As the rock world tries to make sense of the “sudden and unexpected” passing of iconic vocalist Chris Cornell, video has emerged of his last-ever performance with Soundgarden. The grunge legends, who have sold over 22 million albums worldwide since forming in 1984, hit the road in late-April, and last night, the band played the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan.
Soundgarden performed a full 19-song set, including classics “Black Hole Sun,” “Blow Up the Outside World,” and “Spoonman,” before ending the show with “Slaves & Bulldozers.” In the Badmotorfinger deep cut, Cornell howls, “So bleed your heart out/There’s no more rides for free/Bleed your heart out/I said, what’s in it for me?/What’s in it for me?” The group reportedly merged the track (which was already depressing even before what happened) with “In My Time of Dying,” a traditional gospel song made famous by Led Zeppelin that goes, “In my time of dying, I want nobody to mourn/All I want for you to do is take my body home.” The hook? “Well, well, well/So I can die easy.”
The police are still trying to piece together Cornell’s final hours — officials are reportedly “investigating the episode as a suicide” — but it’s hard (and deeply sad) to not think about what was going through his mind during the show.