Serj Tankian Joins Tom Morello for Chris Cornell Tribute


The festival may be named Sonic Temple, but just two years ago on this weekend the rock world was in mourning at Rock on the Range after the shocking and tragic death of Chris Cornell. Cornell's Audioslave bandmate Tom Morello took the stage solo at Sonic Temple on Friday (May 17), and with the help of Serj Tankian, offered a nod to his late bandmate.

Morello had just performed a medley of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave songs for the crowd when Tankian suddenly appeared onstage with him, giving vocals to the Audioslave song "Like a Stone." The System of a Down singer has joined Morello onstage in the past to help the guitarist pay tribute to Cornell, and with Saturday (May 18) marking the two year anniversary of Cornell's death, the timing was right to revive the collaboration.

Tankian and Morello have a long history together that includes their involvement in the Axis of Justice. Tankian had also worked with Cornell on the soundtrack to the film The Promise and posthumously presented Cornell with the "Promise Award" at a late 2017 dinner for Human Rights Watch.

"Before I knew Chris as a friend, I knew Chris as a fan," stated Tankian at the ceremony. "His voice was always honest, caring and real. It's difficult to successfully lie through art. The man himself was always honest, caring and real."

Morello's Sonic Temple performance provided a mix of his solo works as well as nods to his other bands. His medley included the songs "Bombtrack," "Know Your Enemy," "Bulls on Parade," "Guerrilla Radio," "Sleep Now in the Fire" and "Cochise" before he transitioned into "Like a Stone" with Tankian's help. He also later played a rousing rendition of "Killing in the Name" with fans joining him onstage.

Watch the Tom Morello-Serj Tankian collaboration of "Like a Stone" below and look for Morello on tour in support of his Atlas Underground album at these stops.