"Much like Dave [Grohl] and many of these people, I thought what a shame it was because Chris was such a wonderful guy, but by the same token, I felt that, as I look around here, the music lives forever," said Josh Homme last night at L.A.'s "I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell" concert, before launching into a stripped-down solo rendition of Soundgarden classic "Rusty Cage." The Queen of the Stone Age frontman also recalled growing up and being influenced by the grunge pioneers, saying he feels "very blessed" by the time he's spent around the band.
Homme and his electric guitar delivered the Badmotorfinger opener with a bluesy, chilled-out vibe more in keeping with the singer's signature desert-rock style. A little bit country, a little rock & roll, his vocal range expanded as the energy and soulfulness built toward the chorus. Nodding to Johnny Cash's famous take on the Soundgarden song, the rendition went through several dynamic changes as the always-cool Homme was projected on an overhead screen alongside a vintage portrait of Cornell in his long-haired heyday. For more from the tribute concert, check out video of Metallica, the Melvins, Foo Fighters and Soundgarden's performances.