Reports have emerged that rocker Chris Cornell seemed to be not "mentally present" during his final show in Detroit last night, shortly before the Soundgarden lead singer was found dead in his hotel room.
A medical examiner has ruled the 52-year-old's death a suicide.
In an opinion piece in the Detroit Free Press, Ashley Zlatopolsky writes that even without the benefit of hindsight from the awful news, it was clear that something wasn’t right with Cornell during the performance at Detroit's Fox Theatre.
He often staggered back-and-forth across the stage, and seemed weak in his movements, Zlatopolsky wrote.
"Just one or two songs in, it was as if the energy had exited his body, and what was left was a shell of a man scrambling to do his job.
"It's not that the nearly two-hour show itself was bad, but it seemed like Cornell wasn’t mentally present," he wrote.
Cornell missed words, sometimes in entire blocks, letting the crowd sing the parts of the songs he didn’t but nobody complained and in fact, the audience of about 5,000 seemed to love it, Zlatopolsky reported.
Cornell was also visibly agitated at times and walked off the stage for several minutes before playing Been Away Too Long, causing the band to start over and leaving them playing instrumentals to fill the gap, the writer said.
"Then there was Cornell’s irritability. His vocals were often lagging, not in sync with the music. At times, he stopped singing completely and gave up for several seconds before catching back on with his bandmates," Zlatopolsky wrote.
But Cornell spoke fondly of Detroit, repeatedly, the one element of the show he seemed truly excited about, and talked about the audience being unparalleled.
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