Chris Cornell wasn’t from Boise, but the influence of the Seattle, Wash.-born musician spread to the City of Trees and beyond over the course of his 30-year career. When Cornell, best known for his work as a songwriter, singer and guitarist for Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, committed suicide this May, his loss rocked the musical community nationwide.
In Boise, brothers Kyle and Sean Luster of the band Red Light Challenge reacted by partnering with Boise All-Ages Movement Project (B-AMP), a nonprofit program with a mission to empower youth through art and music, and other local musicians to plan a tribute concert and fundraiser in Cornell’s honor. Their goal for the event, which will take place Wednesday, June 28, at Pollo Rey in downtown Boise, is to both preserve Cornell’s music and raise awareness for suicide prevention.
“Chris Cornell happens to be one of our biggest musical influences,” said Sean Luster, “He’s so diverse and his songwriting is so detailed and strong that we fell in love with him as a musician.”
The Luster brothers originally formed their band in Hawaii, where they were born and raised, but since relocating to Boise in 2015 they’ve connected with the local music scene. After the loss of one of their heroes, it seemed only natural for them to reach out to friends—local band Critical Hits and musicians Dan Costello, Thomas Paul and Zack Quintana—who agreed to play Cornell's music alongside Red Light Challenge at the concert.
- Boise Chris Cornell Tribute Concert
- Chris Cornell was one of America's most iconic singer-songwriters.
“We reached out to a bunch of bands that we know in the Boise community, and the four other acts were all for it because Chris Cornell was important to them in some way as well,” said Luster. When B-AMP came on board, the rest of the event fell quickly into place.
Although the concert is free to attend, donations are encouraged at the door with all proceeds going to benefit B-AMP and the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline. Healthy, happy musicians are the product of a healthy music scene, and the performers felt a night paying tribute to one of America’s most iconic singer-songwriters could promote both.
“It’s a good opportunity for both music and suicide prevention,” said Luster.
Doors: 7 p.m., Show: 7:30 p.m., admission by suggested donation. Pollo Rey, 222 N. 8th St., 208-345-0323, facebook.com/events/120904411832051/.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).