U2 paid tribute to Chris Cornell, who died by suicide last week at age 52, during the band’s Rose Bowl show on Saturday by dedicating The Joshua Tree cut “Running to Stand Still” to the late Soundgarden frontman.
Bono introduced the song by calling Cornell a “lion” and a “beautiful, sweet soul” before launching into the 1987 track, which follows a Dublin couple struggling with heroin. Cornell himself discussed addiction previously, in a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone. “I went from being a daily drug user at 13 to having bad drug experiences and quitting drugs by the time I was 14 and then not having any friends until the time I was 16. There was about two years where I was more or less agoraphobic and didn’t deal with anybody, didn’t talk to anybody, didn’t have any friends at all. All the friends that I had were still f—ed up with drugs and were people that I didn’t really have anything in common with.”
Although U2 and Cornell never collaborated, Cornell did mash-up U2’s “One” with Metallica’s song of the same name for an experimental, acoustic cover that he performed during a 2013 show.
Along with dedicating “Running to Stand Still” to Cornell, U2 also honored the singer by playing Soundgarden hit “Black Hole Sun” from the speakers before the concert started.
Watch footage of the moving performance above.
Many others have also paid tribute to Cornell following his death, including his wife, Vicky, who released a statement shortly after news broke. “Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled,” she said. “As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do.”