Live Review: Chris Cornell, David Leaupepe

10 December 2015 | 1:45 pm | Mark Beresford

"After a career spanning thirty years and half a dozen different projects, it's not surprising that the room was frothing at the mouth."

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From the outset David Leaupepe was well received by the crowd. Tales of woe and heartbreak, pulled from a series of cancer treatments and a subsequent marriage breakdown are played with an intense passion that engages the vast majority. Peppering his set with dry humour and bar talk wit, with Knuckles White Dry, Overpass, Vital Signs and a sweeping cover of Peter Gabriel's Book Of Love highlighting a brief but no less enjoyable set.

Without even striking a chord, Chris Cornell received a standing ovation from the packed Perth Concert Hall. After a career spanning thirty years and half a dozen different projects, it's not surprising that the room was frothing at the mouth by the opening Before We Disappear. On stage — littered with acoustic guitars and a small record player tucked to one side — Cornell slowly began weaving his way through a two-hour set with his trademark raspy vocals hitting every note perfectly while showcasing a proverbial gold mine of brilliant songwriting, delicately restrung into a masterful acoustic performance. Mixing songs from his own solo records — Can't Change Me and Misery Chain — with Audioslave hits — Doesn't Remind Me and I Am The Highway — along with a series of well placed covers — Led Zeppelin's Thank You, Michael Jackson's Billie Jean and a reworking of the Bob Dylan classic The Times They Are A-Changin' that addressed the current American political climate — the eclectic mix was a stellar showing. But as his most famed project, it was always to be the Soundgarden tracks that resonated most with those in attendance. Having been the soundtrack to growing up for so many, hearing the haunting lyrics and raw soaring notes descending down to a wistful croon while being relayed over a stunning cello performance, courtesy of Bryan Gibson, was a true delight. From the dim red glow illuminating the pair as the echoing riff of Fell On Black Days fed the audience, to the fierce strikes of Rusty Cage, Cornell gave a performance that oozed devotion to his songs, and an experience that won't leave those in attendance for a long time to come.