and even leaves open the question of whether Krist Novoselic might make an appearance.
8. Ryan Adams
The third major act revealed with the initial announcement gave the lineup some variety. Though he frequently alternates between rock and alt-country, Ryan Adams has also expressed his love for heavier music and would be a great choice to tackle some of Cornell's more roots-based solo work.
7. One more time for Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog
Chris Cornell was the rare artist to find success in three different projects, each having some of the most talented players in rock. With his powerful voice now silenced, this may likely be the final time we see Soundgarden, Audioslave or Temple of the Dog celebrating the music they created with Cornell, and what a catalog of classics all three acts gave us. The biggest question mark going into the performance is who will be attempting to tackle Cornell's vocals and what guests might show up during their sets — but more on that later.
6. Jimmy Kimmel as host
While many outside Los Angeles know Jimmy Kimmel as ABC's late night TV host, he has roots in L.A.'s rock scene, starting his career as the sports guy at Los Angeles' KROQ, the city's top alternative rock station, which played Soundgarden as much as any station in the city. Given his background hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live and taking on other major TV award shows, while still rooted somewhat in the L.A. rock community, it makes him seem like a fitting choice to lead the evening.
5. A varied, eclectic lineup of non-rock special guests
You know there's going to be a rock presence at a Chris Cornell tribute, but that voice touched so many even outside the rock genre. Showing exactly how far his reach went, musicians such as Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus, Chris Stapleton, Fiona Apple, Miguel, Ziggy Marley and Brandi Carlile have joined the lineup.
4. But about those rock guests ....
In the recent week, the lineup for the I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell show has expanded quite significantly. Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrell was one of the first announced acts, alongside Faith No More's Mike Patton. Sadly, Patton has bowed out of the event due to an illness that also kept him from singing the National Anthem at the Rams game over the weekend. Taylor Momsen, whose band The Pretty Reckless joined Soundgarden on one of their final tours and who credited Cornell as a major influence, has made her way to L.A. Dave Grohl won't be the only Seattle rock royalty on hand, as Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains will be partaking in the event, too. Elsewhere, The Melvins have signed on for the evening, and Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler has been jamming with the Audioslave guys. Plus, Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme just got added, possibly joining his Foo friends for the night. You can also look for acclaimed players such as Alain Johannes and Josh Freese participating.
3. The social media teases have been amazing.
Whether it be Perry Farrell hanging with Geezer Butler and the Audioslave guys or a Buzz Osborne-Matt Cameron-Taylor Hawkins photo op, the rehearsal teases have only enhanced the anticipation for tonight's show. Check out some of the social media surrounding the event below:
2. Los Angeles loves Chris Cornell
There's no doubt that the city of Los Angeles has great love for Cornell and it's the perfect place to host the event. The Forum is one of the city's iconic venues and with so many musicians living in L.A., it's an easy place to gather some of music's finest to pay tribute. Cornell's final resting place is at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery where nearly two years later his grave is among the most frequently visited. One of the first major concerts following Cornell's death was U2's Joshua Tree tour at the Rose Bowl, with the band paying homage to Cornell by having his "Black Hole Sun" vocal play out before they took the stage. The display of lights and unison of voices joining in was among the most stirring moments of the evening. Watch below.
1. Chris Cornell, the humanitarian
Chris Cornell was a musician who loved to give back and in his passing, the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation continues to do so. Proceeds from tonight's concert will go to the EBMRF (Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation). Meanwhile the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation has continued their promise to help vulnerable children at risk around the world. On top of all the great music and special guests at this show, you'll also be helping out a good cause. A few more tickets were just released for tonight's show. Check here to see what's available.
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