If you were lucky enough to attend the five hour jam-packed Tribute to Chris Cornell at LA’s Fabulous Forum on January 16, 2019, you are certain to never forget it. The sheer quantity of one-of-a-kind performances makes this a fun one to rank, so have at it: every single performance, with the best video footage currently available.
The sets varied from single-song acoustic performances to four- or five-song “band sets” with covers and their originals (Metallica, Foo Fighters, Melvins), to “bands-with-guest-singers-doing-the-Cornell-parts” (Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of The Dog) and more. While there was a lot of bone-crushing heavy rock (including far more pre-major label Soundgarden songs than anyone would have expected), the mix of lifelong friends, bandmates, and compatriots of Cornell, alongside some newer talents and influences like Brandi Carlile and Chris Stapleton, took the show to another level. Some may have found the show too focused on “the super loud early days”; others in the arena were commenting on some choices being “too Hollywood.” Here’s your chance to weigh in, though even the lowest-voted performances on this list are worth checking out.
The Melvins current lineup includes Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover, Jeff Pinkus of the B***hole Surfers, and Steven McDonald of Redd Kross. The band finished their set with a cover of Soundgarden's 1994 "Spoonman" off their album Superunknown.
The Melvins covered Cornell's "Heart of Honey", an unreleased rarity that Cornell had played with Eleven and The Lovemongers in the past.
A Melvins original from their 1987 album Gluey Porch Treatments.
"The Day I Tried To Live" from their 1994 album Superunknown, was performed with Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters, usually in the drum chair) on vocals and Buzz Osborne (The Melvins) on additional guitar.
A Melvins original from their 2008 album Nude With Boots.
"Show Me How To Live" was performed with Robert Trujillo (Metallica) on bass and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) on vocals.
A Melvins original from their 1995 album Return to Olympus.
"Say Hello 2 Heaven" was performed with Miley Cyrus, Brendan O'Brien, Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam), Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), and Josh Freese (The Vandals/Devo) from their 1991 album Temple of the Dog.
Chris's 14-year-old daughter sung alongside Ziggy Marley who played guitar to his father, Bob Marley's hit, "Redemption Song."
Soundgarden sang "I Awake" with Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) and Buzz Osborne (The Melvins) from their 1989 album Louder Than Love.
"Hunted Down" was performed with William DuVall (Alice in Chains), Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains), Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam), Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), and Josh Fresse (The Vandals/Devo) from their 1991 album Badmotorfinger.
"Black Hole Sun" was performed with Brandi Carlile as well as Peter Frampton, and Tim and Phil Hanseroth (Fighting Machinists) from their 1994 album Louder Than Love.
Foo Fighter's frontman Dave Grohl performed an emotional acoustic version of "Everlong" which he dedicated to Chris.
Queens of the Stone Age's founder John Homme performed Soundgarden's 1991 song "Rusty Cage" from Badmotorfinger, Johnny Cash style (Cash covered the Soundgarden classic on 1996's Unchained). Homme even dressed the Cash part, and Cash's son John Carter Cash intro'd Homme. To top it off, Homme threw in a few licks and lyrics of Sabbath in the middle of his "solo electric" one-and-a-half song set.
"Loud Love" was performed with Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless) Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave), and Wanye Kramer (MC5) from Soundgarden's 1990 album Louder Than Love.
James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo started with Soundgarden's 1988 song "All Your Lies" from their album Ultramega OK.
"Reach Down" was performed with Miguel, Nikka Costa, Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam), Brendan O'Brien, Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), and Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam) from their 1991 album Temple of the Dog.
"Hunger Strike" was performed with Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam), Brendan O'Brien, Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), and Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam) from their 1991 album Temple of the Dog.
"Like A Stone" was performed with Chris Chaney (Jane's Addiction) on bass and Brandi Carlile on vocals.
Adam Levine and Jesse Carmichael of Maroon 5 and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam performed Chris Cornell's 1992 "Seasons" (from the Singles soundtrack) with both Carmichael and Gossard playing acoustic guitar.
Audioslave performed "Cochise" with Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) and Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction) from their debut album Audioslave in 2002.
Metallica closed out their four song set with a cover of Soundgarden's "Head Injury" from their 1988 album Ultramega OK.
"Rusty Cage" was performed with Taylor Momsen. Momsen starred in the TV show "Gossip Girl" and also plays in the band The Pretty Reckless.
"Set It Off" from 2002 album Audioslave, was performed with Chris Chaney (Jane's Addiction) on bass, Sam Harris (X-Ambassadors) on vocals, and Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) on vocals and guitar.
Badmotorfinger fan favorite album track "Drawing Flies" was performed with Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless) singing as well as Buzz Osborne adding guitar, with Matt Demeritt and Tracy Wanamae on horns.