Over 2 decades, Meghan and I had a chance to catch Chris Cornell 43 times, on solo tours, with Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, and Soundgarden.
We tried to capture a small piece of the experience of each show, and this page is what we managed to bring back with us each time.
(we also saw Matt Cameron's other band, Pearl Jam, a couple times)
MC5 with Kim Thayil @ Chicago, IL 10.24.2018 (Lea)
MC5 with Kim Thayil @ Milwaukee, WI 09.25.2018 (Lea)
MC5 with Kim Thayil @ Ft. Lauderdale 09.05.2018
Pearl Jam (with Kim Thayil for 3 songs) @ Seattle 08.11.2018
We had already seen them the night before in Jacksonville so we were more focused on weaseling our way to the front for Soundgarden.
We still had an entire Offspring set (Soundgarden stage) and A Perfect Circle set (neighboring stage) to go to get this done.
Apparently…someone took offense to Meghan eventually making it to rail (we’re usually the ones on the rail for 10+ hours, so we get it, but whatever) so when she got a setlist at the end of the show, this dude grabbed it from her and had his wife stash it away.
Lea was ready to throw down, as is often the case with Lea, but Meghan took the high road, told the guy he looked like Sammy Hagar mated with the Cowardly Lion (he did) and moved on, shortly before being handed a second setlist by event security who saw what went down.
We also made off with Ben’s water bottle, although I’m a little fuzzy in regards to how that happened exactly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
We saw Soundgarden perform 3 nights in a row on the Spring 2017 tour, which was a first for us.
We were joined by the world famous Lea Maric and made a road trip out of it.
[1,078 miles in 3 days for those keeping score]
The 3 shows had similar sets but included Kyle Petty (Son of Richard) which they hadn’t played, at least since reuniting, and the previously-played-but-still-rare All Your Lies. Incessant Mace also became a show staple, and usually the highlight of the tour, and these shows in particular.
In August of 2017, videography company Espo Productions posted their pro-shot video of the Fort Myers show, which we are incredibly grateful to have and share back with everyone on here, on the Toy Box page.
We also have our own stuff posted as always, but the pro shot Fort Myers show is something you need in your life.
At the Chris Cornell Songbook show in Miami (10.29.2015), we had another meet and greet, this time with about a dozen other fans. We had won the backstage pass from a “send proof of purchase of Chris’s album” contest, and others had won various radio call-in and online contests.
Once we got backstage with Chris, there were no photos or videotaping allowed, but Chris spent a good deal of time just talking to everyone and signing what they brought in for him. We brought our copy of the Photofantasm book, and a promotional robotic hand from the Hands All Over single.
Chris had a lot of questions about the hand (for which we didn’t have too many answers as it was just passed down to us from a “grunge museum” so we didn’t know the full story behind it). He then put it in his sleeve and shook everyones’ hands with it and waved to us. He and Meghan spoke about the Apple Watch for a while before his security guard let him know he needs to get ready and end the meet and greet.
Other than us not being allowed to take photos during the meet, which I get, but was still quite unfortunate…they also insisted on having the security guard take the photos with Chris on his horrible phone. Our photo (above) ended up coming out the best (although still quite blurry) but most of the other photos were so bad you literally couldn’t tell who was in the photos (they sent everyone’s photos to entire email list so we all saw each other’s photos). We tried to get help from online communities like Reddit’s Photoshop sub to fix some of the possibly salvageable photos for the other fans, but we’re definitely grateful that ours came out at least somewhat okay.
Another highlight…when signing the book, Chris asked “are you Jaye ?” (referring to Jaye English, one of the creators of the book), and when I said “No, Jeff” he said “Oh yeah that’s right, you’re Jeffgarden”, despite us not bringing that up (or wearing the website shirts) this time. So that was nice : )
The Austin show in 2013 was our first Chris Cornell “meet & greet”.
We had all these questions though up - none of which we ended up asking. The session, which was supposed to be 5 minutes but was closer to about 15, had us and 1 other couple with Chris, with him doing most of the talking.
Meghan and I had Jeffgarden.com shirts on so Chris joked that we already know everything and we probably didn’t have questions for him.
The other couple asked him why he sings about dead birds/killing birds so much, and in true Chris form, he basically asked them what the hell they’re talking about, creating a nice, awkward few seconds, during which I never felt more at home in my life.
We had taken a limited edition Badmotorfinger CD-holder thing to get signed, and the whole band ended up signing it, which was a very welcome surprise. Chris also signed a get-well card for Meghan’s brother Ben, and a setlist for our Knight friend Ian.
Because there was no way we could get to the pit after our meet and greet ended, they let us watch the show from side-stage. Where we promptly began taking pictures and video - as one would expect from us by now.
Show highlight was probably Never The Machine Forever, as requested by Matt’s son
The plan was to head up to New York to meet up with Mike and Jaye English for the Jones Beach show, so we had tickets for that show and were pretty much all set, when we realized there’s really no reason to miss the Newark show the day before…
Nothing is cooler than wearing a Soundgarden shirt around town and having people come up to you and ask if they’re in town and actually know who they are.
I mean…once I confirm my wallet is still there I mean
The Seattle show where the cover art for Songbook Volume 1 comes from, although you can’t really make out anyone in the front row. We had a photo pass for this show but just wanted to get up front so we didn’t use it (not that that stopped us from taking pictures). The venue was nice enough to mail us the pass a week later so we could have it as a souvenir.
For some historic perspective, this was the night of The Apprentice finale. And also Bin Laden was killed. This was announced maybe 5 minutes before Chris came out so he probably didn’t even realize it as he played Ground Zero.
We showed up to this show just before 8am, figuring that with it being his home town, there would be some competition for those rail spots.
We also gave up DVD’s of stuff we had on the site to unsuspecting people in line. So for that, we apologize.
The consecutive New York shows were our first Songbook shows. We got to hang out with a bunch of New York Knights before the show, and had a chance to give our friend Darcy a free ticket, which she never shuts up about : P
We were able to sneak a few photos and video clips, including CC playing while cc plays air guitar sitting beside him.
These photos and videos were shared the following day by the official Chris Cornell account via Team CC and by Toni on Twitter.
We planned on attending PJ20 even before rumors started up that Chris would be making an appearance.
We ended getting confirmation that he would be there when we heard his sound check the night before the show, when we were at the venue to pick up Mike & Jaye’s 10 Club tickets.
Since this show was literally in the middle of nowhere, we ended up staying at the same hotel as a bunch of the band members. We had our birthday (Jaye’s) / anniversary (ours) dinner with The Strokes at the table behind us, and later met and hung out with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age for a considerably long time.
Queens of the Stone Age's tour manager gave us PJ20 press passes and our Temple of the Dog reunion videos ended up on Billboard and Rolling Stone’s websites the next day, and in 2016 were featured on the official Temple of the Dog box set.
This link goes to our PJ20 page where we’ve collected our photos and videos from all the bands that played (or at least the ones we saw and photographed), as well as info about the Temple of the Dog Box Set with our videos, and their 2016 tour.
If there’s such a thing as overdoing it with Soundgarden (there isn’t), then we did it in 2011
None of them in Florida (of course…)
We were able to pass this garbage site off as press and get ourselves some press and photo passes for Voodoo Fest 2011 in New Orleans
What I’m trying to say is…we brought Rob Doll to the photographers pit for Snoop Dogg and Mystikal
By the time they were confirmed for Lollapalooza, they had already played their first show, as Nudedragons, in Seattle, largely for members of the press and music industry. Their first Soundgarden shows would be coming up in Chicago.
We once again won tickets on Twitter, this time to their Vic Theatre show a few days before they would close out Lollapalooza. Meghan was able to get video of the entire Lolla set
At exactly midnight, New Years Eve/Day 2010, Chris Cornell tweeted that the Knights Of The Soundtable ride again.
Chris and Kim both stated later that this was meant to be an announcement of their new site, and their plan to have both a more prominent online presence and to have their back music catalogue and merchandise more readily accessible to existing and potential new fans.
With Rolling Stone and others running with this and calling it a full reunion announcement - and the band doing nothing to dispel the rumors, but instead sitting back to observe the reaction - what started off as bad reporting ended up being a prophecy fulfilling action as Soundgarden did of course end up reuniting, putting out Telephantasm (and immediately shipping 1 million units with the Rock Band game thereby getting another platinum album under their belts), and going on tour.
This Las Vegas show was for the grand opening of a new Hard Rock Cafe on the Las Vegas strip.
Tickets were invite-only and we won a chance to win a pair of tickets from Vicky on Twitter.
We actually both worked at the Apple Store on Wednesday, then flew up to Vegas Thursday morning and made the show, and flew back Friday morning and went to work. Cause that’s how we do…
We were almost at the Fort Lauderdale airport when we realized we had left our paper tickets at home and there was no print-at-home option for the Chicago show.
We managed to have someone (let’s pretend it was a cool friend in our building, like a Kramer situation, and not my mom) Fedex the tickets to us so other than a few years shaved off our lives from the stress, we ended up being okay.
Plus, as a bonus, our Twitter friend Emily Wallen enlightened us to the fact that the Milwaukee show was just a rental car away, so we ended up adding that show last minute.
We were close as you can get for that show. I’d say the closest we ever were for a Chris Cornell show just because we’ve had rail/front row before, but for this, there was no barrier to the stage. We’d actually have to keep moving our arms to keep from getting stepped on throughout the show.
We actually got a few videos at the show, but being so close, the mic on our camera blew out. We did post a couple horrible-audio videos, and we put together a video with our own footage from the show, but with the studio audio for Preaching The End Of The World that synced up pretty nicely. The photos did come out pretty good though.
The Carry On tour had Chris touring with the guys from Run Through The Desert, and playing songs from his entire catalog, even including Temple of the Dog.
These were the first 2 shows we went to with the new backing band, and I specifically remember thinking we wouldn’t have to worry about getting everyone in if we took any photos or video, but we immediately flipped on that once we saw the dynamic between the band and Chris.
The opening band was Earl Greyhound and they were pretty good. They also brought out donuts for us after their set while we waited for Chris to get out.
We took Meghan’s sister to the Fort Lauderdale show for her first Chris Cornell concert, and she came along - with Meghan’s brother also joining - for the Orlando show.
Chris Cornell co-headlined Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution after opening for Linkin Park outside the U.S. first.
We caught 2 Florida stops. The first from fairly far away seats - which didn’t stop Chris from finding and pointing Meghan out of the crowd - and the second from the floor/pitt.
Chester would come out to sing on Hunger Strike during Chris’s set, and Chris would come out later in the night during the Linkin Park set for Crawling.
So for Orlando, we took the same sign and added another that read "Real Activists Don't Discard Miami Fans' Signs". At this show, Chris happened to read this right as Tom was having guitar issues. He [probably jokingly] called her a bitch, and while the band (except for Tom) started doing some random improv beat while Tom got his guitar stuff sorted out, Chris sang Pretty Noose for us : )
At the Miami show, we had made signs that read "Real Activists Play Pretty Noose" as a dig on Chris Cornell essentially joining Rage Against The Machine. They were also playing Soundgarden songs at this point (Loud Love, Spoonman, Black Hole Sun (acoustic), Outshined) although we didn't expect they would actually play Pretty Noose because of the tuning and just because it's pretty likely the band hadn't learned it.
So at the Miami show, Chris actually grabbed the sign from Meghan and read it, then tossed it off to the side.
After seeing Audioslave for my first and second time earlier in the year in San Francisco, the 2003 Lollapalooza brought them to us in West Palm, Florida. This was my cousins's first times seeing Audioslave & Chris Cornell.
We only have a few photos up here but we do have a friend's bootleg video of the show on our Toy Box page.
By the time Audioslave started touring, we'd already known them as Civilian for a couple years, and had heard their debut album - in demo form - for about as long.
When spring break came up in 2003, I flew to San Francisco to catch 2 consecutive shows at The Warfield.
At that point, the Audioslave site was still new, and I'm not quite sure if the Audioslaved forum/community had formed quite yet, but I was a regular on the ChrisCornell.com forum as "dotcc" (this site was ChrisCornell.cc at the time, so the .cc screen name made sense). I ended up rooming with another CC.com member, "FOPP", and meeting a few other forum members at the show - although without Meghan to be Penn to my Teller, I just came across as an antisocial brat to everyone else (which i'm not, not-okay with necessarily)...
Anyway, I had balcony seats for both shows, but because these shows coincided with the Iraq war (there was a literal countdown on CNN), the protests in the streets early in the day, the day of the 2nd show, had the venue's team letting us in early, at which time I just walked up to the rail. So I was able to have the March 20th show be my first rail-for-Chris-Cornell show.
Because I'm a horrible person, I didn't record audio, I didn't shoot video, and I didn't even take any pics for some unexplainable reason. But, I did get some photos from the show, and the protest outside, so those are all included in this post, which is one of the few things on this page that aren't home-grown