A performance Wednesday night at a star-studded charity benefit and tribute to Chris Cornell was Soundgarden's first since the night its iconic front man died and will likely go down as the last of the band's career.
Drummer Matt Cameron, bassist Ben Shepherd and guitarist Kim Thayil — the surviving members of Soundgarden — performed eight songs together at the conclusion of the near-five-hour I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell concert at the Forum in Los Angeles.
The band's set included appearances by The Pretty Reckless's Taylor Momsen, Zen Guerilla's Marcus Durant, Melvins' Buzz Osborne, Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins, MC5's Wayne Kramer as well as Brandi Carlile and Peter Frampton, who helped the band out with the set closer "Black Hole Sun."
Many of Cornell's contemporaries from the early-'90s Seattle rock scene, like members of Melvins, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Nirvana, contributed to the festivities, along with Metallica, Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus and others, including his daughter Toni.
"We all know how music can change us," Cornell's widow, Vicky, told the audience from the stage. "But Chris did something more extraordinary — he changed music and paved the way for so many from Seattle to across the globe. And that legacy, and his influence, will live for generations to come. ... Chris would be so very proud. Simply put: to me, and because of all of you, Chris lives on, a music immortal whose passion for helping others is more alive today than ever.
The members of Soundgarden have publicly shot down the prospect of the band continuing its career without Chris, though they have been open to the possibility of pursuing other projects together in the future.
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